HS page 4-19

‘Ultimate Character': Popular Kiski Area team manager gets shot on tennis court, by Doug Gulasy.

Mars' Josh Raymundo

Mars’ Josh Raymundo

Step up in class no problem for Mars tennis team, by Joe Sager.


Class A's Heidi Langhorst (right) of OLSH battles for a loose ball with Class AA's Nicolette Newman of Seton-La Salle and Conor Richardson of Carlynton during the Roundall Classic

Class A’s Heidi Langhorst (right) of OLSH battles for a loose ball with Class AA’s Nicolette Newman of Seton-La Salle and Conor Richardson of Carlynton during the Roundall Classic at Geneva College

Roundball Classic: Small-school boys teams engage in shootout, by George Guido.

Valley News Dispatch roundup: Bordonaro scores 13 in Roundball win


Seneca Valley pitcher Nikki Matz

Seneca Valley pitcher Nikki Matz

Matz keeps ball moving for Seneca Valley softball, by Jerry Clark.

#TribHS roundup: OLSH baseball extends winning streak to eight


Butler hockey players (from left) Connor Scott, Marcus McCall and Jonathan Fair competed for Team Pittsburgh at America's Showcase at the RMU Island Sports Center

Butler hockey players (from left) Connor Scott, Marcus McCall and Jonathan Fair competed for Team Pittsburgh at Americas Showcase at the RMU Island Sports Center

Butler hockey players help Team Pittsburgh win showcase title, by Joe Sager.




Knoch's Jordan Geist throws the shot put at the Butler Invitational

Knoch’s Jordan Geist throws the shot put at the Butler Invitational

Knoch’s Geist sets shot put, discus records at Butler Invitational, by Doug Gulasy.


Kiski Area's Korey Shoupe attempts to make a tag on Fox Chapel's Greg Yaksich

Kiski Area’s Korey Shoupe attempts to make a tag on Fox Chapel’s Greg Yaksich

Fox Chapel baseball team’s defense responds, keys win over Kiski Area, by George Guido.

#TribHS roundup: Central Catholic tops Shaler

Greensburg Tribune-Review roundup: Norwin edges section rival Penn-Trafford

Valley News Dispatch roundup: Montgomery’s home run lifts Knoch baseball

McKeesport Daily News roundup: Elizabeth Forward baseball knocks off Belle Vernon

Penn-Trafford's Becky Mertz slides safely into home on a wild pitch in front of Mt. Pleasant catcher Kayla Hutter

Penn-Trafford’s Becky Mertz slides safely into home on a wild pitch in front of Mt. Pleasant catcher Kayla Hutter

Penn-Trafford softball scores 11 runs in a row, pounds Mt. Pleasant, by Jason Black.

Frederick’s homers lead Belle Vernon softball over Elizabeth Forward, by Jeremy Sellew.

Kittanning Leader Times roundup: Kittanning softball takes down West Shamokin


Strikeout session


HS page 4-16

Gorman: Donovan’s Ks rule the day

Listen to the podcast of my interview with Steel Valley baseball coach Tim Vickers and senior pitcher Brandon Donovan on the Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio:

#TribCup: Win over rival Blackhawk highlights impressive season for Central Valley, by Alex Oltmanns.

Blackhawk hires Lamenza as football coach, by Bill Hartlep.

Ringgold's Laura Grimm

Ringgold’s Laura Grimm

Grimm named new Ringgold athletic director, by Jeff Oliver.

Jon McKay

Jon McKay

Deer Lakes boys basketball coach resigns, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Hempfield's Hayden Fox

Hempfield’s Hayden Fox

Hempfield boys, girls track teams riding high, by Alex Oltmanns.

Steel Valley volleyball seeking deep playoff run, by Dave Mackall.




A month ago, Troy Simons and Dante Calabria had something in common.

Neither had ever heard of the other.

“I know he went to North Carolina and held the 3-point record,” Simons said, later admitting that he learned this information by reading Calabria’s coaching biography.

How one of Western Pennsylvania’s hidden talents could end up playing for one of the WPIAL’s all-time greats will be an interesting story if Simons says: Montverde.

