Crowl advances to state finals in swimming

By Amanda Crowl, staff writer

Senior Ben Crowl and freshman Brittany Houck competed as part of the Meadville Bulldogs swim team at the  PIAA D10 championships, which were held at the Spire Institute on March 1-2. By the end of the first day, Crowl knew he was headed to the state finals as part of the 200 yard medley team that finished with a time of 1:40.59.

Crowl stands in 5th place after the 100 yard breaststroke competition.

There are a total of three relays and eight individual races spread across a two-day period. Crowl and Houck each swam in two relays and two individual events with the Meadville Bulldogs swim team.

Crowl qualified for districts in the 200 yard medley relay, 200 yard IM, 200 yard freestyle relay, and the 100 yard breaststroke. He took fifth place in his 200 yard IM (2:20.92), third in the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:39.20), and fifth in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:05.86). In his 100 yard breaststroke, he lost to one of his teammates by one hundredth of a second.

Swimming in two relays and two individual races, Brittany Houck took home three second places and one fourth place. Her times are as follows: 200 yard freestyle relay (1:41.25), 100 yard freestyle (55:15), 400 yard freestyle relay (3:49.87), 100 yard breaststroke (1:10.24).

Crowl and Houck gave their best last Friday and Saturday swimming at districts. Crowl will continue into states, and Houck will train harder to follow in his footsteps next year. “I definitely need to push harder at practice so it will benefit me in the long run,” Houck said.

The state finals will be held at Bucknell University on March 15. “I’m excited about the experience of being a state swimmer,” Crowl said.

Kiser and Kightlinger hunt for hardware at states

By Braeden Kantz, managing editor

Saegertown wrestlers are headed to the PIAA AA Individual State Championship in Hershey. Junior Kenny Kiser will make his third consecutive appearance along with junior Alex Kightlinger, who will make his debut at the 2019 State Competition.

Last weekend at the North West Regional tournament, both Kiser and Kightlinger secured their place at states. Kiser claimed his second region title with a 6-2 decision over Rocco Bartolo from Reynolds. Kightlinger placed fourth, securing his first appearance in the state tournament.

The Saegertown Panthers have sent wrestlers to the PIAA State Championship for 11 consecutive years under the leadership of head coach Jimmy Mulligan. Mulligan has mentored ten state medalists, including four state champions.

Kiser, who is currently ranked second in the state by the PA Power Wrestling website, will attempt to capture his first state medal this weekend. After two consecutive losses in the “blood round” (a high stakes round in which you medal if you win, and go home if you lose), Kiser is excited to return to the Giant Center and attempt to bring home some hardware. “I don’t want to repeat what happened last year,” Kiser said. “I have a lot more confidence in my wrestling and my ability to compete at the top levels after this season.”

Kightlinger, who is also ranked by PA Power Wrestling, will make his first appearance as an individual in Hershey this weekend. After coming up short in the 2018 regional tournament, Kightlinger battled back in 2018-2019, boasting a (35-14) season record and placing fourth in the region, qualifying him for the state tournament. “I feel pretty proud that I’m here, and I’m ready to take home some hardware for the first time,” Kightlinger said.

Wrestling will begin tomorrow March 7 at 9 a.m. The tournament will continue on Friday and the finals and other medal rounds will take place on Saturday, March 9.

For live updates, follow us on twitter @PantherPressSHS.

Panthers move on in postseason run

By Braeden Kantz, managing editor

The Saegertown Panthers capitalized on another trip to the District 10 tournament last weekend, advancing five wrestlers to the North West Regional tournament which kicks off today at Sharon High School.

In the mix for the Panthers are senior Dawson Bartholomew, junior Kenny Kiser, junior Alex Kightlinger, freshman Landon Caldwell, and breakout athlete of the week, sophomore Jaden Reagle.

Reagle was seeded second in the Section 1 tournament and was able to triumph in the finals over first-seeded senior from Union City, William Burgess 2-1.

This marked Reagle’s first tournament championship in his varsity career and merited his nomination and win as Breakout Athlete of the Week from GoErie.  Reagle went onto qualify for the region tournament by placing sixth at districts. “I’m excited to return to regions,” said Reagle. “I surprised I was nominated for the breakout athlete, but I hope to continue wrestling well this weekend.”

