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September 23, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Making a connection

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GTR-Terrific10-6-040614

Hempfield senior Kason Harrell

A funny thing happened on Kason Harrell’s way to making a verbal commitment to IPFW.

An IPFW assistant coach used a Western Pennsylvania connection to recruit the WPIAL basketball star.

Ben Botts spotted Harrell this past spring while playing for Team Bounce at the Pittsburgh JamFest, then scouted him again at the adidas national championships in Louisville. Relying on relationships is nothing new for the former IPFW star, but this one was close to his heart.

Botts has been dating former Hopewell and IPFW star Jordan Zuppe since their college days. Here he was, with a chance to recruit a player from her hometown. Not only did Botts get to watch Harrell at Hempfield’s open gym and spend time with Harrell’s family afterward, but he got to visit Zuppe’s family on the trip, as well. That family connection made a positive impression on Harrell.

“I thought it was really neat whenever he told me his girlfriend was from Hopewell,” Harrell said.

And IPFW apparently thought it was really neat to land a three-year starter whose scoring average has climbed from 15.3 points a game as a freshman to 16.5 as a sophomore to 23.9 last season. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Harrell has 1,274 career points and can play either the point or shooting guard positions.

“Kason’s great in the open floor,” Hempfield coach Bill Swan said. “I don’t know how many kids are better than him in transition. He moved over to play point guard last year for the first time, and did really well. He’s working to fine-tune his shot, get his 3-point shooting a little bit better. He’s a strong kid who will go into the lane and rebound and finish. Colleges tell me he’s a true scorer. That’s what they’re looking for.”

Harrell took an official visit to Fort Wayne, Indiana, over the weekend and was impressed with IPFW’s campus and the Mastodons’ coaching staff, from Botts to head coach Jon Coffman.

“The coaching staff is really cool,” Harrell said. “I got to spend time with the head coach, which was different than other visits. The campus was just amazing. It had everything I wanted. I got to hang with the players. They treated me like I was already part of the team.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-23-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Carlynton school officials say safety is of utmost importance, by Megan Guza.

Valley golfer Nick Licata

Valley golfer Nick Licata

Valley golfer hopes nice guys can finish first, by Bill Beckner Jr.

South Park's Christian Payne

South Park’s Christian Payne

South Park boys soccer thriving by easing burden on its stars, by Bill West.

Penn-Trafford's Galen Kreutzberger

Penn-Trafford’s Galen Kreutzberger

Shutdown defense has helped Penn-Trafford boys to a 7-0 start, by Nathan Smith.

Connellsville girls soccer team loses to Hempfield, by Jason Black.

Plum coach Caitlin Schuchert

Plum coach Caitlin Schuchert (right) and Alyssa Proviano

Plum moves past coach suspension controversy, by Michael Love.

Preparation key for McKeesport boys soccer team, by Ed Phillipps.

Belle Vernon girls remain atop 4-AA standings, by Bill Hughes.

#TribHS soccer notebook: Foxes continue to win with new coach, cast, by Doug Gulasy.

#TribHS roundup: No. 1 Greensburg Central Catholic girls down Springdale

#TribHS highlight reel: South Fayette wrestler Walker commits to Kent State

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September 22, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS Weekend recap

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Sasha Lobel

Allderdice golfer Sasha Lobel

Numbers down, but WPIAL teams boast top-notch golfers, by Paul Schofield.

ON THE GRID

#TribHS roundup: Jeannette rolls to victory; Hempfield standout picks IPFW

Also, Jeannette football coach Roy Hall confirmed that ROOT Sports will televise the Jeannette-Clairton game Oct. 3 at Clairton’s Neil C. Brown Stadium. The game will start at 7:30 p.m., half an hour later than usual. Both teams are 4-0. Clairton is ranked No. 2 and Jeannette No. 5 in WPIAL Class A.

TRIB TOTAL MEDIA FOOTBALL RANKINGS
Class AAAA
Team Record Previous

1. Woodland Hills 4-0 1
2. Central Catholic 4-0 2
3. Penn-Trafford 4-0 3
4. Pine-Richland 4-0 4
5. North Hills 4-0 6
6. McKeesport 3-1 5
7. Penn Hills 3-1 8
8. North Allegheny 2-2 9
9. Mt. Lebanon 3-1 7
10. Bethel Park 2-2 —
Out: Norwin (3-1) 10

Class AAA
1. West Allegheny 4-0 1
2. Central Valley 4-0 2
3. Thomas Jefferson 4-0 3
4. Hampton 4-0 9
5. Ringgold 3-1 6
6. Franklin Regional 3-1 8
7. West Mifflin 3-1 4
8. Montour 3-1 10
9. Moon 2-2 5
10. Knoch 2-2 7
Out: None

Class AA
1. South Fayette 4-0 1
2. Aliquippa 4-0 2
3. Seton-La Salle 4-0 3
4. Washington 4-0 4
5. Highlands 4-0 5
6. Apollo-Ridge 4-0 6
7. New Brighton 4-0 —
8. Mt. Pleasant 4-0 9
9. Steel Valley 3-1 10
10. Shady Side Academy 3-1 8
Out: Kittanning (2-2) 7

Class A
1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 4-0 1
2. Clairton 4-0 2
3. Neshannock 4-0 3
4. Avonworth 4-0 4
5. Jeannette 4-0 5
6. Beth-Center 4-0 6
7. Greensburg C.C. 2-2 8
8. Monessen 3-1 9
9. Frazier 4-0 10
10. Brentwood 2-2 7
Out: None

HITTING THE LINKS

Kittanning soccer snaps 33-game losing streak, by Matt Grubba.

Monessen boys win battle of unbeatens against Geibel, by Jeff Oliver.

Springdale boys soccer collects win in double overtime, by George Guido.

Knoch boys soccer team piling up goals, victories, by William Whalen.

