‘Boom Boom’ energizes 186 Bulldog grads

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Ray “Boom Boom”

Mancini advised the Poland Seminary High Class of 2018 not to have a Plan B. Instead, he told the graduates, strengthen your resolve to follow your dreams.

“If you have a back-up plan, you’ll back up. That’s only for people who plan on losing,” he said.

“The fear of failure is a hell of a motivator, man.”

The world championship boxer from Youngstown also encouraged the 186 graduates at Saturday’s commencement to accept change and believe in themselves. That mentality pushed him to achieve his goal of becoming a fighter like his dad, he said.

The Class of 2018 is the school’s 216th graduating class. The students, donning blue and white gowns and mortarboards, filled the high school’s gym.

There were nine valedictorians: Colin Barrett, Ethan Gerak, Lia Lawrence, Rachel Mowad, Daniel Patrick, Tyler Rabenstine, Marik Rogenski, Ramanpreet Singh and Connor Wilson. The salutatorian was Dominic Franceschelli.

Wilson told his classmates that kindness was exhibited throughout their high school experience, and asked them to continue to be kind.

“Let these last four years of high school follow you wherever you go, but remember to look back and see where you came from,” he said.

Superintendent David Janofa announced that a about $2.83 million in scholarships was awarded to the students. He added that 86 percent of the class has chosen a pathway, such as college or trade school.

Two of those students are twins Karl and Lewis Schaft. Both plan to attend Youngstown State University, Karl, to study business and Lewis, to study communication. They said they will miss cross country, but Lewis said he’s glad graduation day has come.

Janofa said he has become attached to the class and was proud of them for having “a touch of class” by giving a standing ovation to a student with special needs who was given a diploma during the graduation practice.

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