Saegertown Trap Team shooting for success in 2019

By Samantha Thomas, staff writer

Snapchat-1419980013Saegertown students in grades 6-12 are taking to local shooting ranges for the 2019 Trap Shooting Season. The club, which was founded in 2016, has already become wildly popular in Saegertown, with 38 active members this year. Darin Ashbaugh is the head coach and assistants are Richard Johnson, Jason Bailey, John Jordan, and Doug Jordan. One of the team mottos for this year is: “Creating good stories about kids with guns.”

The team participates in the Crawford County Trap League (a traveling league) that includes Maplewood, Cambridge, and CASH. These teams compete on Tuesday nights. Saegertown is currently 2-1, posting wins over CASH (146-121) in week 1 and Cambridge (161-157). They lost a close match to Maplewood on May 7 (166-160). Their next travel match is on May 14 at the Saegertown Sportsmen’s Club.

In addition to the travel team, all members shoot on Sundays for points that may qualify them for competition at the next level, which is the state shoot at Elysburg, Pa. on June 22. Students competing in the state tournament are divided into divisions based on their age and seasonal average. Outstanding shooters then move on to the National Tournament in Mason, Michigan.

Snapchat-1316138064On May 18, team members will participate in a “Shoot for Youth” fundraiser at the Saegertown Sportsmen’s Club. The open registration event will include a day of shooting and a meal. There will also be a Chinese auction, prizes and awards for the best shooters, and other fun activities.  “Shoot for Youth” starts at 10 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m. Fifty birds and a pulled pork d dinner are included for $15. Non-shooters pay $8 for dinner.

The club will also host a pike and panfish fishing tournament to raise money for the program. The fundraiser will be held on June 1 on Conneaut Lake. The entry fee will be $60. For more information,  contact Darin Ashbaugh at (814)-795-2470 or stop into Myers’ Sports Connections in Saegertown.

 

Panthers face Bulldogs tonight for region title

By Taylor Munce, sports editor

 

IMG_1830

Senior Will Phelan serves the ball during a recent match against CASH.

The boys volleyball team began their stellar season with a record of 10-0 in the district after an impressive win over McDowell on May 2. They took down the AAA powerhouse in five sets with scores of 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 17-25, and 16-14.

 

Senior outside hitter Will Phelan attributes the recent successes to teamwork. “It’s crucial in volleyball to have a good connection throughout the team because we pick each other up when we’re down,” Phelan said. Senior Eli Draa, right side hitter, echoed Phelan’s sentiments. “There are always six people on the court, and if one person gets mad everything crumbles,” said Draa. “We try to work together the best we can.”

Phelan celebrated his last home match with the memorable victory over McDowell, but still looks forward to the remaining matches.  “It was great to come out with a win on our senior night, and I loved the energy and spirit from the crowd,” he said. “But we still have some volleyball left to play.”  

With their win over Maplewood last night, the Panthers remain undefeated. Tonight, they face rival Meadville Bulldogs for the region title. The Bulldogs are also undefeated. 

Action begins at Meadville Area High School at 7 p.m. Follow @PantherPressSHS on Twitter for live updates.

Track and field: DeYoung headed to districts

By Mason McClure, staff writer

IMG-0050

Senior runner Gabe DeYoung

The Track and Field team traveled to Franklin on Saturday, April 13, where eight runners participated in various track events. Senior runner, Gabe DeYoung, qualified for the District 10 championship, which will take place at Slippery Rock University on May 18, in the 1600 meter race with a time of 4:46:41 and the 3200 meter with a time of 10:33:44. Gabe finished sixth in 3200 and ninth in 1600.

Club adviser William Hetrick said, “Overall, I was very proud of all of athletes who ran, and having Gabe qualify in both events already is exciting as it is his senior year.” 

After competing at Franklin, the runners traveled to Hermitage, where both Gabe DeYoung and Paige Fuller, a freshman runner,  beat their own personal records in the 3200. “It was a goal to do better and improve,” Fuller said. DeYoung agreed: “I’ve been trying to break my own record of 10:30 for a long time. It’s nice to finally be under that time.”