Seneca Valley’s Lang embracing senior season, by Jerry Clark.

Butler girls soccer seeking top-3 finish in rugged section, by Joe Sager.

Mars boys soccer off to hot start thanks to stingy defense, by Joe Sager.

TRIB TOTAL MEDIA RANKINGS
BOYS SOCCER
Class AAA

1. Upper St. Clair 8-0-1 1
2. Peters Township 7-1 2
3. Seneca Valley 7-0 3
4. Central Catholic 9-0 5
5. Penn-Trafford 6-0 —
Out: Franklin Regional (5-3) 4

Class AA
1. South Park 10-0 1
2. Mars 9-0 3
3. South Fayette 8-1-1 2
4. Indiana 9-1 4
5. Ambridge 9-1 5
Out: None

Class A
1. Sewickley Academy 6-1-1 1
2. Winchester Thurston 9-0 —
3. Vincentian Academy 8-1 —
4. Serra Catholic 8-1 4
5. Monessen 7-0 —
Out: Riverview (6-2) 2; Carlynton (6-2) 3; Geibel (8-1) 5

GIRLS SOCCER
Class AAA

1. Peters Township 8-0 1
2. Seneca Valley 9-0 2
3. Norwin 9-0 3
4. Upper St. Clair 6-0-3 —
5. Moon 8-1 —
Out: Canon-McMillan 6-2-1 4; North Allegheny 6-3 5

Class AA
1. South Park 9-0 1
2. Mars 7-1 4
3. Belle Vernon 10-0 5
4. Central Valley 5-1-1 2
5. Montour 6-2 3
Out: None

Class A
1. Greensburg C.C. 9-0 1
2. Sewickley Academy 6-1-1 2
3. Mohawk 7-1-1 3
4. Shady Side Academy 6-3 4
5. Vincentian 7-2-1 —
Out: Springdale (6-2) 5

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
Class AAAA
Team Record Previous

1. Shaler 5-0 1
2. Seneca Valley 5-0 3
3. Hempfield 5-0 4
4. Norwin 4-1 2
5. Oakland Catholic 5-0 —
Out: Mt. Lebanon (4-1) 5

Class AA
1. Freeport 5-0 1
2. Thomas Jefferson 6-0 2
3. Hopewell 6-0 3
4. South Park 6-0 5
5. Seton-La Salle 5-1 4

Class A
1. Bishop Canevin 5-0 1
2. Greensburg C.C. 6-0 2
3. Shenango 6-0 4
4. OLSH 5-0 5
5. Frazier 5-0 —
Out: Neshannock (4-1) 3
* — Does not include Saturday’s results

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September 20, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS football: Week 4 recap

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column page

My column on USO coach Lou Berry and his son, Louis Berry IV, who are inseparable except for Friday nights when football runs in family.

Carlynton players carry on under new coach, by Bill West.

For Trib Total Media’s Week 4 photo gallery, click here.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

PTR GOW

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Penn Hills runs past Mt. Lebanon defense, by Chris Harlan.

GTR GOW

Greensburg Tribune-Review: Robinson scores 4 TDs as Blairsville stays undefeated, by Paul Schofield.

VND GOW

Valley News Dispatch/Kittanning Leader Times: No. 5 Highlands uses turnovers to beat No. 7 Kittanning, by Matt Grubba.

Daily News

McKeesport Daily News: Seton-La Salle outlasts Steel Valley, by Mark Kaboly.

Connellsville

Connellsville Daily Courier: Connellsville stops host Hempfield, by Les Harvath.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

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McKeesport’s Khaleke Hudson looks for room to run

McKeesport rebounds to rout Latrobe, by Dave Mackall.

Kiski Area routed by Pine-Richland, by Dave Yohe.

Plum’s surge hands Norwin first loss, by Nathan Smith.

WPIAL CLASS AAA

Ringgold pic

Ringgold’s Brandon Thomas intercepts a Hail Mary pass

Ringgold rolls over West Mifflin, by Josh Yohe.

Gateway edges Knoch after deflected pass goes for touchdown, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Belle Vernon falls to Hollidaysburg in overtime, by Jeremy Sellew.

WPIAL CLASS AA

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Apollo-Ridge’s Duane Brown scored seven touchdowns

Brown’s 7 TDs power Apollo-Ridge past Shady Side Academy, by Doug Gulasy.

McGuffey proves versatile in win over Southmoreland, by Jason Black.

McGrain gains 259 yards, as Deer Lakes holds off Burrell for first win, by R.A. Monti.

Late field goal again wins it for Valley, by George Guido.

Freeport holds on for 28-26 victory over West Shamokin, by William Whalen.

Charleroi suffers a ‘Devil’ of a time in Burgettstown, by Jeff Oliver.

WPIAL CLASS A

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North Catholic’s P.J. Fulmore scored three touchdowns

Seniors lead North Catholic past Brentwood, by Brian Duermeyer.

Clairton allows two scores but still sprints past Springdale, by Thomas Zuck.

No. 8 Greensburg Central Catholic outlasts Riverview, by Kyle Pillar.

Monessen averts upset with 28-6 victory over Leechburg, by Ed Phillipps.

West Greene outlasts Serra Catholic in four overtimes, by David Whipkey.

#TribHS ROUNDUPS:

Pittsburgh Trib: No. 9 North Allegheny takes down Upper St. Clair.

