Saegertown team brings home bronze in state shoot

by Kaity Gage, special media projects editor 

Thirteen students from Saegertown High School traveled to Clairton on June 4 for the 2017 Pennsylvania State High School Clay Target League State Tournament.

Two of Saegertown’s students were incredibly successful and brought home medals to display.

Junior Dustin Hunter won a third place medal in the junior varsity division for his score of 86/100. “It was the best I’ve ever shot, and I was happy to take third place overall for my first year,” Hunter said.

Sophomore Sarah Swartout earned medals for being the third best female shooter at the tournament and second for having the best score overall from this season for females.

The students have been shooting every Sunday since April, with their scores submitted online to compete against other schools in Pennsylvania.

Overall, Saegertown High School came in third place as a team behind Corry High School and Portage Area High School.

 

 

Saegertown’s Kantz referees viral wrestling video

By Kassie Boyd, staff writer

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Braeden Kantz

Sophomore Braeden Kantz has become a bit of a local celebrity. A viral video of two novice wrestlers chasing each other around the mat in the Saegertown gym features Kantz as the referee. The recording, which was made at a fundraiser tournament on Dec. 18, was originally posted by Alexis Salyers, @momthingx3 on Instagram, and has since been picked up by major news outlets like CNN and ESPN.

The video features the two young children engaged in an adorable face-off. As soon as the whistle blows, the young boy runs circles around the little girl. He is encouraged by spectators in the crowd. He stops, and he and his opponent meet in the center of the mat. During the clip, the girl is ahead by four with two takedown and two nearfall points. After the clip ended, according to Kantz, the two continued to wrestle and the girl won by fall.

The recording first gained notice when it was posted by the California USA Wrestling, Inc. Facebook page on Feb. 23. It has since been shared over 31 thousand times, and has nearly two and a half million views. Instagram page @houseofhighlights, with five million followers, reposted the video, and now has more than a million views. Popular Twitter pages @BleacherReport, and @TakingFiveHQ are a few of the many social media pages sharing the video. It earned a feature on both ESPN’s Snapchat, and Instagram on March 1, and television extensions SportsNation and SportsCenter.

Kantz was surprised by the clip’s explosive fame. “It’s weird, knowing that so many people have seen me just doing a regular task,” Kantz said. He was a volunteer referee and can be seen clearly enjoying the children’s playfulness. At the novice level, PIAA does not require certifications for referees, so varsity wrestlers like Kantz step up to do the job. “The kids were hilarious. They were so young, but I think it was more for the parents’ enjoyment,” Kantz said. “Everyone had fun. It obviously wasn’t a stressful match.”

Students at Saegertown have taken notice of their classmate’s fame. “I’ve got dozens of texts from people telling me what station it’s on, how many views it has gotten, and their reactions,” Kantz said. Students have retweeted, liked, and shared the video multiple times. “It’s good publicity for my family name, since I was wearing my Kantz shirt,” Kantz said.

Daniel Lineberry, father of Isaiah Lineberry, the young boy in the video, was surprised by the reaction. “There’s been tons of good [responses], but there are trolls everywhere, we just ignore them. It was such a funny video. It made people laugh.” Isaiah’s match has been viewed by millions of people all across the world. “When I told my son, he asked if he could go color with crayons,” said Lineberry. Both Isaiah and his brother are members of the kids wrestling club at Saegertown. “It’s a little strange knowing my son is now a common household thing,” said Alexis Salyers, Isaiah’s mother. “I love that people are enjoying him as much as those close to him do everyday.”

The tape even caught the attention of ABC’s long running show “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Lineberry was contacted and asked to submit the video, so Kantz was asked to sign a consent form granting his permission.

For his part, Kantz will continue to referee matches between novice wrestlers. The internet, sports fans, and regular people have all enjoyed the recording, and Kantz is enjoying his own touch of stardom while the minute-long clip continues to entertain millions of people.

Clay target shooting becoming a new sport at Saegertown

By Bailey Kozalla, sports editor

Students are now being recruited to join the PA High School Clay Target League, a new sport just approved for PENNCREST students in grades 7-12. Registration began Jan. 15 and ends March 10. To participate, the student must have completed a hunter safety course or firearm safety certification and pay one-time dues of $35. The practice start date is April 2, and competitions will begin April 23 against teams in the PENNCREST conference. A total of five competitions be held through May 21. An informational open house will be held Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the SHS cafeteria.

There are three main divisions of clay target shooting which include trap, skeet, and sporting clays. In trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or machine, going away from the shooter. The targets are launched from two “houses” in sideways patterns that cross in front of the shooter during skeet shooting. Sporting clays are the most complex; clays are thrown from many different launch points. The layout of the field is determined by what type of shooting is being employed. For instance, the layout for a trapshooting field has different components and strategies than a skeet or sporting clays field. In the league, the kids will be shooting trap, with the organization providing the shotgun shells.

The league is looking for new members, so join the fastest growing and safest high school sport. For more information visit http://paclaytarget.com/ or contact Mary Ann Birchard at (814)398-2262.

Saegertown swimmers stroke to success

By Payton Brooks, social media editor 

Another breed of athlete at Saegertown has been cultivated over the past years, and they are of an aquatic nature.

 “I like (swimming) a lot because I get to hang out with everyone on the team. It’s a good experience, and it’s fun,” said sophomore Ben Crowl. He competes with the Meadville program during the winter sport season. He began swimming four years ago and has improved in every aspect. Of the techniques used in high school that may include breaststroke, brushstroke, backstroke, butterfly, or freestyle, Crowl can boast that his best time is at the 120 yard brushstroke. At the Dec. 19 meet against Erie East, Erie Central, and Strong Vincent, Meadville came out victorious.

Two up-and-coming seventh graders are also enrolled in swimming programs at Meadville. Averie Braymer and Brittany Houck can be seen hitting the pool with the Y.M.C.A. MYST team, which takes competitors from age 5 to 18. On Saturdays, they compete at other Y.M.C.A.s. In the 50 yard freestyle, Braymer’s best time is 31 seconds, and Houck’s is 27 seconds. The girls are constantly working to improve their times in the different competitions.