TribLIVE
Blogs | Sports | News
H.S. Sports Insiders

« Font size »
Decrease | Reset |Increase

November 24, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

PIAA announces quarterfinal sites/dates/times

The four WPIAL championship teams have learned can set their plans for the weekend after the PIAA announced the sites, times and dates for the football quarterfinals.

In Class AAAA, Central Catholic will play Erie McDowell at 1 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Stadium in Erie.

In Class AAA, West Allegheny plays Erie Cathedral Prep at 7 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny.

In Class AA, South Fayette will take on Karns City at 1 p.m. Saturday at Clarion University.

In Class A, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic plays Tussey Mountain at 7 p.m. Friday at Hampton.

For a complete list of PIAA matchups, visit www.piaa.org.

November 12, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Extras from an emotional day in Sharon

Lost in the snow, the last-second win and everything else associated with Girard’s 22-19 victory over Sharon last night was a poignant moment between two players.

On opposing teams.

Who had never met.

On one side, Girard quarterback Joe Dunn had thrown the game-winning touchdown pass to Bryan Divido with 13.3 seconds left to deal a crushing loss to an emotionally crushed Sharon team.

On the other was Troy Hejazi, the Sharon player who was dropped off 20 minutes before Friday’s fatal accident that killed his two best friends. Hejazi found out his friends were dead when a police officer knocked on his door while investigating the accident.

Dunn sought out Hejazi, a tight end and linebacker, and tried to console him. Hejazi, who slept in teammate Corey Swartz’s No. 9 jersey Sunday night then wore it for the game, cried, as many did.

“Honestly, it brought me to tears — and I don’t even know the kid,” Dunn said. “They had some heart to come out and play today with that tragic accident.”

Here’s Girard coach Jim Funk on Dunn’s gesture:

“We preach character, but it’s one thing to preach it and another to show it. Our kids are high, high character kids. That impressed me more than any ball he threw tonight.”

After spending the better part of Monday around these guys, I can say with confidence that a lot of us would be better served if we were as strong as these kids from Sharon.

Yes, I know speed was likely a factor in the crash, and the driver of the other vehicle died, too. My point isn’t about that.

It’s about those affected, still in high school, who had to confront yet another tragedy in their lives.

And they did one heck of a job.

—Jason Mackey

November 12, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Jeannette decides to move to Class A

A month after the Jeannette School Board voted to keep the football team in Class AA despite a Class A enrollment, the board voted 6-3 Monday to allow all athletic teams to participate in Class A for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

Jeannette football coach Roy Hall and athletic director Matt Lebe asked the board to allow the team to play in Class A, but that was denied during the October meeting.

Fans and supporters, however, signed a petition and gave it to Superintendent Matthew Hutcheson last week to ask the board to reconsider.

Voting for the move were Donna Highlands, Randy Highlands, David Valerio, Mark Gogolsky, Anita Mash and Patricia Caralli. Board President Joe Yorio, Bill Brasco and Moe Lewis voted to keep football in Class AA.

“I’m happy in a way, now the pressure will be on me,” Hall said. “There are very tough teams in Class A. I’m happy they looked at it.”

Hall sent a letter to the board when his team was 3-0. He said it wasn’t because the team finished with five consecutive losses.

“Just because we’re going to Class A, nothing is a given,” Hall said. “There are a lot teams we used to play. There will be some battles.”
–Paul Schofield

November 11, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Semifinal sites announced for WPIAL playoffs

The WPIAL released Monday morning the sites for the eight semifinal football games that will be played Friday night.

All games will begin at 7:30 p.m.

In Class AAAA, No. 1 Upper St. Clair will play No. 4 Woodland Hills at Baldwin. No. 2 Central Catholic will play No. 6 Penn-Trafford at West Mifflin.

In Class AAA, No. 1 West Allegheny will play No. 4 Franklin Regional at North Allegheny. No. 2 Thomas Jefferson will play No. 3 Central Valley at Chartiers Valley.

In Class AA, No. 1 Aliquippa will play No. 12 Beaver at Ambridge. No. 2 South Fayette will play No. 6 Beaver Falls at Montour.