McKeesport Daily News: No. 1 Woodland Hills shuts out Baldwin

Kittanning Leader Times: Karns City tops Clarion

Valley Independent: Patterson throws five TD passes in Frazier romp

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Class AAAA
Quad Central

Bethel Park 48, Canon-McMillan 0
Penn Hills 41, Mt. Lebanon 21
Woodland Hills 25, Baldwin 0
Quad East
Connellsville 34, Hempfield 26
Plum 23, Norwin 14
McKeesport 34, Latrobe 6
Penn-Trafford 42, Altoona 21
Quad North
Central Catholic 56, Fox Chapel 0
North Hills 16, Seneca Valley 15
Nonconference
North Allegheny 31, Upper St. Clair 14
Pine-Richland 62, Kiski Area 0
Class AAA
Big 9

Laurel Highlands 39, Uniontown 14
Ringgold 40, West Mifflin 6
Thomas Jefferson 51, Elizabeth Forward 0
Trinity 44, Albert Gallatin 14
Greater Allegheny
Franklin Regional 34, Indiana 20
Gateway 8, Knoch 7
Hampton 37, Yough 0
Mars 44, Greensburg Salem 6
Parkway
Central Valley 48, Moon 6
Montour 47, Hopewell 12
West Allegheny 41, Ambridge 0
Nonconference
Hollidaysburg 7, Belle Vernon 0 (OT)
Peters Township 30, New Castle 14
Class AA
Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge 46, Shady Side Academy 20
Deer Lakes 35, Burrell 20
Freeport 28, West Shamokin 26
Highlands 24, Kittanning 14
Valley 16, Ford City 14
Century
East Allegheny 42, Sto-Rox 6
Quaker Valley 46, Carlynton 6
Seton-La Salle 14, Steel Valley 7
South Fayette 48, South Allegheny 6
South Park 35, Keystone Oaks 19
Interstate
Burgettstown 41, Charleroi 26
McGuffey 42, Southmoreland 14
Mt. Pleasant 28, Waynesburg 27
Washington 51, Brownsville 12
Midwestern
Beaver Falls 53, Mohawk 28
Ellwood City 51, Freedom 14
New Brighton 59, Beaver 34
Nonconference
Derry 19, Laurel 15
Class A
Big 7

Riverside 26 Rochester 12
South Side Beaver 55, Union 21
Eastern
Clairton 70, Springdale 13
Greensburg C.C. 20, Riverview 13
Monessen 28, Leechburg 6
Ohio Valley
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 55, Brentwood 20
Chartiers-Houston 19, Northgate 13
Fort Cherry 35, Bishop Canevin 31
Tri-County South
Bentworth 42, Avella 26
Beth-Center 53, Carmichaels 7
Frazier 39, Mapletown 14
Jefferson-Morgan 27, California 8
Nonconference
Avonworth 42, Shenango 14
Neshannock 41, OLSH 14
West Greene 44, Serra Catholic 43 (4OT)
District 6
Heritage

Blairsville 28, Ligonier Valley 7
Homer-Center 38, Marion Center 20
Northern Cambria 44, United 0
Penns Manor 47, Saltsburg 8
District 8
City League

Carrick 20, Westinghouse 16
USO 46, Perry 26

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE
WPIAL
Class AAAA
Quad East

Penn-Trafford at McKeesport, 1 p.m.
Class AA
Century

Quaker Valley at South Allegheny, 1:30 p.m.
Class A
Ohio Valley

Northgate at Bishop Canevin, 7 p.m.
Nonconference
Carmichaels at Riverview, noon

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September 19, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS football: Week 4 LIVE Blog

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TribHS staff

Welcome to Week 4 of the iPreps LIVE blog, where we will provide commentary, WPIAL football game updates and the running Twitter feed from the #TribHS sports staff on your right.

To get ready for pre-game, listen to the podcast of today’s Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio:

From Kevin Gorman at D.L. Clark Building (Trib HQ):

FRIDAY’S RESULTS
Class AAAA
Quad Central

Bethel Park 48, Canon-McMillan 0
Penn Hills 41, Mt. Lebanon 21
Woodland Hills 25, Baldwin 0
Quad East
Connellsville 34, Hempfield 26
Plum 23, Norwin 14
McKeesport 34, Latrobe 6
Penn-Trafford 42, Altoona 21
Quad North
Central Catholic 56, Fox Chapel 0
North Hills 16, Seneca Valley 15
Nonconference
North Allegheny 31, Upper St. Clair 14
Pine-Richland 62, Kiski Area 0
Class AAA
Big 9

Laurel Highlands 39, Uniontown 14
Ringgold 40, West Mifflin 6
Thomas Jefferson 51, Elizabeth Forward 0
Trinity 44, Albert Gallatin 14
Greater Allegheny
Franklin Regional 34, Indiana 20
Gateway 8, Knoch 7
Hampton 37, Yough 0
Mars 44, Greensburg Salem 6
Parkway
Central Valley 48, Moon 6
Montour 47, Hopewell 12
West Allegheny 41, Ambridge 0
Nonconference
Hollidaysburg 7, Belle Vernon 0 (OT)
Peters Township 30, New Castle 14
Class AA
Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge 46, Shady Side Academy 20
Deer Lakes 35, Burrell 20
Freeport 28, West Shamokin 26
Highlands 24, Kittanning 14
Valley 16, Ford City 14
Century
East Allegheny 42, Sto-Rox 6
Quaker Valley 46, Carlynton 6
Seton-La Salle 14, Steel Valley 7
South Fayette 48, South Allegheny 6
South Park 35, Keystone Oaks 19
Interstate
Burgettstown 41, Charleroi 26
McGuffey 42, Southmoreland 14
Mt. Pleasant 28, Waynesburg 27
Washington 51, Brownsville 12
Midwestern
Beaver Falls 53, Mohawk 28
Ellwood City 51, Freedom 14
New Brighton 59, Beaver 34
Nonconference
Derry 19, Laurel 15
Class A
Big 7

Riverside 26 Rochester 12
South Side Beaver 55, Union 21
Eastern
Clairton 70, Springdale 13
Greensburg C.C. 20, Riverview 13
Monessen 28, Leechburg 6
Ohio Valley
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 55, Brentwood 20
Chartiers-Houston 19, Northgate 13
Fort Cherry 35, Bishop Canevin 31
Tri-County South
Bentworth 42, Avella 26
Beth-Center 53, Carmichaels 7
Frazier 39, Mapletown 14
Jefferson-Morgan 27, California 8
Nonconference
Avonworth 42, Shenango 14
Neshannock 41, OLSH 14
West Greene 44, Serra Catholic 43 (4OT)
District 6
Heritage

Blairsville 28, Ligonier Valley 7
Homer-Center 38, Marion Center 20
Northern Cambria 44, United 0
Penns Manor 47, Saltsburg 8
District 8
City League

Carrick 20, Westinghouse 16
USO 46, Perry 26

Great shot from Steph Chambers:

Oh, by the way. There was a baseball game tonight, too.