After attending four high schools in four years, Simons is a fifth-year senior at University Prep who hasn’t played organized basketball the past two seasons. Now, the 6-foot-2, 187-pounder has a chance to play for one of the top post-graduate programs at a private school in Florida that boasts the nation’s No. 1 high school team. Calabria, the former Blackhawk star, just finished his first season as the post-grad program’s head coach.

“We’re in the process of figuring out how to try to get him down here for a post-grad year,” Calabria said Wednesday by phone. “Unfortunately the school is costly, so we have some work to do. He came down and visited and played with our kids and did well. He’s an athletic kid who has a nice jump shot. I think he has some potential. The athleticism is definitely there. He’s got to be excited about having another chance and he’s got to be hungry. I got to spend some time with Troy and I think he’s a good kid. He knows if it does happen, it’s a good opportunity and he’s got to come down and focus on goals and dreams. The biggest thing is getting him here.”

University Prep teacher Rico Abbondanza is working his basketball and business connections to try to make it happen so that Simons doesn’t become another City League athlete to slip through the cracks. Abbondanza had Simons’ shot evaluated by shooting instructor Greg Cercone, who recommended him to Calabria. Abbondanza also contacted former Pitt star Ricardo Greer, who lives in Florida, to get in touch with Calabria.

The catch, as Calabria noted, is that Montverde is pricy. Tuition at the boarding school costs more than $45,000, so the financial aid package will dictate whether Simons can go there. Abbondanza indicated that Pittsburgh entrepreneur Chuck Sanders has shown interest in helping Simons through his foundation, Chuck Sanders Charities.

“I’m excited. I’d like to get some guys down here from where I’m from,” Calabria said. “You want to help the kids, especially one like Troy. “This is the last chance. This is it. If it does work out, he’s got to come down and get focused. If he comes down with the right mentality, he can go somewhere.”

Listen to the podcast of my interviews with Rico Abbondanza and Troy Simons on the Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio:

HS page (9)

North Allegheny softball off to fast start despite busy schedule, by Karen Price.

#TribHS highlight reel: Athletes prepare for Butler Invitational

#TribHS roundup: Donovan strikes out 19 as Steel Valley tops No. 2 Seton-La Salle

Greensburg Tribune-Review roundup: Derry defeats Mt. Pleasant on walk-off in eighth

Connellsville catcher John Przybylinski tags out Norwin's Jonathan Pingree

Connellsville catcher John Przybylinski tags out Norwin’s Jonathan Pingree

Norwin baseball uses two-out hitting to double up Connellsville, by Jason Black.

Yough's Macy Mularski

Yough’s Macy Mularski

Yough’s pitcher-catcher combo carries Cougars to 6-0 start in Section 4-AAA, by Karen Price.

Resilient Kittanning steals one from Ford City, by Matt Grubba.

Kiski Area hurdler Jace Roundtree

Kiski Area junior hurdler Jace Roundtree

Kiski Area junior Roundtree overcomes hurdles, by Doug Gulasy.


A show of courage


TribHS page 4-15

Quaker Valley senior Keaton Grant

Quaker Valley senior Keaton Grant

Keaton Grant feel like he had needles in his eyes, a symptom of the Uveitis that took turns torturing his eyes — left, then right — between the sixth and ninth grades.

“You’re really sensitive to light. Your eyes are always watering,” Grant said. “I took pretty strong pain medications, injections right into the eye. You’d see floating things in your peripherals.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, once Grant’s eyes started to get better his condition only got worse. He dealt with “unbearable pain” from Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis. Grant wasn’t able to play a complete soccer season for his first three years of high school. That he returned to start as a senior isn’t just an inspirational story — Gorman: Quaker Valley senior shows spirit — but one that earned him the John Challis Courage Award.

Grant credited Quaker Valley trainer Derek Clark for pushing him past the pain to keep him in shape during his rehabilitation. Grant, one of six children, also was motivated by the opportunity to play with his younger brother, Landon, this season. Not only did they play together, but both started on the same side of the field: Landon at left midfielder, Keaton at left back for the Quakers, who won on Senior Night and qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the 33rd consecutive season and reached the Class AA semifinals.

