Football team fighting for a successful season

By Cutter’b Pritchard, staff writer and Alainia Erdos, photo editor

The numbers in the program may be small, but the hearts they have are something to mention. Although bodies help no matter the sport, “Kids have to do what’s right by them,” said first-year head coach Adam Horne. A lot of senior leadership for the team has been lost in this past year due to graduation, but there could be players stepping up for the struggling program to help them win their first game, and ultimately, make this season a successful one.

The Saegertown Panthers highschool football team line up on the sidelines in preparation for their first game against Mercyhurst Prep, which took place on September 4. (Photo by Emily Loccisano)

The Saegertown Panthers football team line up on the sidelines in preparation for their first game against Mercyhurst Prep on September 4.
(Photo by Emily Loccisano)

Junior Dane Rhoades, starting quarterback, said that his season would be successful if the team, “played an entire game instead of taking a half or a quarter (of the game) off.” Captain Tony Offi, junior and starting running back for the team (before he sprained his ACL) will be out for approximately six weeks. Offi said, “The team should’ve spent more time in the weight room, myself included.”

When asked about the loss of important players on the offense, Horne said that the seniors who graduated last year will obviously be missed, but the underclassmen are growing into the positions. One recent change in personnel has been at quarterback. Rhoades, who joined the team after the start of the season, is now the starting quarterback, a position formerly held by junior Zack Nishnick. Horne said, “Nishnick needed to go to the running back position because of Offi being hurt and Nishnick is being a team player.”

On the defensive side of the field, Offi said the defense is struggling in comparison to last season because of their lack in size, but senior Christopher Mattern-Gilchrist and junior Tyler Brooks are leading the defensive linemen. To summarize, Horne said, “a young team has growing pains.”

Although the team hasn’t won many games in the past few seasons and currently has a record of 0-4, they are rebuilding with new leadership, champion-like effort, and the mindset of winners. The Panthers will be in action this Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Eisenhower High School.

News of the Weird

By Ben Haylett, broadcast and Ben Courson, broadcast

Authorities are looking for a man in Alaska who was reportedly harassing a mother bear and her cubs in a river. What makes this interesting? The man was wearing a realistic bear costume.

As the onlookers watched, the man began to get close and splashed water in the bear’s direction. When he was finally pushed away from them, he entered his car, with the costume still on, and drove off.

Carson Jones, an eighth grader at Saegertown High School, said, “I think that was a dare for a frat boy.” Sam Michaels, a junior, said, “He was being an idiot.”

None of the eyewitnesses did anything to deter the man from getting closer to the bears. “It depends on where he was at the time, if he was next to the cubs, then I wouldn’t have done anything. If he was running away then I probably would,” said Michaels.

This incident raises questions about security regarding how close people should be able to get to such large and dangerous animals. Mr. Horne, a ninth grade history teacher, said, “There should be less security, that way people that want to interact with bears can do it once, and then you wouldn’t have to worry about them again.”

Yearbook sales are underway

By Michala Medved and Hannah Draa, staff writers

Every year, Saegertown High School’s dedicated yearbook staff captures the exciting events that go on throughout the year, creating a very special yearbook. “I think every year is different and this year I have a lot of confidence in our staff,” said yearbook advisor, Mrs. Dee Henry. Senior Katie Loyd, editor of the senior section, decided to become an

Advertisements are posted around the school encouraging students of all ages to buy a yearbook.

Advertisements are posted around the school encouraging students of all ages to buy a yearbook.

editor this year to ensure that it would look “amazing.”

Last year’s yearbook theme was “Perspective,” featuring many impressive twists. “Every staff has a unique theme and we’re working hard to get as much coverage of everyone as possible,” said Mrs. Henry.

Editor in Chief Emily Ford, a junior, said she is “excited to see how the yearbooks turn out,” because there are a lot of new members who are capable of some really outstanding work. Ford explained that yearbooks are on sale now through November 30. They can be purchased by filling out a paper order form or online at

By ordering the yearbooks online, students can have their names engraved on the front of the book, and they can order decals to add a special touch. The starting price is $60; however, it will be an extra $6 to have your name imprinted and $3 extra for a decal.

Underdogs to wonder dogs: Marching band looks to defend LMBA title

By Caitlin Bieganski, opinion editor

There was tension in the air on Saturday, Sept. 19 as the marching band awaited the results of its first Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) competition of the 2015-16 season. Located at McDowell High School, the competition included just two Class A competitors, Saegertown and Erie All City, of the eleven bands in attendance.

