Katelyn Young verbally commits to Lehigh

By Will Phelan, social media editor

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Saegertown junior Katelyn Young

Junior softball star Katelyn Young has caught the eyes of high-level college coaches since her freshman year, and on October 27,  she verbally committed to play at Lehigh University. “I was planning on attending Buffalo until late this summer, when the coach I committed to left,” she said.  When UB’s coach moved to another school, other schools reached out to Young. Lehigh was one of them. “I identified Lehigh as a school I would be interested in because of their great mix of high-level softball and stellar academics,” Young said.  

After visiting, Young was drawn to the campus:  “I love the entire campus because it is so beautiful,” she said. “I also like that the school is on the smaller scale, so it will be like home.”  Located in Bethlehem, Pa., Lehigh’s student total is on the low end of most universities with about 5,000. Contrarily, she noted its distance from home.  “I don’t like that it is 5 ½ hours away,’’ Young said. “But it is actually not that bad of a drive.”

While she isn’t sure of her educational plans, Young says Lehigh has plenty of options.  In terms of the softball team: “With everything being positive and the likeliness of being able to play in the NCAA tournament, I decided Lehigh was the place for me,” she said. She also noted that her future coach is personable and friendly.  

“Coach Troyan actually drove to my house and enjoyed taco Tuesday dinner,” Young said.  The two have a solid relationship already and look forward to her future at Lehigh. Of her decision Young ultimately said, “I have to say we are both very excited.”

The Premiere Broadcast and the Review: Alumni Jacob Perrett wows with ‘Weird Fiction’

Broadcast by Sam Shelenberger, broadcast director

Review by Braeden Kantz, managing editor

“Weird Fiction,” a local independent film, premiered on Oct. 3 at the Movies at Meadville. The low-budget film captivated the audience, many of whom had purchased seats several weeks in advance to ensure a spot at the first showing. Produced and directed by Saegertown alumni Jacob Perrett, “Weird Fiction” created a near-perfect rendering of the greatest moments in 1980s horror cinema.

Perrett has undoubtedly displayed all of his skills as a director in his most recent film. By breaking the film into four shorter segments, Perrett masterfully created a universe of cliche 80s horror. Locally casting and producing the film, Perrett faced a variety of adversities including trouble finding actors and an extremely low budget. Despite a lack of resources, the cast managed to piece together a proficient rendering of the 80s lifestyle and fashion.

The film consistently surprised the audience with shocking plot twists and amazing visual effects that developed a realistic setting with characters to which audience could easily relate. “Squid,” the last short’s antagonist, was the peak of the film’s visual excellence. The make-up and visual effects seemed flawless and stunned the audience, who were aware of the limited resources spent on the project from the pre-screening discussion with the directors. 

Perrett is currently in the process of developing his newest film, the title of which has not yet been released. “Weird Fiction” also showed at the Tinseltown Theatre on Oct. 12 and will show again at the Park Avenue Cinema on Oct. 31 for Perrett’s “Monster Mash,” where anyone who comes to the showing dressed in a costume will be admitted for free. Be sure to attend to support local aspiring actors and directors.

 

New York City’s Backtrack Vocals coming to Saegertown tomorrow

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

On Thursday May 3, Backtrack Vocals (an award-winning New York based, five-person a cappella group) will perform for Saegertown High School students at 1 p.m. in the auditorium.

In addition, the group will offer workshops for students in Mrs. Susan James’ chorus classes on topics including movement/stage presence, group vocal improvisation, beatboxing, and singing solos.

Backtrack Vocals performs around the United States at universities, concert halls, festivals, high schools and private functions. Noteworthy locations they’ve appeared at are Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater and Beacon Theater.

Mrs. James is excited for the opportunity. “I hope it will help them [chorus members] see the possibilities of where singing could take them. I want them to have a different perspective than just their music teacher,” Mrs. James said. “As for everyone else, I just want them to have a good time and see something they don’t usually see live.”

The group’s web site states: “Backtrack explores the power of the human voice through unique vocal arrangements, tight harmonies and world-class beatboxing. The group pushes the limits of a cappella, creating impressive covers of past and present pop music, writing inspiring original compositions and daring to take on unexpected genres such as classical and electronic music.”

Backtrack has won multiple awards such as the 2017 Steve Harvey’s Sing Off Winner, 2017 International Championship of A Cappella Open (Final); Best Beatbox, 2017 International Championship of A Cappella Open (Northeast Semi-final); First Place, Best Arrangement, 2017 Aca-Challenge; First Place; Audience Favorite and 2016 YouTube Next Up competition Winner.

Backtrack has accumulated almost ten million views on their YouTube page ‘Backtrack Vocals,’ with 109,800 subscribers. You can visit them at their website, www.backtrackvocals.com, Facebook, Instagram, or download their music on iTunes.

 

Statistics surveys

Mr. Bidwell’s Saegertown statistics classes are currently surveying students for accurate data on a variety of subjects. In order to take a survey, click on any of the nine links below. All nine surveys should not take more than five minutes, and we ask that you please answer all of them honestly. Thank you for your time and cooperation.

Favorite color

Favorite pet

Favorite Jolly Rancher

Standardized testing

CDT growth

Favorite pizza

Favorite Vehicle

School cafeteria food

Favorite sports

Tutorial and interventions ideas on the table for next year

by Braeden Kantz, sports editor

Rumors have been swirling through the halls regarding the possibility of scheduled tutorials returning for the 2018-19 school year. After the 2015-16 school year, there have been no scheduled tutorials or study halls. Many students and teachers relied on those periods to tutor students and get work done.

This year, junior high students have been place into WINN (What I Need Now) classes, an advisory period for students who will benefit from an extra period to study, complete late work, or participate in enrichment activities. Many students and teachers agree that a similar class would be advantageous for high school students.

“There is an opportunity that some students will get a tutorial-like period opposite a gym class, but will not be offered to all students. However, there is also a possibility that intervention and extension periods will be introduced as an everyday occurrence,” Principal Tom Baker said.

Many students agree that the intervention and extension periods are useful, but may be redundant if offered every day. “I think everyday would be too much. They should just bring back the regular tutorial,” junior Abbey Passilla said. Others see the extra time as beneficial. “I would definitely use the time to do homework,” junior Hillary Twiford said.

Thanks to the early scheduling process this year, students should know by late May what to expect for the 2018-19 school year.