Kiser, who is currently ranked second in the state by papowerwrestling.com, captured his third consecutive Section 1 title beating Joel Huck from Fort LeBoeuf 16-3, earning a major decision. Kiser then took second place at the district tournament falling short in a last-minute effort from Alex Chess of Mercer. Kiser led Chess for the majority of the match, but Chess was able to rally with a last-second near fall to put Chess ahead 7-5. Kiser said “We both wrestled well, but (Chess) was able to beat me in the last few seconds. I’m planning on focusing on every match and look forward to wrestling (Chess) again.”

Veteran wrestlers Dawson Bartholomew and Alex Kightlinger also secured spots in the regional bracket. Kightlinger, who captured his first Section 1 Title this year, claimed his spot with a  third-place finish while Bartholomew placed fifth in the 132-pound bracket to make his first appearance in the District 10 tournament.

Freshman Landon Caldwell will also make his first appearance at regions after placing eighth in districts.

The North West Region tournament begins today, March 1 and 2, at Sharon High School. You can see the brackets and follow the action at pa-wrestling.com.

The top four from the region tournament will advance to the PIAA AA State Tournament which will be help March 7-9 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Lady hoopers hope to compete in district finals

By Will Phelan, social media editor

Tonight will be the third time the Lady Panthers have faced the Maplewood Tigers. (contributed photo)

The Lady Panther basketball team looks to take down Maplewood in the district semifinal game tonight at Meadville High School.  

This will be their third bout against the Tigers this season as well as a tiebreaker, as they have split the first two games with a win apiece.  

Key player Kaylee Mulligan, junior, who missed playing time due to a knee injury (during which the girls lost to Maplewood) is now ready for tonight’s matchup.  “I missed playing with the team,” Mulligan said. “But now I’m ready to help get the win and play in the D-10 championship.”

A win tonight would place them in the district final game on March 2. Come out and support the Lady Panthers tonight at 7:30 p.m. You can also follow the action on Twitter @PantherPressSHS.

Super Bowl LIII teams set for showdown on Sunday

By Nick Archacki, news editor

On Sunday January 20, one of the most important days of the NFL season occurred for the NFC and AFC divisions as the Los Angeles Rams faced the New Orleans Saints, and the New England Patriots faced the Kansas City Chiefs to determine which two teams would advance to Super Bowl LIII (53).

The first game of the day, a battle between the Saints and Rams, transpired at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints held a comfortable lead at the end of the first quarter 13-0 until the Rams came back in the second quarter to close the gap 13-10 at the end of the first half.

The Saints had firm control of the game at the closing of the fourth quarter until an inexplicable no-call was made by the referees as the pass interference and hitting a defenseless receiver contact play was considered, by many, as the worst no-call in playoff history and one of the worst no-calls in NFL history. The result of this no-call led to the Rams tying the Saints at the end of regulation, 23-23.

The Saints got the ball at the start of overtime and the Rams connected for an interception off Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The Rams brought the football within reach of the field goal and the Rams kicker sent L.A. to the Super Bowl with a 57-yard field goal conversion, winning 26-23.

Later that night, the Chiefs and the Patriots faced off in frigid temperatures at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Patriots took an early lead 14-0 at the end of halftime. But the Chiefs answered New England’s call by tying the game at the end of regulation, 31-31, with the Chiefs kicker making a 3-point conversion.

The Chiefs scored 31 points after halftime and the Pats maintained by scoring 17 points in their third and fourth quarters, respectively. This was the first time in NFL history where both NFC and AFC championship games resulted in a tie at the end of the fourth quarter.

The Patriots received the ball in overtime and the Chiefs didn’t get the ball again the rest of the game. The Patriots running-back scored the game-winning touchdown with a 2-yard run into the end zone, ending a thriller, 37-31.

Now the excitement builds for the big game this Sunday. The Patriots and Rams will duel at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST. The Patriots will be looking for their record-tying sixth Super Bowl victory (The Pittsburgh Steelers currently hold the record), and the Rams will be looking to capture their second Vince Lombardi trophy.