A milestone victory for Woodland Hills coach George Novak

SPRINGDALE SCORES … BUT CLAIRTON STILL WINS BIG: From Thomas Zuck: Clairton’s perfect season came to an end Friday at Springdale’s Veterans Memorial Field, sort of. The Bears (4-0, 4-0) gave up their first points of the season but still cruised to a 70-13 victory over Springdale (2-2, 2-2) in an Eastern Conference game. Clairton has outscored its opponents, 300-13, this season. … The Bears scored on their first seven possessions en route to a 56-6 halftime lead. … The Dynamos scored on a 56-yard pass from Daniel Franskousky to Eric Lovic with 10:01 to play in the second quarter to cut the lead to 34-6. Springdale’s second score of the game came with 5:11 to play in the game when Austin Kline scored on a 1-yard run.

STREAK SNAPPED, PART I: Deer Lakes snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 35-20 victory over Burrell.

STREAK SNAPPED, PART II: Burgettstown ends 24-game losing with a 41-26 victory over Charleroi.

PITT RECRUIT INJURED: From Matt Grubba: Kittanning wide receiver and Pitt recruit Nick Bowers suffered an apparent leg injury and left the game in the second half of the Class AA No. 7 Wildcats’ 24-14 loss to No. 5 Highlands.
Bowers was hurt late in the third quarter after being tackled awkwardly on a 3-yard run. He limped off the field on his own power but did not return as the Wildcats attempted to rally from a 17-6 deficit at the time of his injury.
“(His status is) to be determined. I don’t make those calls, our team doctor does. He pulled him out, and with any type of injury, we’re always going to err on the side of caution. He’ll be evaluated over the weekend,” Kittanning coach Frank Fabian said.
Bowers had five catches for 112 yards and 15 yards rushing when he exited the game.

KNOCKED OFF: As of right now, ranked teams that lost tonight includes: Nos. 7 Mt. Lebanon and 10 Norwin (AAAA), Nos. 5 Moon and 7 Knoch (AAA), Nos. 7 Kittanning, 8 Shady Side Academy and 10 Steel Valley (AA) and No. 7 Brentwood (A).

LET’S PLAY TWO FOUR: David Whipkey reports that Serra Catholic and West Greene are tied, 31-31, and headed to double overtime. Serra had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Alex Grace missed a 28-yard field goal at the gun. … The game is now in its fourth overtime! … Cale Miller scores on a 9-yard run, and Harry Ingram’s point-after kick gives West Greene the win. FINAL SCORE: West Greene 44, Serra Catholic 43 (4OT).

DOUBLE TROUBLE: I guess it could have been worse. Carlynton could be in Class A and have to play Clairton.

UPSET ALERT: Plum is about to knock off an undefeated…

It looks like Gateway is on the verge of giving Tom Nola his first victory with the Gators after an 0-3 start.

And it’s official:

Friday Night Brights at Newman Stadium:

On a more positive note…

This is a sad scene:

Without a doubt, the WPIAL star of the night is Apollo-Ridge sophomore Duane Brown.

From Dave Mackall: No. 5 McKeesport leads Latrobe, 14-6, at the half. The Tigers missed several other scoring opportunities, fumbling in the first quarter at the Latrobe 17 and later failing to get a field goal attempt off. Losing seconds of the half because of a bad snap. Khaleke Hudson has rushed for 64 first-half yards, including a 45-yard TD run. QB TyWann Smith (no relation to Tigers coach George Smith) has a 66-yard scoring run to his credit for the Tigers, who are trying to bounce back from a 28-0 home loss to No. 3 Penn-Trafford last Saturday.

Touchdown machine: Thomas Jefferson’s Austin Kemp led the WPIAL with 16 touchdowns entering Week 4, and already has three (on runs of 14, 6 and 36 yards) as the Jaguars lead Elizabeth Forward, 23-0, in the first half. UPDATE: After scoring his fourth TD, Kemp was kind enough to let someone else reach the end zone. TJ takes a 37-0 lead on Jacob Stein’s 12-yard pass from Robert Kelley.

Clairton might be running up the score, but the Bears also are making a case for the No. 1 ranking in Class A. Clairton leads Springdale, 56-6 at halftime, reports Thomas Zuck. The Bears are led by Harrison Dreher’s 213 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Lamont Wade has 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns and 88 yards receiving with one touchdown.

A halftime update from Bill Beckner Jr.: Knoch leads Gateway, 7-0. The Knights have five sacks for minus-47 yards, while the Gators have 6 total yards.

Another blowout: Clairton has won its first three games by shutout, averaging 76.7 points while outscoring opponents, 230-0. The Bears already lead Springdale, 32-0.