When the score sheets were tallied, the 32 members of the SHS band brought home their first victory with a score of 70.3 compared to Erie All City’s 69.8. In addition, they won the Class A High Music and General Effect captions (awards

given for specific areas of performance). According to Mr. Baldwin, the band “really put their hearts into their

The band performed September 16 at McDowell High School, winning the Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) competition with a score of 70.3. (Photo by Danelle Henry)

The band performed September 16 at McDowell High School, winning the Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) Class A competition with a score of 70.3.
(Photo by Danelle Henry)


In fact, this year’s show is titled “Hearts.” The performance includes three pieces: Heartrate, Heartbreak, and Heartbeat. It also features two soloist musicians: Logan Krasa on tenor sax and Zachary Courson on alto sax, and color guard soloist Catrina Erie.

“At first I was a little sketchy about the show’s theme, but I think the idea is clearly expressed in our show. I really like it, to be honest,” said Drum Major Ben Courson.

The band has overcome several obstacles this season, such as losing their color guard instructor Elizabeth Mascitti, but their hard work definitely paid off on Saturday.

“The band really impressed me this weekend,” said Color Guard Captain Catrina Erie, “Especially the guard. They’ve come so far in such a small amount of time.”

On Oct. 17, the band will compete again at Edinboro University.

“I’m very excited about this season because we have a ton of room to grow. There’s a lot of potential,” said Courson.

Eighth grade students read to make a difference

By Kaity Gage, marketing director and Bailey Kozalla, staff writer

Instead of the average eighth grade advisory class where students take advantage of a free period and finish homework, Mr. Brad Wise’s advisory is reading to the Life Skills class as part of a youth serving youth project.

“I wanted to make it a make-a-difference class,” Wise said.

Wise wants his advisory class to get to know each other better, to go outside their comfort zones, and to interact with other children within the school.  “They’re nervous when they go down (to the MDS room), but when they come back, they feel a sense of accomplishment,”  said Wise.

Every Tuesday, five eighth graders go to the MDS room, each bringing two children’s books to read for twenty minutes to one of the students.  Each pair goes to a separate room, so they can read with minimal distraction.

“My favorite part about reading to the students is spending time with them because I don’t really get to talk to them,” said Karley Price.  Price reads to Life Skills student Chloe, who is visually impaired. Price has a tactile book that includes Brallie that she reads to Chloe. A tactile book has texturized pages for the blind to feel.

Even though the students were originally reluctant, they now go and read to the MDS students because they get to experience something new. Not only does it help the Life Skills students, but it also encourages the advisory class to make positive environments in the school.

“I would be willing to go above and beyond to brighten these kids’ days,” said Price.

(Students involved in the 8th grade advisory class include David Deets, Andy Hasychak, Cameron Jordan, Darian Kaye, Casey Kozalla, Maddie Mondi, Aurora Phillips, Karley Price, Dayna Woodruff, Katelyn Young, Michael Whippo, and Martin Kimmel)

Seventh grade STEM students head to the woods

 By Sydney Kightlinger, design editor

Seventh grader Isaac Levis bends a tree so Jane Hetrick can collect leaves for the STEM project.

With the weather quickly changing and Autumn approaching, the seventh grade went to the woods behind the football field on Sept. 19 to collect leaves for their classification projects.

The seventh graders spent the morning with the objective of finding fifteen unique leaves. “It is good we are outside, but I can’t reach the leaves,” said Jaden Reagle. The trees had to be “chest high” (4.5 feet) and 14 centimeters in diameter.

As the leaves were collected, the students wrapped them in newspaper and pressed them between their textbooks for preservation; however, some students felt that the lack of tree variation made for difficulties in creating a diverse collection.  “A lot of the trees are the same and they are high,” said Landis Crawford.  

This is the first phase of the ongoing classification project, which will continue in mid-October as they progress into the scientific inquiry and classification units. Overall, the outdoor adventure of the classification project was well received. “The outside is a lot of fun, Jack, but sometimes you walk into spider webs,” said Jane Hetrick.

Baby Norwood is on the way

Mrs. Norwood helping a student in her classroom.

Mrs. Norwood, who is expecting a baby in Novemeber, is helping a student in her communications class.

By Lauren Haylett, Junior High Staff

“Potentially I could’ve gone without knowing the gender, but I like being able to make preparations. My husband really wanted to know, though,” said Mrs. Susan Norwood, English and communications teacher, who is preparing to welcome a little girl in November.

