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September 11, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS Week 3 football preview: Piling on?

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PTR trend jump

After Clairton’s 86-0 blowout of Wilkinsburg last week, WPIAL high school football coaches address issue of lopsided wins, by Bill West.

PTR Insider

‘Blood is thicker than football in our house’ for the Bowen family, where dad Rich coaches at Hempfield and son Sean plays quarterback for Norwin. Sean’s second-half heroics came at his Rich’s expense in Norwin’s 21-0 victory over Hempfield last Friday.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Q&A: Quaker Valley WR Chris Conlan

PTR GOW

GTR GOW

DN GOW

Pittsburgh/Greensburg Tribune-Review and McKeesport Daily News Game of the Week: Penn-Trafford, McKeesport renew rivalry in Quad East, by Dave Mackall.

#TribHS football notebook: Intriguing non-conference games step into spotlight, by Chris Harlan.

VND GOW

LT GOW

Valley News Dispatch/Kittanning Leader-Times Game of the Week: Pitt recruits highlight matchup between Allegheny Conference heavyweights, by Bill Beckner Jr.

DC GOW

Connellsville Daily Courier Game of the Week: Winless Connellsville looks to get on track in home opener, by Alex Oltmanns.

Valley Independent Game of the Week: Frazier not looking past ‘much improved’ Bentworth, by Jeff Oliver.

Don’t-miss matchups in Week 3

Greensburg Tribune-Review Q&A: Greensburg Salem OL-DL Grant Slezak

McKeesport Daily News Q&A: Thomas Jefferson RB Austin Kemp

Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Leechburg QB J.B. Burtick

Connellsville Daily Courier Q&A: Laurel Highlands RB-DB Dominic Galderisi

Jeff Oliver: Monessen’s Pacak understands Clairton’s fine line

GEORGE GUIDO’S TOP 10
If No. 1 Woodland Hills (2-0, 2-0) defeats Shaler Friday in a WPIAL Class AAAA contest, Wolverines coach George Novak will move into a tie for third place in the all-time WPIAL coaches’ win list.
Coach Coaching Schools Record
1. Jim Render Carrollton, Oh.-Uniontown-Upper St. Clair 376-120-6
2. Joe Hamilton Midland-New Brighton-Hempfield-Blackhawk 339-164-11
3. Jack McCurry North Hills 281-108-9
4. George Novak Steel Valley-Woodland Hills 280-132-1
5. Chuck Wagner Oakmont-Riverview-Fox Chapel-Springdale 270-202-11
6. Pat Tarquinio Ellwood City-Beaver Area 269-143-11
7. Phil Bridenbaugh New Castle 265-64-25
7. Jim Garry Fort Cherry 265-153-14
9. Pete Antimarino Pitcairn-Gateway 255-93-13
10. Don Yannessa Aliquippa-Baldwin-Ambridge 249-117-7

HITTING THE LINKS

Chartiers Valley girls volleyball excited about combination of leadership, young talent, by Gary Horvath.

Carlynton’s Phillips looking to claim another tennis section title, by Nathan Smith.

Goalkeeper Gazzam anchors Brentwood boys soccer’s defense, by Ray Fisher.

Belle Vernon ties school shutout mark, by Bill Hughes.

Shutouts against Plum, Gateway have Franklin Regional girls soccer off to strong start, by Michael Love

#TribHS soccer roundup: No. 5 Canon-Mac wins in overtime

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September 10, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Running at her own pace

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Brianna Schwartz already established that she’s in a class of her own.

When it comes to cross country, the Shaler star also in a race of her own.

My Wednesday column focuses on Schwartz’s decision to skip early races for training on her run for glory.

“Training’s going well,” Schwartz said of skipping Western Pennsylvania meets until mid-October for the second consecutive season. “The purpose of not racing for awhile is to get my training up and gaining strength so my mileage is as high as it will be this season. Once I start racing, the mileage will go down a little bit.