#TribHS reporters will be providing updates from the following games:

WPIAL CLASS AAAA
Mt. Lebanon at Penn Hills

From Chris Harlan at Andrew Yuhas Stadium: Penn Hills’ Malik Mathis runs 67 yards for a touchdown on the first play to give the Indians a 7-0 lead at 11:38 of the first quarter. … Lebo answers with a 3-yard run by Eddie Jenkins, but the Blue Devils miss the extra-point kick. Penn Hills leads, 7-6, with 8:25 left in the first quarter. … Another long touchdown run, a 66-yarder by quarterback Billy Kisner, gives Penn Hills a 17-6 lead with 11:04 left until halftime. … Penn Hills 17, Mt. Lebanon 14: Lebo’s Nick Tommasi catches 14-yard TD at 7:06 of second quarter. … Another long TD run for Penn Hills, this one a 60-yarder by Te’Shan Campbell for a 24-14 lead at 6:48 of first half. … Penn Hills’ three touchdown runs have covered 67, 66 and 60 yards. … A short fumble return by Penn Hills’ Greg Hoolahan helps the Indians build a 41-21 fourth-quarter lead. FINAL SCORE: Penn Hills 41, Mt. Lebanon 21.

Plum at Norwin
From Nathan Smith at Norwin Knights Stadium: Jon LoChiatto intercepts Plum’s first pass and returns it 31 yards for a touchdown. The Knights lead, 7-0. … Norwin scores again. This one on a Peyton Deri 26-yard reception from Nick Amendola. Knights lead Plum 14-0. … Jacob Chapla connects on a 36-yard field goal, as Plum cuts the Norwin lead to 14-3 early in the 2nd quarter. … Kevin Brown scores on a 30-yard run and Plum has cut the Norwin lead to 14-10. 9:44 until half. … Nicolas Coxon pounds it in from 8 yards out and Plum has a 16-14 lead over Norwin. 1:37 until the half. … Andrew Soxman speeds past Norwin on a 63-yard touchdown run. Plum leads Knights 23-14. FINAL SCORE: Plum 23, Norwin 14.

WPIAL CLASS AA
Seton-La Salle at Steel Valley

From Mark Kaboly at William V. Campbell Field: Seton-La Salle opens with an eight-play, 80-yard drive. Tyler Perone throws a 10-yard pass to Paris Ford for a 7-0 lead. … After one quarter, Steel Valley’s DeWayne Murray has four carries for 1 yard. Seton-La Salle, however, turned the ball over on back to back plays. … Murray has six carries for only 10 yards, as Steel Valley has 65 yards of total offense. Rebels QB Tyler Perone is 9 of 15 for 123 yards and a TD. Seton-La Salle has 168 total yards. … Liam Sweeney scores on a 4-yard run after a turnover, and Seton leads 14-0 with 8:24 left in the third. … DeWayne Murray’s 43-yard punt return sets up his 8-yard scoring run to cut it to 14-7 with 1:50 left in the third. … There were four turnovers in the last three minutes — and eight total — but Seton-La Salle holds off Steel Valley, 14-7. FINAL SCORE: Seton-La Salle 14, Steel Valley 7.

Shady Side-Apollo
Apollo-Ridge at Shady Side Academy
From Doug Gulasy at Michael J. Farrell Stadium: Our first highlight: Duane Brown takes a handoff from Tre Tipton, goes 64 yards for a TD. Apollo-Ridge leads SSA, 6-0. … Brown’s TD was a beauty, as he started to the left sideline and eventually weaves to the right sideline. … Brown plows in from 1 yard out to cap 93-yard drive. Apollo-Ridge leads SSA 12-0 with 2:18 left in first. Brown already has 130 yards, 2 TDs. … Shady Side fumbles a short kickoff, and Apollo-Ridge makes the Indians pay. Brown scores his third TD of the first quarter, from 1-yard out. Brown has 131 yards rushing and three TDs. It’s 19-0, Vikings, at the end of the first quarter. … Duane Brown again! His fourth score, from 31 yards out, gives Apollo-Ridge a 26-0 lead over SSA with 7:18 left in second. … Halftime stats for Apollo-Ridge: Duane Brown, 8 carries, 162 yards, 4 TDs; Tre Tipton, 8 carries, 62 yards; Jonah Casella, 6 carries, 46 yards. … Apollo-Ridge scores on the opening drive of the second half as (who else?) Duane Brown scores on a 12-yard run. It’s 33-7. … Brown’s stats now: 9 carries, 174 yards, 5 TDs. … Brown can score on defense, too. He returns a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown to give Apollo-Ridge a 39-7 lead over SSA. FINAL SCORE: Apollo-Ridge 46, Shady Side Academy 20.

McGuffey at Southmoreland
From Jason Black at Russ Grimm Field: James Duchi scores on a 64-yard pass from Nate Whipkey for a 7-0 McGuffey lead. … Whipkey throws a 68-yard pass to Adam Narigon for a 14-0 McGuffey lead. … Whipkey scores on a 2-yard run for a 21-0 lead. … Southmoreland’s Jake Pisula scores on a 3-yard run to cut it to 21-7. … Duchi scores on a 38-yard run to give McGuffey a 28-7 lead. … Whipkey throws a 9-yard scoring pass to Shaun Sanders for a 35-7 McGuffey lead. … Pisula scores again, on a 3-yard run, but McGuffey leads, 42-14. FINAL SCORE: McGuffey 42, Southmoreland 14.

Carlynton at Quaker Valley
From Bill West and Gary Horvathat Chuck Knox Stadium: Carlynton has 28 players dressed and two others not in uniform for tonight’s game at Quaker Valley. Former coach Mauro Monz cited safety concerns and player shortages as his reasons for resigning after three games. More than half of Carlynton’s players are underclassmen, so the Cougars are undeniably young. But all the players want to play varsity football, regardless of classification. … Carlynton’s pass is intercepted by Chris Conlan, his first of the year. He returned it to the Carlynton 13. … Aaron Cunningham scores on a 6-yard run for a 6-0 Quaker Valley lead. … Amos Luptak hits Cunningham for a 2-yard TD pass, then again on the two-point conversion, but he’s stopped short. 12-0, Quaker Valley. … Trewon Marshall takes a carry 37 yards for a score and catches a nifty shuffle pass to make it 20-0. … Chris Conlan scores a 37-yard catch from Luptak for a 26-0 QV lead at end of 1st quarter. Conlan is now the QV’s all-time leader in receptions (74) and yards (1,262), breaking Jim Rolf’s 46-year yards record. … Marshall returns an interception 100 yards 102 yards for a touchdown. He must have broken 7 tackles. Guss takes a knee on the PAT, 46-6 QV lead. FINAL SCORE: Quaker Valley 46, Carlynton 6.