“It definitely was rewarding,” Keaton said. “I wouldn’t say I’m a great soccer player. I’m definitely an average player. I didn’t hop onto the field and start. It took some hard work and dedication to earn that spot. This whole close to my senior year is all worth it.”

The John Challis Courage Award is handed out by the Midwestern Athletic Conference, a committee comprised of athletic directors and principals from Western Pennsylvania. Keaton Grant was nominated by Gene Klein, the legendary coach who led Quaker Valley to seven WPIAL soccer championships and six PIAA titles.

“It definitely means a lot to me that I was recognized to be something similar to John Challis,” said Keaton Grant, an honor roll student who will attend Grove City College. “He’s really inspirational, not only to me but other athletes who have problems. I was pretty honored to accept it. His courage will carry on.”


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Central Catholic’s Bricen Garner, Seton-La Salle’s Raja Rutherford


California's Garitt Woodburn

California’s Garitt Woodburn

Defending WPIAL champ California again off to impressive start at 8-1, by Paul Schofield.

Woodburn, California shut down rival Carmichaels, by Jeff Oliver.

Riverview's Tanner Bierly

Riverview’s Tanner Bierly

Riverview baseball team hits stride after slow start, by Doug Gulasy.

Knoch continues hot streak in section play, beats Freeport, by Doug Gulasy.

Connellsville's Jimmy Malone

Connellsville’s Jimmy Malone

Connellsville clips Penn-Trafford, by Jason Black.

#TribHS roundup: Bethel Park tops Peters Township

Greensburg Trib roundup: Walk-off single sparks Hempfield past Penn-Trafford

McKeesport Daily News roundup: Bayus’ no-hitter sparks Steel Valley

Valley Independent roundup: Belle Vernon, Parshall keep rolling in 3-AA action

Kittanning Leader Times roundup: Apollo-Ridge offense erupts in slugfest victory



Latrobe's Tyler Mears

Latrobe’s Tyler Mears

Latrobe’s Mears bound for Colorado School of Mines, by Kevin Ritchart.


Hall Pass


TribHS page

Gorman: Conflict for WPIAL Hall of Fame

#TribHS roundup: North Allegheny edges No. 2 Shaler

#TribHS highlight reel: Sewickley Academy doubles teams out to defend titles

Monessen's Joshua Kucmeroski

Monessen’s Joshua Kucmeroski

Monessen stuns Jeannette in seventh, by Jeff Oliver.

Greensburg Tribune-Review roundup: Monessen comes from behind to top Jeannette

McKeesport Daily News roundup: South Allegheny stays unbeaten

Yough's Hannah Bach slides safely into home while Southmoreland catcher Makenna Myers catches a throw

Yough’s Hannah Bach slides safely into home while Southmoreland catcher Makenna Myers catches a throw

Southmoreland softball takes step back in section after loss to Yough, by Jason Black.

Connellsville Daily Courier roundup: Latrobe tops Falcons in Section 2-AAAA matchup

Kittanning Leader Times roundup: Apollo-Ridge baseball wins section opener

Alle-Kiski notebook: New track meet coming to Freeport, by Bill Beckner Jr.


Montour star picks LSU


proud to say I'm gonna be a LSU tiger 💜💛⚾️

A photo posted by Trent Vietmeier (@trentvietmeier) on

Montour pitcher Vietmeier commits to Louisiana State, by Chris Harlan.

#TribHS roundup: Extra-inning homer propels Hopewell past Blackhawk

Connellsville Daily Courier roundup: Southmoreland baseball edges Mt. Pleasant

Leechburg's Miranda Reesman

Leechburg shortstop Miranda Reesman

Leechburg shortstop Reesman has aggressive attitude forged from hockey, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Knoch's Abbie Thrower

Knoch’s Abbie Thrower

Softball is all in the family for Knoch’s Thrower, by William Whalen.


Mt. Lebanon's Kelsey Potts won the girls 1,600-meter run

Mt. Lebanon’s Kelsey Potts won the girls’ 1,600-meter run at the Tri-State Championships

North Allegheny boys, Mt. Lebanon girls win Tri-State Championship track titles, by Dave Mackall.