In Class A, No. 1 Sto-Rox will play No. 4 Clairton at Chartiers-Houston. No. 2 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic will play No. 6 Neshannock at Mars.

The winners of each game will advance to the WPIAL championship games Nov. 23 at Heinz Field.

November 10, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

PIAA soccer semifinal sites announced

CLASS AAA BOYS
Upper St. Clair vs. Cumberland Valley, 6 p.m., Hollidaysburg

CLASS AA BOYS
West Allegheny vs. Bedford, 8 p.m., Hempfield

CLASS A BOYS
Sewickley Academy vs. North Star, 6 p.m., Hempfield

CLASS AAA GIRLS
Seneca Valley vs. Spring-Ford, 6 p.m., Chambersburg

CLASS AA GIRLS
Hopewell vs. Central Valley, 8 p.m., Chartiers Valley

CLASS A GIRLS
Shady Side Academy vs. Greensburg Central Catholic, 6 p.m., Chartiers Valley

November 4, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

WPIAL releases quarterfinal sites for football playoffs

The WPIAL released the locations for the 16 football quarterfinal games that will take place Friday night.

All games are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

In Class AAAA, Upper St. Clair will play North Allegheny at Baldwin; Woodland Hills will play Seneca Valley at North Allegheny; Central Catholic will play Gateway at Fox Chapel; and McKeesport will play Penn-Trafford at Norwin.

In Class AAA, West Allegheny will play Indiana at North Hills; Franklin Regional will play West Mifflin at East Allegheny; Thomas Jefferson will play Highlands at Chartiers Valley; and Central Valley will play Mars at Ambridge.

In Class AA, Aliquippa will play Quaker Valley at Moon; Mt. Pleasant will play Beaver at Plum; South Fayette will play Seton-La Salle at Peters Township; and Yough will play Beaver Falls at Canon-McMillan.

In Class A, Sto-Rox will play Apollo-Ridge at Deer Lakes; Clairton will play Fort Cherry at Elizabeth Forward; Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic will play Avonworth at Hampton; and Monessen will play Neshannock at Chartiers-Houston.

November 3, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

PIAA soccer sites released

The PIAA soccer brackets were released this morning, and here’s a look at who’s going where:

FIRST ROUND
Thursday
CLASS AAA BOYS
7-1 Peters Township vs. 7-3 Canon-McMillan, Chartiers Valley High School, 8 p.m.
7-2 Upper St. Clair vs. 10-1 Erie McDowell, Veterans Stadium in Erie, 7 p.m.
CLASS AA BOYS
7-1 West Allegheny vs. 10-2 Warren, Moon High School, 8 p.m.
7-2 South Fayette vs. 5-1 Bedford, Northern Bedford High School, 7 p.m.
7-3 South Park vs. 10-1 Harbor Creek, Veterans Stadium in Erie, 5 p.m.
CLASS A BOYS
7-1 Sewickley Academy vs. 6-1 Bishop McCort, Hampton High School, 8 p.m.
7-2 Beaver County Christian vs. 9-1 Brockway, DuBois High School, 7 p.m.
7-3 Seton-La Salle vs. 10-1 Mercyhurst Prep, Veterans Stadium in Erie, 3 p.m.
CLASS AAA GIRLS
7-1 Seneca Valley vs. 7-3 Bethel Park, Chartiers Valley High School, 6 p.m.
7-2 Peters Township vs. 6-1 State College, Central Mountain High School, 5 p.m.
CLASS AA GIRLS
7-1 Central Valley vs. 5-1 Somerset, Moon High School, 6 p.m.
7-2 Hopewell vs. 9-1 Clearfield, DuBois High School, 5 p.m.
7-3 Moon vs. 10-1 Hickory, Franklin High School, 5 p.m.
CLASS A GIRLS
7-1 Shady Side Academy vs. Conemaugh Township, Hampton, 6 p.m.
7-2 Greensburg Central Catholic vs. 9-1 Karns City, Clarion University, 6 p.m.
7-3 Sewickley Academy vs. 10-1 Wilmington, Franklin High School 7 p.m.
–Jason Mackey

November 3, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Reflections from Highmark Stadium

After spending close to 20 hours Friday and Saturday at Highmark Stadium covering the WPIAL soccer championships, I figured I would offer five thoughts on this Sunday morning.