History is also on the line for this game. If Tom Brady wins, he will be the oldest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl at age 41. If Jared Goff wins, he will be the second youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl at age 24. If Goff starts, he will be the youngest quarterback to start the Super Bowl since Tom Brady in 2002.

The last time the Los Angeles Rams were in the Super Bowl was 2002. Their opponent? The New England Patriots. The Rams lost the game, 20-17. Coincidence? That question will be answered on Sunday.

Saegertown basketball coach credits players with 100 win milestone

By Braeden Kantz, managing editor

Coach Greg Molnar celebrated his 100th win on January 12.

Saegertown Basketball Coach Greg Molnar recently claimed his 100th varsity basketball win against the Tidioute Charter on Jan. 12. The 2018-19 season marks Coach Molnar’s eleventh season at Saegertown and his team is currently 8-7. With the win, Coach Molnar takes his place among three other varsity basketball coaches in Saegertown’s history to achieve 100 career wins.

Despite his recent achievement, Mr. Molnar has not enjoyed the spotlight. “It’s like this. I’m not the one who plays. I just pick five people to play, and they are the ones who win the games,” said Coach Molnar. “It’s nice to have people congratulating me but it’s just weird and it makes me uncomfortable.”

The Saegertown community, however, responded enthusiastically. After Saegertown’s win over Tidioute 48-43, Coach Molnar was surprised by players and fans who attended the match with a confetti cannon and a sign recognizing his accomplishment.

Mr. Molnar joins famed Saegertown basketball coaches Merle Darcangelo, Chuck Swick, and Dean Henderson as a part of the “100 win club.” Coach Molnar currently has 103 wins and has the chance to potentially challenge the current coaching win record of 109 wins held by Merle Darcangelo (109-42) and Dean Henderson (109-104).

Coach Molnar attributes his recent milestone at Saegertown to “the great athletes” that he has coached during his tenure, and is optimistic about his coaching future. “I’m just enjoying this as much as I can,” said Molnar. “I know that my time is very limited here. It’s going to come to an end, and I’m ready to move on to the next phase in my life.”

For more information on the history of Saegertown basketball, click here. The Saegertown varsity boys basketball team will make its next appearance tonight at 7 p.m. at Union City.

Saegertown bowlers back in championship contention as members of Cambridge team

By Nick Archacki and Will Phelan, news editor and social media editor

The Cambridge Springs bowling team, which includes bowlers from all three PENNCREST high schools, has dominated the season in the Ven-Craw (Venango and Crawford counties) high school bowling league as the Blue Devils primary team is among the top forces on the Ven-Craw leaderboard for the fourth straight year.

For the past three seasons, Cambridge has fought to secure a spot in the Ven-Craw championship but was denied by Saegertown in 2016 and Cranberry in both 2017 and 2018. With the addition of two Saegertown bowlers, senior Scott Proper and two-time Ven-Craw league champion, junior Nick Archacki, Cambridge is a top competitor in the league and has a great chance to advance to the championship this season.

The Cambridge Springs Blue team has owned the lumber since the start of the season.  The Blue team currently sits tied for second place, 0.5 points behind the Ven-Craw team leader, Conneaut Lake Blue. The Cambridge Black team holds sixth place. Both teams are currently eligible to make the Ven-Craw playoffs with one match left in the season, as the top eight teams earn a playoff spot.

Regarding the individual standings, Cambridge Springs’ Nick Archacki leads the fifty-eight bowlers of Ven-Craw with an average of 222.33 after 15 games. Following Archacki, his teammate, Maplewood’s Issac Heim, has an average of 206.63 while three bowlers from Conneaut Lake round out the top five with averages between 205 and 199.

The final match for Cambridge Springs and the Ven-Craw league for the regular season is this Sunday at Plaza Lanes in Meadville.

Lady Panthers fall short in playoffs

By Taylor Munce, sports editor

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The Lady Panthers prepare for the upcoming match as a team.

The Lady Panthers hit their way to a positive record, finishing the season 8-6, slightly improving on last year’s 7-7 record.The ladies had their final loss against Cochranton on Oct. 30 in the semi-finals of the D10 playoffs.

