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Young adults prepare to vote in upcoming election

It’s an exciting time for some seniors of the Minersville Area High School. Come Tuesday and it’s election day, the first in which some will have the privilege of participating in. We interviewed some of the soon-to-be first time voters about their thoughts on this historical event.

“I think the election, this year especially, is very important in deciding the future of this country.” said Megan Horan, president of her class since seventh grade. Indeed the 2020 Election is arguably the most important since 1968, a year notorious for war, massive protests, and death; but in an age of intense political division, each of the four seniors we interviewed offered a sense of hope for the future of political discourse.

“I think that we as Americans need to try to be more open minded to each other, if we do that maybe this intense fighting will stop, and politics could be more civil.” said Ethan Carvajal, who turned eighteen just last month. Pennsylvania itself is very divided, with a strong presence of both Biden and Trump signs, throughout Schuylkill County. It is imperative that those who are registered to vote in Pennsylvania perform their civic duty.

“As a battleground state, Pennsylvania is crucial to both candidates.” said Dakota Boyer. As election day dawns upon us, many Americans fear the possibility of a red mirage. It is a strong possibility that this will be a contentious election. Still, the interviewed seniors’ optimistic stance on the future of this country is nothing short of inspiring.

“[I want] more peace and acceptance towards each other.” said Alyssa Patten.

“[I want] total equality, and a political atmosphere based on listening, rather than arguing.” said Ethan Carvajal.

“I want the wars to end and our troops to come home.” said Dakota Boyer.

“I hope we can soon bring some stability and normalcy back to people’s lives.” said Megan Horan.

Each senior additionally outlined their desired qualities of a leader, which you can find along with their other answers, here. While we move forward as a nation, let us take a lesson from the maturity and open-mindedness of these seniors.

Writer: Lucas Hydock


Empowered young women don’t put limits on themselves.

Women all over Schuylkill County came to support, challenge, and encourage one another at the Winter Carnival Pageant on 2/1/2020. The Winter Carnival is a place to push yourself and reach your all-time high. No matter the age, these young women set their minds to anything, including Minersville’s very own Katie Ricigliano, Sara Motley, and Alyssa Hammer.

Katelyn Ricigliano

  • Volleyball Player
  • College Prep Classes
  • Age 16

Pageants seem to be intimidating and that couldn’t be any truer for pageant contestant Katelyn Ricigliano. “All the stress and anxiety is nerve-racking preparing for the event. Every single move you make is being judged. You can literally walk the wrong way and they’ll be like-“ Katelyn ended her statement with a disgusted face. She went on to reveal, “I was the first person out of my group to receive the question, so it was harder to come up with a great answer on the spot right away, but I tried to answer to the best of my abilities.” Though the pageant was stressful, Katelyn does admit that she learned how to overcome social anxiety and overall be more confident in front of others. Furthermore, making new friends at the event seemed to be a bonus in Katelyn’s eyes. “You meet so many new people within your community. It’s really cool.”

Sara Motley

  • Volleyball Player
  • College Prep Classes
  • Age 16

Beauty pageants embody the word “attraction” nowadays. Young women dress up in floor-length gowns and create stunning makeup looks, but at what cost? According to pageant contestant Sara Motley, “It was very expensive. Every weekend I would go shopping for business casual/nice outfits, and eventually had to get a dress, spray tan, and hair appointment.” Entering a pageant is thus a time-consuming and a costly process. Sara also mentioned, “The pageant night definitely took the most time. You have to wait to go on stage. It was really nerve-wracking.” So in the end, was competing for a crown and title all worth it for Miss Motley? “I think in the end it was worth it. I met so many new girls that I probably would have never gotten the opportunity to meet. I also got experience with public speaking!” stated Sara.