Highlands at Kittanning
From Matt Grubba at David ‘Red’ Ullom Field: On the first play from scrimmage, Zane Dudek goes 73 yards. Kittanning leads, 6-0. … Elijah Jackson goes 23 yards for a touchdown and Sam Eliot’s point-after kick gives Highlands a 7-6 lead with 1:06 left in the first quarter. … Jackson scores again, this time on a 30-yard run, after picking off a Braydon Toy pass in the end zone. Highlands leads, 14-6. … Rams take the opening kick of the second half and drive to the 10, settle for a 27-yard Eliot field goal for a 17-6 lead. … Dudek with a 49-yard TD run, followed by Toy to Brady Crissman for two. Kittanning cuts Highlands’ lead to 17-14 with 11:01 left. … Highlands stops Kittanning at the 28 with five minutes left while leading, 17-14. … Highlands picks up a first down with 1:45 left, and Kittanning is down to its final timeout. … Brayden Thimons runs for a touchdown for a 24-14 Highlands lead. FINAL SCORE: Highlands 24, Kittanning 14.

WPIAL CLASS A

North Catholic

Brentwood at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic
From Brian Duermeyer at J.C. Stone Field: North Catholic gets a 32-yard run from Jerome Turner, who already has 10 touchdowns (nine rushing), but has its kick blocked. Trojans lead, 6-0. … P.J. Fulmore scores on a 4-yard run but conversion fails again. North Catholic leads, 12-0. … A third North Catholic back scores, as Mario Latronica runs 10 yards for a touchdown. Turner runs in for two, and the Trojans lead, 20-0. … Fulmore scores on a 1-yard run, followed by another Turner two-point conversion, to give North a 28-0 lead with 3:35 left in the half. … Brentwood scores on a great play, Patrick Carr’s 88-yard catch from Connor McWilliams to cut it to 28-7. … Fulmore scores again, on a 10-yard pass from Adam Sharlow, for a 35-7 lead with nine seconds left in the half. FINAL SCORE: North Catholic 55, Brentwood 20.

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September 19, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Sister act

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Kluska sisters

Melissa Kluska sat on the bleachers outside the Shady Side Academy tennis courts, wearing buttons with pictures of both of her daughters, who just happened to be playing for the WPIAL Class AA singles title.

Well, sort of.

Alyvia and Michaela Kluska decided to settle the WPIAL championship on their own terms, with Michaela forfeiting Thursday to her older sister (by 16 months).

“My husband and I always tell them, ‘It’s your call,’” Melissa said. “I knew (forfeiting) was a possibility, but they did plan on playing. I’m very proud of them because they care about each other enough.”

The Kluskas, who finish each other’s sentences, came off the court and gave me the headline for my column: “Sisters first, tennis second.”

It made for an odd scene, however.

On the court next to where the Kluska sisters played a half-hearted match to a 2-2 tie, Shady Side’s Ananya Dua and Upper St. Clair’s Charlotte Madson were playing a spirited match for the WPIAL Class AAA championship.

Trinity tennis coach Lane Stoner, the WPIAL event administrator, wasn’t thrilled with the way the Kluska sisters handled their WPIAL final. He informed them of the rule that forced them to play to at least a point. If they didn’t, the one who forfeited would not advance to the PIAA tournament.

“I was aware of it and tried to get them to play,” Stoner said of the forfeit. “I know they’re sisters…”

This isn’t the first time the Kluska sisters have met in a deciding match. Nor is it the first time they decided that one would forfeit. Last year, as a freshman, Michaela won, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, in the Section 1-AA final to earn the top seed in the WPIAL tournament. Both sisters lost in the semifinals, so instead of playing a consolation match to determine who would advance to the PIAA tourney, Alyvia forfeited so Michaela would go on. (Alyvia qualified for the state tournament in singles as a freshman and doubles as a sophomore, so, technically, both girls advanced).

Last week, Alyvia defeated Michaela, 7-5, 7-5, to win the Section 1-AA title. The sister cruised to the WPIAL final and knew that, no matter the outcome, they already had earned a trip to the PIAA tournament this year. Alyvia is known for her strong serve and Michaela for her groundstrokes, but they practice against each other every day and know each other’s game inside-out and can anticipate what’s to come.

“Whenever we practice against each other, we play sets,” Alyvia said. “Our matches are always so long because I know exactly where she’s going to hit every shot and she knows exactly where I’m going to hit every shot. We totally read each other.”

The Kluksa sisters decided “it wasn’t worth it” to play in the WPIAL final, so they decided it was Alyvia’s turn to win. After a lackluster warm-up, they agreed that Michaela would forfeit.

“Whether she was up 4-0, it was 2-2 or I was up 4-0, Alyvia was going to win,” Michaela said. “Last year, Alyvia did the same thing for me for WPIAL. I thought it was best I did it for her. We’re even now.”

So, who’s the WPIAL champion?

“We say we both won,” Alyvia said.

You can criticize them for making a mockery of the WPIAL final — and some probably will — but they left the court together with smiles instead of with one in tears. That also could be seen as a sign of good sportsmanship.

“The result,” Stoner said, “says they’re the best two in Class AA.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-19-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Gateway hires Freedman as boys basketball coach, by Kevin Gorman.

#TribHS highlight reel: Plum suspends soccer coach for season

#TribHS roundup: No. 1 USC edges No. 2 Peters Township in boys soccer

Trib Cup: Mohawk girls soccer chasing elusive section title (with updated standings), by Brian Graham.