At this point, the baby’s name is still undecided. “We have it narrowed down, but we don’t want to say until she’s born because then you get some people who are like ‘Oh you don’t want that name.  I knew a girl with that name and she was awful.’  Our code name for the baby is ‘Rory.’  It’s my favorite character from ‘Gilmore Girls’ and my husband won’t allow me to name her it.” “Rory” is due to arrive on November 11 and will be born at Meadville Medical Center.

Mr. and Mrs. Norwood are almost ready to welcome the baby into their home. “We’ve converted the second bedroom into a guest/baby room, painted furniture, and made some art for the wall.” Not only is it taxing at home, but at school as well. “I get much more tired quickly, and I don’t wander around as much as I used to,” said Mrs. Norwood. “In the past, I would take some work home, but now I’m too exhausted when I get home to do much.  I’m just trying to find a balance.”

Many of her students are happy for her. “I think it’s nice for her being pregnant because she can start her own life and family,” said Ethan Hayes. Eighth grader Hannah Urbanick said,”I’m happy for her to have a baby girl because she seemed very happy when she told my class about it on the first day of school.” Even though it’s tiring and sometimes difficult, to Mrs. Norwood it’s all worth it. “I feel like I am most looking forward to when she gets to be two and three years old and really reacting to the world around her and responding verbally. Both my parents were great, and I am looking forward to trying to be like them.”

Teen Read Week coming to local library

By Caitlin Bieganski, staff writer

Sophmore Emily Loccisano designed Teen Read Week bookmark.

Sophomore Emily Loccisano designed the Teen Read Week bookmark that will be used for an Instagram contest starting Sept. 19.

For readers and nonreaders alike, the Saegertown Area Library is celebrating Teen Read Week (TRW) October 18-24. The event is meant to inspire young people to pick up a book and become more involved in the world of literature.

The Young Adult Library Services Association created Teen Read Week in 1998. Our local library began participating in the event about three to four years ago, when young adult works, such as Twilight, were becoming more frequent in the literature scene. The library has a special event each year, but this year is the to be the best and the biggest yet according to librarian Paula Brown. Not only will TRW benefit readers, but it will encourage photographers and artists as well.

This year’s event will kick off Sept. 19 with a month-long Instagram contest, which will continue through the end of TRW on Oct. 24. The photos entered in the contest must include the original bookmark created by local artist, Emily Loccisano, a sophomore at Saegertown. Loccisano designed the bookmark because she was intrigued with TRW and wanted to promote the event. Her bookmark reads “Be a book nerd and celebrate Teen Read Week! Oct. 18-24.” Loccisano said “I wanted it to look cute and represent Teen Read Week.” Additional rules and details can be found on the library’s website. “I think Teen Read Week is a great way to encourage people to read, and is a great experience!” Loccisano said. 

Panthers receive Saegertown’s first academic letters

By Wyatt Fleischer, Sports Editor

The first Academic Letter recipients were recognized on Sept. 2.

The first Academic Letter recipients were recognized on Sept. 2.

At the opening assembly on Sept. 2 in the auditorium, Principal Doug Wilson welcomed the students and staff back to the building in his normal fashion with a booming, “GOOD MORNING SAEGERTOWN!”

He then introduced newly named Assistant Principal Tom Baker who spoke briefly about his excitement at becoming a Panther after spending several years at our sister school Cambridge Springs.

Before the students were dismissed, Mr. Wilson called upon Student Council advisers Mrs. Nicole Keller and Ms. Amanda Scott to recognize the first set of academic varsity letter-winners at SHS. Seniors Maile Chang, Garrett Johnston, Brianna Lybarger and Katie Thompson and juniors Luke Dangel and Tanna Walters qualified for this award by having a grade point average of 92 percent or better, passing all three Keystone exams (literature, algebra and biology), and having no incompletes for any grading period in their high school careers.

Instead of an actual letter, they received a pin engraved with the word “honor.” Mrs.Keller said, ”It felt great handing out the first letters for this achievement. We come to school to learn, and it seems that we sometimes put a larger emphasis on sports at this school.” Keller and Scott were selected to award the letters because last year’s Student Council promoted the idea, and they look forward to watching the list of recipients grow. “Frankly, I was extremely surprised, but it was a true honor to make my mark in Saegertown’s history,” said Chang.