Despite their losses, the ladies had positive feelings about the season. Claudia Fetzer, senior libero, believes that teamwork and hard work carried the team to semi-finals. “It’s been my best volleyball season yet due to our teamwork,” Fetzner said.

Senior outside hitter Mikayla Balog agrees that this season has been the best of her high school volleyball career. Balog accomplished her personal goal of sixty 60 kills in an entire season.

Cami Reynolds, senior outside hitter, said: “During the season I think we had the skill, but there were times when it was a hit or miss,” she believes that the team had the “push” they needed from Coach Johnson.

The Panthers’ seniors: Mikayla Balog, Carlie Schlosser, Claudia Fetzner, and Cami Reynolds have become integral parts of the team and their losses will be felt by next years’ team. Junior Carmen Kantz and junior Kaylee Mulligan will lead the 2019 team as experienced players.

 

Mrs. Heather Patton to run New York City Marathon on Sunday

By Kassie Boyd and Braeden Kantz, editor-in-chief and managing editor

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Mrs. Heather Patton will run the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

In 2017, Saegertown teacher and alumni Mrs. Heather Patton became the first woman to complete the Great Lakes Marathon Series. She is set to make headlines once again at the New York City marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4.

This year’s applicant pool was record-breaking, with a staggering 105,184 runners applying to the free, non-guaranteed lottery drawing. Mrs. Patton is one of the 15,640 athletes accepted. A total of 50,000 athletes will compete in the NYC marathon. Those who were not drawn in the lottery represent local clubs or charities that were guaranteed entry.

Not only will Mrs. Patton be running in Sunday’s race, she will also represent the United States at the opening ceremony tomorrow in New York City’s Central Park, which will be live streamed on https://abc7ny.com/ at 5:25 p.m.

Patton will begin the 26.2 mile race at roughly 10 a.m. on Sunday. “I’m excited,” Mrs. Patton said. “The NYC Marathon has been on my bucket list forever. I finally got in and I’m ready for it.”

Phelan caps off golf career with trip to state finals

by Nick Archacki, news editor

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Phelan (left) took twenty-eighth place at the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships.

As the sun rose in York, Pa. on Oct. 22., Saegertown senior and local golf prodigy Will Phelan took to the course for the last time in his eventful high school career.

Phelan, an athletic and academically talented senior, trekked across the state for the fourth consecutive year as he participated in the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships on Oct. 22 and 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.  

On Monday, Phelan shot an 18-hole round of 89, putting him in thirty-third place out of thirty-five golfers for the tournament. “Heritage Hills is a tough course with little room for error,” Phelan said. “I enjoy playing it, even though the layout of the course doesn’t really suite the strengths of my game.” In response to his score of 89, Phelan brought in another 18-hole round of 84, bringing his overall total to 173 and finishing in twenty-eighth place, the exact position Phelan placed at last year in this event.

Phelan is the first golfer in the history of Saegertown High School to compete at the PIAA State Championships in all four years of high school, competing with the team in 2015 and 2016, and individually in 2017 and 2018.

Each of his trips has been a unique experience. “All four years that I competed there (Heritage Hills) were different, and having several people golfing with you for the team event is a totally different atmosphere and experience than just golfing for yourself,” Phelan said. “I love the experience of golfing individually, but I prefer to golf with the team and have them there with me.”

Phelan admits he did not finish his golfing career as strongly as he hoped, but he still thoroughly enjoyed his experiences with varsity golf. “I’ll miss the connection I had with the golf team, the practices that we had, and the good times we shared,” Phelan said.

The camaraderie between team members has left Phelan with several fond memories. He cited when junior Nick Archacki plowed into the reese hitch of a Nissan truck with a golf cart at the Western Regionals Team event in 2016 as a memory that he will forever cherish. He also noted that one of his greatest moments was when he shot an 83 at the Treasure Lake Silver Course at the Western Team Regionals event in 2015, helping the golf team move on to the state finals for their first time.

Throughout his golfing career, Phelan has stunned many with his skill, grit, and unmistakable power. Phelan has evolved from a curious and inexperienced freshman to a notable and respected golfer who has left his lasting impact on Saegertown. “I’d like to thank the team for their support and Coach Hanley for the encouragement,” Phelan said. “It’s been a great ride.”