Bowlers fall one pin short at Ven-Craw Championship

By Garrett Johnston, Assistant Features Editor

The Saegertown Bowling team was tied with Cranberry after their championship match on Feb. 11. The two teams headed to sudden death. Saegertown came up short, losing 4-3 and finishing in second place, a repeat of last year’s finish, where they lost to Meadville. They went into the match ranked first while Cranberry was ranked second. They may have not improved their overall finish from last year, but it was still a successful season. “The season went really well. We were in first place by 16 points going into the last match,” said senior Tristan Higby. “I was really happy with the season I had this year, and I am going to miss this a lot.” In addition to Higby, senior CJ Mook also ended his high school career with this final match.

What’s trending in the seventh grade?

From left: seventh graders _____ to Luchansky. (Lauren Haylett/SHS)

From left: Seventh graders Mulligan to Luchansky shared their current favorites. (Lauren Haylett/SHS)

What do seventh graders like? Here’s a spotlight of their current food and movie favorites.

Kaylee Mulligan, pizza, Grown UpsBrandon Gaus, spaghetti, Million Dollar ArmLiam Sood, burritos, The Lord of the RingsKatie Berger, pizza, The InterviewKarley Price, pancakes, The Hunger Games; Kaitlyn Kozalla, ice cream, The Seventh Sun; Nathan Barner, chicken nuggets, Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBen Burger, pierogis, Flags of our FathersAshely Wenzel, roast, ShrekChloe Luchansky, pizza, American Sniper.

Compiled by junior high reporter Lauren Haylett

Six attend PMEA District 2 Choral Festival; three advance to Regions

By Caitlin Bieganski, Assistant Photo Editor

District Chorus participants pose in front of the PMEA banner. (Photo contributed by Kayla Sibeto)

District Chorus participants pose in front of the PMEA banner. (contributed photo)

Six talented Saegertown students recently participated in Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 2 Choral Festival. Hosted by Meadville Area Senior High School and directed by Molly Caprara, the event began on Jan 21 and ended with a concert on Jan. 24. Guest conductor for the event was Dr. Rachel Cornacchio from Messiah College.

Seniors Eric Kisner, Kayla Sibeto, and Kristi Stoyer, junior Colten Burdick, and sophomores Ben Haylett and Emily Ford competed against members of the same vocal range and performed together in a public concert. “At first, all you’re doing is practicing a piece. But then everyone is together you realize that you’re just one small part. It all fits together,” said Kisner.

Auditions were held on Jan. 21 at 5:45 p.m. Seniors Kristi Stoyer, sixth chair, Kayla Sibeto, tenth chair, and Eric Kisner, second chair, advanced to the Region II Chorus Festival that will be held Feb. 25-27 at Oil City High School.

The three will undergo a similar audition process at Regions and hope to move on to the state competition.

Mini-Panthers prepare for high school basketball

By Becca Siple, Assistant Sports Editor

Max Fuller going up for a layup in his recent game on Saturday against Maplewood. Photo contributed by Becca Siple.

Max Fuller going up for a layup in his recent game on Saturday against Maplewood. Photo contributed by Becca Siple.

A fifth and sixth grade boys basketball league was brought to Saegertown from Cambridge 16 years ago by  Dan Bidwell, who coached the program along with Tim Wilson and Bob Beatty. The men each had kids who participated, and as their children would enter the high school, the parents would stop coaching and leave it in the hands of another set of parents. Todd Siple and Jim Amy were the most recent coaches, and as of 2014, they left it in the hands of Brant Fuller and Kelsy Reisinger. The program aims to teach young kids the basic fundamentals of the game and prepare them for their high school career.

This year there are two fifth grade teams and one sixth grade team. Mr. Fuller and Ms. Reisinger have spent many hours preparing the boys for game time. Teams from Cambridge, Fort LeBouf, General Mclane, Union City, and Maplewood participate in the program. They play on Saturdays, and high school basketball players volunteer to referee and work the scoreboard.

American Sniper stuns crowds

San Fransisco Public Library,

San Fransisco Public Library blogspot

By Lance Neuscheler, Staff Writer

As the credits roll and the packed crowd strolls out of the theater, the whole room is in complete silence. Sound familiar? Probably not, unless you’ve seen Clint Eastwood’s new film “American Sniper,” the film adaption of an autobiography written by Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history. Many Saegertown students have now seen the film and several were very impressed with how the movie turned out. “As the son of a military member, I can say that American Sniper was a very accurate depiction of what it’s like for a father in the armed forces” said senior Alex Barclay.

Considering that the crowds leaving the movie theater usually burst into conversation as soon as the movie ends, someone who hasn’t seen the movie may ask: what makes this movie so special? Maybe it’s the fact that the movie is a non-fiction biography of a man’s life, packed with mixed emotions and a constant debate over one man’s personal responsibilities. Maybe it’s also the reality that Chris Kyle died in 2013, murdered by one of the many veterans who he was trying to help. The movie’s final scenes, real footage of Chris Kyle’s funeral, certainly bring out emotion, along with respect from many of the audience members.

Amongst the movie’s supporters, however, there have been many critics, including some celebrities, taking shots at the now deceased SEAL. Many people feel not only that Chris Kyle was more of a murderer than hero, but also that the movie glorifies war and promotes racism. Critics back up these claims by highlighting many social media posts by moviegoers who claim that they “want to kill muslims” after watching the film. They also point out that in Kyle’s autobiography, he often refers to his enemies as savages and views them as evil.