Johnny Petrishen

Central Catholic safety Johnny Petrishen

Alle-Kiski Valley football notebook: Petrishen makes stop in Alle-Kiski Valley, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Ford City girls volleyball playing for 1st section banner, by Matt Grubba.

Geibel boys secure 4th straight shutout victory, by Jason Black.

Through the years: Vikings rolled in hurricane-delayed game, by George Guido.

Statewide high school football notebook: Clairton’s scoring gaining attention across Pa.

GEORGE GUIDO’S TOP 10
Clairton is averaging 74.67 points per game so far and is on a pace to shatter Jeannette’s record of 860 points (53.75 per game) set in 2007.
Here are the 10 highest scoring teams in WPIAL history:
Points School Year
1. 860 Jeannette 2007
2. 760 Aliquippa 2012
3. 746 Clairton 2010
4. 740 Clairton 2012
5. 719 South Fayette 2013
6. 705 Clairton 2011
7. 702 Serra Catholic 2007
8. 671 North Allegheny 2012
9. 667 Central Catholic 2013
10. 645 South Fayette 2010

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September 18, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS Week 4 football preview: Mixed bag

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PTR Trend

PTR Trend jump

Veteran coaches having mixed results while leading new teams, by Doug Gulasy.

#TribHS INSIDER

PTR Insider

Darius Wise

Column: Beaver’s Darius Wise tries to be just one of the guys

GAMES OF THE WEEK

PTR GOW

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Fast-paced offense has led Mt. Lebanon to 3 dominating wins, but Penn Hills is ‘ready’ for challenge, by Chris Harlan.

#TribHS notebook: TJ leans heavily on ground game, by Chris Harlan.

GTR GOW

Greensburg Tribune-Review: Heritage Conference favorite Blairsville looks to stay unbeaten against rival Ligonier Valley, by Paul Schofield.

VND GOW

LT GOW

Valley News Dispatch/Kittanning Leader Times: Kittanning’s explosive offense to face stiff challenge from stingy Highlands defenders, by Matt Grubba.

DN GOW

McKeesport Daily News: Undefeated Seton-La Salle, Steel Valley meet with Century lead at stake, by Dave Mackall.

DC GOW

Connellsville Daily Courier: Connellsville hopes to keep rolling, by Jason Black.

WHAT HE SAID

Will Fuhrer

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Q&A: Plum QB Will Fuhrer

Peyton Deri

Greensburg Tribune-Review Q&A: Norwin RB-LB Peyton Deri

Braydon Toy

Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Kittanning QB Braydon Toy

John Bittner

Kittanning Leader Times Q&A: Ford City OL-DL John Bittner

James Hines

McKeesport Daily News Q&A: Clairton WR James Hines

Luke Bigham

Connellsville Daily Courier Q&A: Connellsville TE-LB Luke Bigham

HITTING THE LINKS

Previewing some of Week 4′s top matchups

Plum gearing up for Quad East clash with undefeated Norwin, by Michael Love.

Franklin Regional aims to win third straight against Indiana, by Michael Love.

Consistency a point of focus for Gateway entering Week 4, by Michael Love.

Cherpak, Kemp credit TJ’s stout offensive line, by Ray Fisher.

For Belle Vernon, this is no meaningless game, by Jeff Oliver.

Quaker Valley football team follows its leaders, by Gary Horvath.

Shady Side Academy’s Berry shines in Allegheny Conference win, by Marty Stewart.

McGuffey’s high-powered offense awaits Southmoreland, by Mark King.

#TribHS roundup: Bethel Park girls soccer edge Baldwin in double OT

Mars girls soccer extend section win streak to 62 games, by Doug Gulasy.

Host Mustangs four-peat as Plum Invitational champs, by Michael Love.

Jeannette sophomore has golf in his blood, by Kristie Linden.

Seton-La Salle’s Newman thrilled to sign with Cleveland State, by Ed Phillipps.

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September 17, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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A lightning-rod issue

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Coaches are at the center of controversy in the WPIAL this week, and it makes me wonder what in the world is going on with high school sports.

Mauro Monz resigned as Carlynton’s football coach, three games into his first season. Shawn McCallister reapplied for his job as Steel Valley’s boys basketball coach, only to see the school hire Drew Schifino Tuesday night.

I’m here neither to condemn nor condone what Monz did, but my Wednesday column make this point abundantly clear: Quitting is not the answer.

As I wrote, I’ve known Monz for 15 years. I believe he’s a good football coach who made a bad decision. We talked about the challenges he encountered at Carlynton, which was three students above the PIAA cutoff for Class A, and the difficulties he endured dealing with serious injuries and a dwindling roster.

Monz has made many sacrifices in his coaching career, where he was an assistant recruiting coordinator at Pitt, offensive coordinator at Duquesne, special offensive assistant at Robert Morris, director of football operations and receivers coach at Akron and tight ends coach at Youngstown State. He made long commutes to the schools in Ohio so as not to have to move his family. He’s a bright guy and, by all accounts, a good coach.

And, despite this decision, not a bad guy. I’ve heard stories how Monz reached into his pocket to pay for team meals during training camp and pre-game, how he led fundraising efforts to pay for team warm-up suits. I know someone whose son plays at Carlynton, and he raved about the impact Monz’s coaching had on him. Even Carlynton athletic director Nate Milsom told me the school knew that there would be an adjustment to Class AA but was pleased with Monz, so school officials were surprised to receive his resignation letter Monday morning.

That was the wrong move.

Things might be bad at Carlynton, but other coaches have endured worse.

When Tim Keefer was at Oliver, he would routinely drive his truck around the North Side to pick up players for practices during training camp. University Prep didn’t have practice jerseys in its first season, so the players wore a mismatch of Schenley and Peabody jerseys. Former Steelers safety Mike Logan reached into his pocket to pay for supplies. Donnie Militzer went through hell at Gateway last year, dealing with a faction of players and coaches that remained loyal to Terry Smith, yet stuck it out through an 8-3 season only to have the school open his position. Where Monz is concerned about a roster down from 33 players to 22, Wilkinsburg’s Michael Fulmore started the season with 19 players, only to have four starters take off their equipment and quit while trailing by 72 points at halftime of the 86-0 loss to Clairton. Instead of quitting, Fulmore dug in.