1. Peters Township goalkeeper Max O’Hare was fantastic during the Indians’ 1-0 win over Upper St. Clair Friday. Probably the best individual performance I saw in six matches.
“We couldn’t get the ball in the goal,” Upper St. Clair coach Uwe Schneider lamented.
“(O’Hare) made some really good saves,” Schneider added. “He definitely won them the game. There’s no doubt about that.
O’Hare, of course, took no credit. But he should. I remember only a year ago he was splitting time with Neil Harrison. Now, he led his team to a gigantic upset and a WPIAL title.
“This is one of the greatest feelings ever,” O’Hare said. “My senior year … it’s just finally coming together.”
Loved this quote from Indians coach Bob Dyer, who would no doubt make my top five quote machines for high school coaches of any sport: “They’re a very good team. But we played a very disciplined game.”

2. Peters Township wasn’t the only one. Shady Side Academy knocked off Greensburg Central Catholic by playing a similarly disciplined game. Right with O’Hare among the amazing things I saw.
Fran Crouse had scored 16 playoff goals, 57 for the season and 199 for her career. Shady Side dropped a fifth defender (Jackie Cepicka) and kept Crouse scoreless.
“I’m so proud of these girls,” Shady Side coach Mary Lynch said. “We came in with a game plan. We worked on changing some things this week. They did exactly what we asked them to do.”
I asked GCC coach Ashley Shasko, who was none too pleased with anything, whether it fell into the category of being extremely difficult to beat the same team three times in a season.
“Three times?” she shot back. “Try 10. We were 9-0 against them in our last nine meetings. Statistically, your chances go down every time you play somebody.
“It happens. Hope we see them again.”

3. An odd scenario marked the opening game. Veronica Latsko, who has been running around pregame these entire playoffs, was listed as a starter for the Peters Township girls. She was announced, appeared at midfield, then … not starting.
I tweeted how Latsko was back, figuring she was. Others did the same. Seneca Valley coach Dave Sylvester told his team they’d been facing Latsko, a once-in-a-generation talent in the WPIAL.
But apparently it was done solely to publicly recognize Latsko, who’s out for the year with a torn ACL. She was never actually going to start the game.

4. While I was talking to West Allegheny coach Kevin Amos following the Indians’ 1-0 win in the Class AA final, football coach Bob Palko interrupted to give Amos a hug and congratulate him.
One, it’s cool to see football coaches supporting the soccer programs. Joe Rossi did the same at South Fayette. Secondly, while this kind of thing can get annoying on deadline, Palko’s the type you don’t mind waiting for. Wish I could’ve juiced a quote out of him, though. He falls into the Dyer category of Great Talkers.
Anyway, guess the point here is that West Allegheny is really good.
I wrote about their system and what they’re able to do with teams. If this holds through the PIAA playoffs, I would imagine they would be a tough out. Very fun to watch.

5. Speaking of which, many talked about the city skyline, the beautiful facility, how awesome it was to play at Highmark.
Couldn’t agree more. It’s a gorgeous place. One coach told me it’s not even comparable to how it used to be done.
Kudos to Joe Maize and the rest of the WPIAL soccer committee, the coaches and everybody else that made this happen.
There are some logistical kinks to work out — I was initially told I couldn’t bring in a laptop, Trib and Post-Gazette freelancers both had to pay to get in, and there were only chips and pretzels to eat for two days — but the important part was this is something way cool for the kids and coaches, and that was glaringly obvious.
—Jason Mackey

October 28, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Extra notes for the start of high school hockey season