In the face of the controversy, it is important to remember that American Sniper was developed as a biographical film to honor Chris Kyle and his family, and not as a war movie. Audience members expecting a hoorah war movie filled with non-stop action may be surprised to find that between the action, there’s a much more personal plot that is the focus of the movie. Regardless of whether or not the United States should have even been in the war in the first place, taking a side was not the film’s intended message. There is heavy emphasis on Kyle’s internal struggle to decide what he is more responsible for: his family or his country. The movie also delves into not only Kyle’s personal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but how it affects other veterans as well as their families and how Kyle adapts to life after being discharged. And it further includes his work with troubled and disabled veterans, which eventually led to his death.

As for Chris Kyle himself, he can hardly be seen as an evil man. Kyle was viewed as a good father, and a friend to many people. After his return to America, he worked with many veterans who were struggling, and brought some normality back to their lives. He was bravely willing to repeatedly risk his life to save United States troops and defend his country. While “savages” is not the most correct term for his enemy overseas, Kyle is a man who was trained to see no gray area, only black and white. Thrust into the situations that he was, Chris Kyle had no choice but to be desensitized to death and destruction and had to make the best out what happened in the war.  Kyle had to see the enemy as evil, and hesitation could result in his troops being wounded or killed.

“It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job,” said Chris Kyle in his autobiography. Before you criticize Chris Kyle for valuing his soldiers above the enemy, ask yourself: if someone you know was unknowingly about to be killed, would you let it happen, or would you take the shot?

Mrs. DeFrances welcomes Baby Michael

Emily Johnson, Director of marketing

Mrs. DeFrances' son Michael was born on Dec. 29. (contributed photo)

Mrs. DeFrances’ son Michael was born on Dec. 29. (contributed photo)

Mrs. Nicole  DeFrances and her husband, Matthew, welcomed a baby boy on December 29. Michael Lawrence DeFrances was born at albs. 8oz. Mrs.DeFrances is ecstatic about Michael’s arrival. She shared an adorable picture of Michael reading and said, “As a reading teacher, you can see it is important to me to get him looking at books.”

“He is definitely going easy on me as a new mother,” said DeFrances. Her family, which includes two dogs, has quickly adapted, although she shared, “They do act like neglected pound puppies now.”

She plans to visit the school soon with Michael so that students and staff can say hello to the newest Panther.

Seniors showcase future plans

By Lindsey Price, Staff Writer

Jess Tomiczek stands with her trifold at Senior Showcase Night.  (SHS/Lindsey Price)

Jess Tomiczek stands with her trifold at Senior Showcase Night. (Lindsey Price/SHS)

After completing the long journey leading up to Senior Showcase night, Saegertown High School’s seniors are relieved to have finished this stage in their senior year. English teacher and senior advisor Mr. William Hetrick described the showcase, which was held Jan. 21:  “It was absolutely perfect. I think all of the students did well with a few exceptions.”Throughout the night, the students shared their projects and presentations with peers, teachers, friends and family. Senior Olivia Burger said, “I really liked how this year was different than it’s been in the past, I thought the project was beneficial to me personally. It wasn’t just a general project; it was a personal experience which helped me a lot.” Mr. Hetrick said, “Although this year’s seminar went very well, there may be some minor tweaks and changes in store for next year.” To see more pictures from Senior Showcase, visit the school’s Edline page.

Five SHS students put under hypnosis spell

By Olivia Burger, Opinion Editor

Last Saturday, Jan. 24, seniors Ryan Kirdahy, Lance Neuscheler, Nick Rumzie, Garrett Zuver, and junior Nick Monico volunteered to enter a hypnotic state through the talents of traveling comedy hypnotist, Erick Kand. When asking for volunteers, all the students quickly walked upon stage and joined Kand on the Academy Theater stage, located in Meadville Pa. After attempting to be entranced through a series of initiation rituals, the students were asked to do numerous humorous actions such as pretending to be an oak tree, belly dancer, and pregnant woman.

Two of the students, Monico and Zuver, believe that they were under full hypnotic spell for a large duration of the show. “Oh yeah I was hypnotized. 100 percent. I didn’t act at all, it was all real,” Zuver said. “I remember all of it.”

The rest of the participants, Kirdahy, Neuscheler, and Rumzie, believe that they were not under full hypnotic spell, but were simply in a relaxed state of mind. “I don’t think I was hypnotized, but I also don’t think I would do some of that stuff if I wasn’t,” Kirdahy said. “It was really relaxing, and I remember it all.”

Rumzie said, “I don’t know what I was. I would not normally do something like act like a belly dancer in normal life if someone told be too. It was weird.”

Although the experience was different, all the students agree that they would go to a hypnotism show again. “I definitely will go again. I want to achieve a greater level of hypnosis. It was a lot of fun.”

Snowball Dance to be held Jan. 30

By Lauren Posego, Assistant News Editor

Don't miss out on the SHS Snow Ball Dance this Friday!  (Picture contributed by Lianna Ketcham)

Don’t miss out on the SHS Snow Ball Dance this Friday!
(Photo contributed by Lianna Ketcham)

Need something to do to beat the winter blues? The Key Club will be hosting a Snow Ball Dance on Friday, January 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Saegertown High School gymnasium for all students in grades 7-12. The gym will be decorated for the occasion with a winter theme. Cost will be $3 per person or $5 per couple. The dance is informal; you may wear any appropriate type of clothing that you wish. The proceeds from the dance will benefit the SHS Key Club and charities. Snacks and drinks will be available for extra cost. You may bring students from other schools, but they must be signed up in the office. Ben Haylett is going to DJ the event while using equipment provided by Mr.Youngblood. “Students from grades seven to twelve are coming, so we’ll have a diverse group. It’s going to be a ton of fun!” says Key Club representative, Sydney Kightlinger.