No matter how bad things are at Carlynton, they can’t compare to Wilkinsburg.

Quitting on your team isn’t acceptable, no matter the circumstances.

Not when McCallister lost his coaching job at Steel Valley after 12 seasons on the sidelines. As Dave Mackall reported, Steel Valley hired Drew Schifino Tuesday night as its new boys basketball coach.

Not only did McCallister have to reapply for the opening, but as athletic director he sat in on the interviews for three coaching candidates. Steel Valley opted for Schifino, a former Penn Hills star and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review player of the year, despite a 6-16 record last season at Waynesburg. Now, Schifino has to work for Shawn McCallister while coaching his son, junior guard Ryan McCallister.

That won’t be awkward.

But Schifino should also know that this is what he signed up for.

Monz knew that his decision would be controversial, calling himself a lightning rod.

Here’s hoping that lightning doesn’t strike twice.

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-17-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Veteran Pine-Richland keeper a reliable presence for Rams, by Jerry Clark.

Yough girls soccer remains Section 1-AA power with deliberate, defensive style, by Bill West.

#TribHS highlight reel: Peters, USC rivalry resumes Thursday

#TribHS roundup: Central Catholic tops Franklin Regional

#TribHS notebook: Lincoln Park seeking co-op for girls basketball, Holmberg recovering, by Chris Harlan and Paul Schofield.

Knoch takes down Deer Lakes in boys soccer, by Doug Gulasy.

West Shamokin volleyball scores 3-0 win over Kittanning, by Matt Grubba.

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September 16, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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A look at and listen to Monday Night Lights

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MNL 3

Interviews (clockwise) with Charleroi coach Donnie Militzer (middle) and Valley Independent sports editor Jeff Oliver (left) and Cougars players Brock Shannon, John Arnold, Jake Lemmon and Kevin McClellan during TribLIVE Radio’s Monday Night Lights in the Mon Valley with the Charleroi Cougars at Cotromano’s.

MNL 1

MNL 2

Kevin Gorman, Ken Laird and Jeff Oliver of Trib Total Media and Charleroi coach Donnie Militzer at TribLIVE Radio’s Monday Night Lights at Cotromano’s in Charleroi.

GormanMNL

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September 16, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Friendship goes the distance

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Zach Skolnekovich

Griffin Mackey

My Tuesday column is on Quaker Valley’s Zach Skolnekovich and Sewickley Academy’s Griffin Mackey, a pair of sophomore stars who are friendly rivals on the cross country course.

The Sewickley residents train together in the summer and push each other at invitational meets, like they did at the Red, White and Blue Classic Sept. 6 at the Schenley Oval, when they finished about 10 seconds apart. The difference is that Skolnekovich stars in Class AA, while Mackey is a top runner in Class A.

Where Skolnekovich finished second in the WPIAL Class AA and 12th in the PIAA in cross country as a freshman, Mackey took 12th in WPIAL Class A and 29th in the PIAA. Mackey called that a great motivator to try to close the gap on his friend and catch up to his other rivals.

“The main reason I trained really hard this summer,” Mackey said, “was seeing Zach make it and me barely not make it really fueled the fire for to win the WPIAL single-a cross country title.”

Quaker Valley coach David Noyes imagines what it would be like to have both runners on his team.

“There’s no doubt,” Noyes said. “I always look for good runners and would love to have him.”

The friends can’t help but wonder what it would be like to run for the same team. Not only would it allow them to push each other on a daily basis but they could combine to form a powerful tandem.

“From a team standpoint and training standpoint, if we were both on the same team, I think that team could go places that we wouldn’t know until we got there,” Skolnekovich said. “I think we would be able to do very well. …
Training-wise, on both of our teams, I don’t think there’s runners that can stay with us in the harder workouts so we’re often running alone.”

Mackey agrees, even though he enjoys having a rival like Skolnekovich.

“I feel like it would help us because sometimes when you’re so far ahead of everybody else on your own team, you expect guys to step it up and be closer to you and it doesn’t happen all the time,” Mackey said. “Having Zach would help me push through practices.

“It would hinder our rivalry, though. When I practice, I imagine Zach being ahead of me in a race and it fuels my fire. I’ve dropped a lot of time from last year to this year because I’m better at shorter than longer distance. When I get complacent, I imagine Zach being next to me and have to run faster to beat him.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-16-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Peters Township thriving with help from sibling pairs, including star twins, by Bill West.

My story on Mauro Monz resigning as Carlynton football coach.

#TribHS roundup: Penn-Trafford girls continue winning run

#TribHS highlight reel: Vulcano named AD at Canon-McMillan

Valley senior Licata, 4 from Kittanning advance out of Section 1-AA boys golf qualifier, by Matt Grubba.

Deer Lakes soccer coach can relate to his players, by Doug Gulasy.

Serra boys soccer faces early-season challenge, by Kevin Ritchart.

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September 15, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Monday Night Lights in the Mon Valley

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GormanMNL

Good morning! Trib Total Media has invested greatly into our coverage of high school sports, with plans to present a product unrivaled in Western Pennsylvania. This iPreps blog is just one example of our new features. We also have the daily #TribHS page, with my column, a feature story and the highlight reel.

So, this is another exciting day. TribLIVE Radio is producing its first live high school football show tonight at Cotromano’s in Charleroi: Monday Night Lights in the Mon Valley.

I will be hosting the one-hour special, and will be joined by special guests in Charleroi coach Donnie Militzer and his Cougars players.

Join us tonight from 7-8 p.m. or click here to listen.

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