Hetrick expressed his appreciation for the Track Club, “We have ten members who run; it’s not an approved sport so members cannot receive letters but they volunteer to run and better themselves,” Hetrick said. “I think it’s great they run for their benefit as opposed to just running to receive a letter.”

The team also ran at Oil City at the Oil Country Invitational on May 4. Gabe DeYoung took first place in the boys 1600 with a time of 4:42.92, a personal best. He also took first in the boys 3200 in a time of 10:26.78, also a personal best. The team has two races this week one today and one Thursday at Meadville Area High School.

 

                                       

Triola takes third in driving competition

By Will Phelan, social media editor

20190502_122116.jpg

Senior Grace Triola

Senior Grace Triola has a knack for driving that recently earned her $300. On April 30, she showcased her students showcased their safety and knowledge in driving during the Crawford County Driver Skills Challenge.  

Several schools in the area tested their students before the competition to create teams of three intelligent drivers.  The SHS team consisted of seniors Eli Draa, Emmitt Hershelman, and Grace Triola.

Each of the 21 total students participated in four different tests including written, perception, driving, and safety versions.  

Despite Emmitt Hershelman placing first in the preliminary team-forming tests, Grace Triola finished third among the field of contenders, earning herself a $300 reward which she plans to put toward college.  

As this was her first experience in the competition, Triola anticipated less written testing and more skill evaluation.  “I expected the challenge to be more driving based,” she said.

Students observed fabricated situations in which distractions in the form of texting and drinking impaired the ability to drive.  Of the event as a whole Triola said, “It was a good opportunity to learn about distracted driving and being safer on the road.”

 

Peters and Shelenberger receive awards at YSU English Festival

Amanda Crowl, staff writer

IMG_3541.JPG

Sophomore Haiku Peters

Nine Saegertown students traveled to Youngstown, Ohio on April 10 to participate in the 41st annual YSU English Festival. Over 1,000 students with a passion for English and writing gathered to show off their skills in various competitions and meet famous authors.

Students met with writers like Neal Shusterman (“Thunderhead,” “Unwind”) and Steve Sheinkin (“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,” “Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team”).

“I look forward to the YSU Festival every year,” said librarian Betty Litke. “It is a great experience for the kids to meet authors and new kids. The authors relate to the kids and connect with them.”

Senior Ben Shelenberger and his team took second in “Not So Trivial Pursuit,” while sophomore Haiku Peters placed ninth out of 500 in an impromptu essay writing contest. “I was very surprised and I did not expect to win at all,” Peters said about her win.

IMG_3542.JPG

Senior Ben Shelenberger

Junior Sam Shelenberger attended a journalism workshop and had the chance to interview Shusterman. “It was a unique experience to be able to interview someone of his caliber,” Shelenberger said. “Last year I interviewed Laurie Halse Anderson, and this year I interviewed Shusterman. It was cool because I’m huge fans of both.”

Saegertown’s ninth year participating in the YSU English Festival was considered a success by all who attended. “I hope to see more people from Saegertown go in the future,” Shelenberger said. “It’s such a fun experience to see so many peoples from different places who are enthusiastic about literature.”

Oliver Smith takes seventh at PMEA All-State Chorus

IMG_2535

Smith pictured with friends he describes as “step-bros” in Pittsburgh.

By Claudia Fetzner, photo editor

On the weekend of April 3, junior Oliver Smith competed at the PMEA All-State Chorus Festival in Pittsburgh. Smith was the only Saegertown musician to advance to the state level.

During the four days he was in Pittsburgh, Smith worked under American choral conductor and two-time GRAMMY winner Dr. Jerry Blackstone.

Smith performed a variety of songs including “Hallelujah,” “Come to Me, My Love,” and ”Your Voices Tune.”

Chorus teacher Mrs. Susan James describes Smith as  “an all-around good student and singer who is willing to do and sing anything.” Smith beat 24 students at Districts, 20 at Regionals and 30 at States. “It was all him,” Mrs. James said. “He’s a really hard worker when it comes to music.”