West Mifflin's Kevin Garbark

West Mifflin’s Kevin Garbark (center)

West Mifflin sprinter Garbark returns to top form after battling back from injury, by Dave Mackall.


Plum's Khaynen Yocca bumps the ball to teammate Max Flowers

Plum’s Khaynen Yocca bumps the ball to teammate Max Flowers

Senior-heavy Plum volleyball off to fast start, by Doug Gulasy.

A-K Valley roundup: Host Fox Chapel edges Central York to claim volleyball invitational


For the record


HS page (7)

Connellsville’s Wiltrout continues to better javelin marks, by Paul Schofield.

A-K Valley roundup: Kiski Area runner shines at Latrobe Invitational

Quaker Valley coach Gene Klein

Gene Klein was honored for winning his 500th game last fall

#TribHS notebook: Klein retiring after 29 seasons as Quaker Valley soccer coach, by Kevin Gorman and Gary Horvath.


Hall call


TribHS page

North Allegheny’s Failla headlines newest WPIAL Hall of Fame class, by Jerry DiPaola.

A-K Valley flavor to WPIAL Hall of Fame class, by George Guido.

Marc Marotta

Marc Marotta

Former Central Catholic standout Marotta dies at 52, by Tony Raap.

Gorman: Marotta’s death a ‘tragic’ loss

#TribCup: Upper St. Clair volleyball in search of complete game, by Brian Graham.

Plum softball coach Jim McGrath congratulates Hannah Adamski

Plum softball coach Jim McGrath congratulates Hannah Adamski

Plum softball getting coach McGrath back after heart attack scare, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Hempfield's Sean Winters sets for a pass

Hempfield’s Sean Winters sets up for a pass

Hempfield boys volleyball rebounds from slow start, by Devon Moore.

McKeesport Daily News roundup: West Mifflin baseball, softball teams victorious


Baseball’s best rally


Anthony Alexander

Serra Catholic’s Anthony Alexander

The story of Anthony Alexander and how Serra’s rally around his injury ‘restores faith’ is one that shows the strength of the human spirit.

Lou and Melissa Alexander, Anthony’s parents, are a hard-working couple from North Versailles. He works as a caretaker at St. Joseph Cemetery; she is a paraprofessional at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind by day and a shifts as a server at Denny’s by night. They helped with the fundraising efforts to send their son on the spring training trip to Alabama with the Serra Catholic baseball team.

Only to receive a horrifying phone call that Anthony was being flown by helicopter to a hospital.

The Alexanders are thankful for Serra assistant coach Bill Hartnett, who accompanied Anthony to the hospital; to Serra coach Brian Dzurenda, who refused to allow the team’s charter bus to leave Chattanooga until the Alexanders arrived at Anthony’s bedside; and to Pisgah (Ala.) baseball coach Dwight Griffith for offering his assistance, from providing rides to directions to housing accommodations.

“I have no words to explain,” Melissa Alexander said. “We didn’t know half of those people. It’s just amazing to us.”

More amazing is that people have donated upwards of $7,500 to help defray Anthony’s medical costs. If you want to help, you can donate here or send donations to the Anthony Alexander Medical Fund at Huntington Bank in White Oak.

Anthony Alexander


HS page (6)

Latrobe’s Kissell, Carlynton’s Phillips capture WPIAL singles tennis titles, by Nathan Smith.

Freeport AD O’Shell to resign at end of school year, by Bill Beckner Jr.


Burrell's Lizzie Weimer and Nikki Scherer

Burrell’s Lizzie Weimer and Nikki Scherer

Burrell track and field sophomores make fast friends, by Doug Gulasy.

Penn Hills javelin thrower on right track to succeed, by Ed Phillipps.

Chartiers Valley track and field teams contending for section titles, by Nathan Smith.

Keystone Oaks' Madison Morrow

Keystone Oaks’ Madison Morrow

Keystone Oaks returning batch of talent, by Nathan Smith.


Penn-Trafford pitcher Dom Coconcelli

Penn-Trafford pitcher Dom Conconcelli

Penn-Trafford has live arm in Conconcelli, by Kevin Lohman.


#iPreps, #TribHS