Alyssa Hammer

  • Soccer Player
  • College Prep Classes
  • Age 17

Beyond glistening tiaras and bouquets of flowers is the competitiveness hidden within. Pageant contestant Alyssa Hammer comes clean about the stress some girls face behind the scenes. “There were some girls that got really involved. They would literally worry about every little thing. For me though, I was there to have fun. I just had fun.” Even though Alyssa wasn’t as nervous as some of the other girls, tho there were moments where she was nervous. “I was worried I didn’t answer the questions as good as others sometimes… But in reality, when I look back at the videos of me answering the questions, I actually think I did good.” Alyssa also went on about how she thought the fashion show was the most competitive and nerve-wracking part. “The fashion show was the most brutal because there was a variety of what I could do. There was no set thing. So, I didn’t know what they wanted.” In the end, Alyssa thought the experience was all worthwhile. “I enjoyed the experience. It taught me how to do certain things like speaking in front of others and how to act proper.”

Snowflake Winners

  1. Rylee Clifford
  2. Rachel Hinkle
  3. Maddy Rowan
  4. Camilla Koury
  5. Madeline Wittig
  6. Ashley O’Connor

Writer: Keryn Corby

The Big Blue Machine

There is currently a stunning piece of art work on display at Minersville Area High School’s Softball Field. It is comprised of images representing what many consider to be one of the greatest sports dynasties in Pennsylvania history – The Big Blue Machine. From former coaches, to faceless girls celebrating their victories, medals draped around their necks, it’s all there.

Every Successful Sports Program Comes With Successful Coaches

For years, Minersville has had a successful softball program that continues to blossom every year. As a compliment to the athletes, Mr. Pablo Culp, an associate artist from the Walk In Art Center, designed a framework for an eye-catching mural to honor the athletes and previous coaches that have made this one of the most successful softball programs in the state. The mural was then officially installed by Debbie Gilbert on the back of the home dugout throughout this summer (2019). This piece is artistically abstract, with colors that pop at every angle and a scene that shows the rush of a state title victory.

Mr. Pablo went on to say that the decision to keep the faces blank was to have future generations picture themselves winning a State Title as encouragement during the course of their season. The current softball program is being run by head coach Jamie Kuehn, assisted by Katie Carr, Jodi Adams, Dave Ebert, and Gabby Tobin. On behalf of The Minersville Area School District, we hope that their upcoming seasons will bring them victories, keeping the Big Blue Machine alive.

Writer: Keryn Corby

Local Business Owner Raises $11,000 For Animal Shelters

After a long 3,900 mile journey, business owner from Saint Clair, John Matulevich, completed his charity cycle last Saturday, ending his 6-week long journey in Pottsville, PA, raising $11,000 for the Hillside SPCA and Back in Black Dog Rescue.  

John Matulevich is a strength and fitness coach and owner of Ruthless Performance. He is well known for his work with athletes throughout Pennsylvania. Matulevich is also a huge fan of animals, having adopted his two dogs, Kronos and Naomi, from Back in Black Dog Rescue, a local animal rescue located in Tower City. Inspired by his new family and his love of animals, he embarked on a 6-week cross country bike ride to raise money for both Back in Black Rescue and Hillside SPCA. 

Matulevich started his journey on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Over the course of his ride, Matulevich was traveling an average 100 miles per day over various amounts of terrain and topography. Following a combination of several well-known bike routes; initially the ride followed the Western Express Bicycle Trail to Pueblo, CO where the trail meets with the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. The route diverged from the TransAmerica trail in Virginia on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, the route went down the 120 mile Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park to Front Royal Virginia. From Front Royal, the last 200 miles of the route was comprised of a series of state routes and farm roads until reaching the final destination point in Pottsville, PA

Over the final 3 days, local cyclists accompanied Matulevich for the final segments of the ride. On the last day of the ride, the Matulrvich was accompanied by a motorcycle and firetruck escort from Pine Grove, PA into Pottsville. After that, the riders cross the finish line in Garfield Square, to a reception of friends and family to welcome Matulevich back home.

The original goal was to raise $10,000 for both shelters, Matulevich was able to surpass that goal and raise over $11,000.  

Writer:Caleb James Primeau

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