Smith placed seventh out of 30 in the Bass One category, which means he won’t advance to nationals. However, he still considers his time at states a success. “The friends I made and the music I created was a gift. I wouldn’t give that away for anything,” Smith said.  

 

Anderson speaks powerfully in her new book “Shout”

 

by Sam Shelenberger, Broadcast Director

IMG_1154

Shelenberger read SHOUT for his locker lit display. 

Nearly two decades after publishing her critically acclaimed novel “Speak,” author Laurie Halse Anderson has published a memoir written in free-verse poetry titled “Shout.”

The book delves into the mind of Anderson and the trials and tribulations she’s faced in life. Covering everything from having a father with PTSD to being raped at thirteen, Anderson does not hold back. She empowers her audience to speak against injustice in the world.

Overall, the book was incredibly moving. Her anecdotes may help those who have experienced sexual abuse to be empowered, and it allowed those who are naive to realize the heinous crimes some people have committed.

The use of free-verse poetry to convey her point was effective as there were fewer words distracting the audience. Her use of colorful figurative language made the book much more enjoyable and gave power to her message. 

 

Photo story: To Washington D.C. and back in one day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Sam Shelenberger, broadcast director

Departing at 2:15 a.m on Friday, April 5 and returning at 1:35 a.m. on Saturday, April 6,  fifteen Saegertown students took a whirlwind tour of Washington D.C. that included the Newseum, lunch at Union Station, and a walking tour of the monuments.

Members of the Panther Press staff and the AP Language classes (along with Principal Tom Baker and Bill and Stacey Hetrick) were invited to accompany Cambridge Springs History Day Club students and their teacher Mr. John Werkmeister for a day filled with education and reflection in the nation’s capital.

Highlights of the trip included Panther Press staff members reciting the First Amendment at the Newseum, listening to the wisdom of Mr. Werkmeister as he narrated the tour of the monuments (Jefferson, Lincoln, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Marine Corps, Martin Luther King Jr., FDR), and marveling at the beauty of the cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

The trip also included a lunch stop and tour of Union Station. Although the day was drizzly, the students agreed that they would most definitely do it again.

(Special thanks to Mr. John Werkmeister from Cambridge Springs High School for organizing the trip and sharing the story of our country on the monuments tour. We look forward to traveling with you again.) 

 

Bridge to re-open by end of week

By Nick Archacki, news editor 

2

The bridge has been closed since Jan. 16, 2019. 

On January 16, a Lincoln Recycling truck extension boom arm collided with the Route 6 and 19 bridge over French Creek between Saegertown and Meadville, damaging the structure and rendered in unusable. Four overhead metal cross beams, side support beams, and the deck of the bridge were damaged in the collision.

With the heavily used bridge being closed for over two and a half months, local residents have had to use alternate routes to reach work, school, or other destinations. Thankfully, the bridge’s repair phase is coming to an end.

An article in Wednesday’s Meadville Tribune stated that the bridge is anticipated to be open “[at] the end of the week.” The same article listed the cost of repairs at roughly $400,000 and claimed that if the bridge is not complete by April 9, Advantage Steel & Construction will face fines of $7,500 every day the bridge is not open.

Saegertown students have had to make adjustments to their normal commutes. “I had to get used to a new route when I go to Meadville, and I had to remind myself that I couldn’t go my normal way there,” senior Will Phelan said. The bridge is open to Black road.

“I am a bit upset about it being closed because I always go over that bridge to get to Allegheny College for my college classes,” senior Kassie Boyd said. “I miss the easy access to town.”

According to the Meadville Tribune, an average of almost 7,000 vehicles travel over this structure per day and an average of 2,555,000 vehicles travel over the bridge per year.

Surprisingly, the driver of the Lincoln Recycling truck only had to pay $807.50 in fines.

With Saegertown’s tumultuous relationship with its bridges, many are holding their breath until the next round of unexpected road repairs.