I know soccer semifinals are tonight, football brackets are released later, and PIAA tennis gets into full swing — sorry, couldn’t help it — in a few days.
But take a minute to check out our PIHL preview in today’s paper. Link: http://triblive.com/sports/hssports/hockey/4943569-74/forward-valley-class#axzz2izHONED5)
Bradford Thornburgh is the No. 1 returner on a North Allegheny squad that was smacked over the head by graduation, losing the top five point-producers from a team that won Penguins and Pennsylvania Cup titles.
I asked Thornburgh whether the perception that North Allegheny lost to remain in contention too much bugs the Tigers.
“It’s tough to hear stuff like that,” Thornburgh said. “That’s only coming from what people see on paper. A lot of people haven’t seen us play as a team yet.”
Thornburgh had an 11-4-1 record with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage during the regular season in 2012-13. Those numbers jumped to 3-0, 1.29 and .957 in the postseason.
If he’s to put up similarly sparkling numbers, he’ll have to do it against the best. Check out the first five games of NA’s schedule: at Canon-McMillan, at Peters Township, home against Pine-Richland, at Butler and at Bethel Park.
Yikes.
Canon-McMillan should be much-improved with J.D, Oddi, Austin Tonkovich and a new coach; Peters Township has reached three straight PIHL finals; Bethel Park is loaded and has scorer Chris Siak; Pine-Richland reached the PIHL Class AA championship game last season; and Butler, the league’s preseason darling, lost to Seneca Valley in the final of the St. Margaret Foundation Fall Faceoff tournament.
Thornburgh talked about his own responsibilities with being one of the few veterans for North Allegheny.
“I just have to do the best I can to control the game,” Thornburgh said. “I want to make sure I’m not putting them in any tough situations.”
—Jason Mackey

October 25, 2013
by Bill Hartlep


No comments yet - you should start the discussion!

Soccer semifinals set

The sites were released for Monday’s WPIAL boys and girls soccer semifinals. Here’s a look at who’s playing where.

BOYS SOCCER

Class AAA
No. 1 Upper St. Clair vs. No. 5 Bethel Park, 8 p.m., Baldwin
No. 7 Peters Township vs. No. 11 Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m., Chartiers Valley

Class AA
No. 1 West Allegheny vs. No. 4 Shady Side Academy, 8 p.m., Moon
No. 2 South Park vs. No. 3 South Fayette, 8 p.m., North Allegheny

Class A
No. 1 Sewickley Academy vs. No. 4 Serra Catholic, 8 p.m., West Allegheny
No. 2 Seton-La Salle vs. No. 6 Beaver County Christian, 8 p.m., Hampton

GIRLS SOCCER

Class AAA
No. 1 Seneca Valley vs. No. 12 Upper St. Clair, 6 p.m., Baldwin
No. 2 Peters Township vs. No. 6 Bethel Park, 6 p.m., Chartiers Valley

Class AA
No. 8 Hopewell vs. No. 5 South Park, 6 p.m., North Allegheny
No. 2 Central Valley vs. No. 3 Moon, 6 p.m., West Allegheny

Class A
No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic vs. No. 12 New Brighton, 6 p.m., Hampton
No. 7 Sewickley Academy vs. No. 3 Shady Side Academy, 6 p.m., Moon

If you’re going:

Baldwin
GSC: No. 1 Seneca Valley vs. No. 12 Upper St. Clair, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 1 Upper St. Clair vs. No. 5 Bethel Park, 8 p.m.

Chartiers Valley
GSC: No. 2 Peters Township vs. No. 6 Bethel Park, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 7 Peters Township vs. No. 11 Canon-McMillan, 8 p.m.

Hampton
GSC: No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic vs. No. 12 New Brighton, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 2 Seton-La Salle vs. No. 6 Beaver County Christian, 8 p.m.

Moon
GSC: No. 7 Sewickley Academy vs. No. 3 Shady Side Academy, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 1 West Allegheny vs. No. 4 Shady Side Academy, 8 p.m.

North Allegheny
GSC: No. 8 Hopewell vs. No. 5 South Park, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 2 South Park vs. No. 3 South Fayette, 8 p.m.

West Allegheny
GSC: No. 2 Central Valley vs. No. 3 Moon, 6 p.m.
BSC: No. 1 Sewickley Academy vs. No. 4 Serra Catholic, 8 p.m.
–Jason Mackey

Other Blogs
Sports: Dejan Kovacevic | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | Sitting Ringside | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports | H.S. Sports Insiders
News: This Just In | Trib List
» Top TribLIVE.com Sports
» Top TribLIVE.com News
» Top TribLIVE.com Breaking News