“It definitely helped a lot, especially with the big national races. I learned how to race smart. At the state meet, I went out too fast. I learned to control myself at the beginning of the race, how to start out conservative and push myself up the hills.”

This explains why, after winning the Red, White and Blue Classic as a sophomore, Schwartz hasn’t run the race the past two years.

No offense to other WPIAL runners, but North Allegheny’s Madeleine Davison and Mt. Lebanon’s Kelsey Potts are the only two who can provide competition for Schwartz on a regular basis. (Schwartz is the first to point out that they ran faster times as sophomores at the Red, White and Blue Classic at Schenley Park’s Oval than she did).

But when you’re not only winning WPIAL titles but breaking records in the process, you’re on another plane. One that has elite running programs like Virginia, Syracuse, Villanova and Colorado recruiting you. Schwartz will visit those schools, in that order, over the next month but isn’t planning on signing a national letter of intent during the November signing period.

“I probably will just wait until April,” Schwartz said. “We’ll see how it goes. If I find a place I really like
and I just know, I’ll make a decision.”

Schwartz already is on a collegiate training program, increasing her mileage from 50 to 60 per week, and plans to prepare for a potential sweep in the WPIAL and PIAA championships and Foot Locker regionals and national championships. Schwartz learned a valuable lesson last year in the PIAA meet in Hershey, when she tried to keep pace with eventual PIAA and national champion Tessa Barrett early only to fade to a fifth-place finish.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Schwartz, who finished sixth at nationals. “I just went for the win and tried to be competitive and tried to do my best, but that also caused me not to run as fast of a time as I could have and get second place. Now, I’m hoping to run as fast time. I’m focused on running my own race and not worrying about the other girls.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-10-14

HITTING THE LINKS

West Allegheny boys soccer hungry for a repeat, by Bill West.

#TribHS roundup: Montour boys pull off upset.

#TribHS highlight reel: New members join WPIAL committees, by Chris Harlan.

Norwin girls soccer not using youth as an excuse, by Bill West.

Freeport volleyball sweeps Knoch in rematch of WPIAL semifinals, by Doug Gulasy.

Early playoff losses motivate Frazier volleyball, by Jason Black.

PENNLIVE STATE FOOTBALL RANKINGS
CLASS AAAA Record Previous
1. St. Joseph’s Prep* (12) 1-1 1
2. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (7) 2-0 3
3. Woodland Hills (7) 2-0 2
4. La Salle College HS (12) 1-1 4
5. Coatesville (1) 2-0 5
6. Parkland (11) 2-0 6
7. Pennsbury (1) 2-0 7
8. McKeesport (7) 2-0 8
9. North Penn (1) 1-1 10
10. Wilson (3) 2-0 NR
CLASS AAA Record Previous
1. Archbishop Wood* (12) 2-0 1
2. Bishop McDevitt (3) 2-0 2
3. West Allegheny (7) 2-0 3
4. Cathedral Prep (10) 2-0 4
5. Central Valley (7) 2-0 5
6. Imhotep Charter (12) 1-1 6
7. Bethlehem Catholic (11) 2-0 7
8. Thomas Jefferson (7) 2-0 9
9. Scranton Prep (2) 2-0 10
10. Crestwood (2) 2-0 NR
CLASS AA Record Previous
1. South Fayette* (7) 2-0 1
2. Aliquippa (7) 2-0 2
3. Berks Catholic (3) 2-0 3
4. West Catholic (12) 1-1 4
5. Southern Columbia (4) 2-0 5
6. Seton-La Salle (7) 2-0 6
7. North Schuylkill (11) 2-0 7
8. Hickory (10) 2-0 9
9. Slippery Rock (10) 2-0 8
10. Washington (7) 2-0 10
CLASS A Record Previous
1. North Catholic* (7) 2-0 1
2. Clairton (7) 2-0 2
3. Wellsboro (4) 2-0 4
4. South Williamsport (4) 1-1 5
5. Sharpsville (10) 2-0 6
6. Neshannock (7) 2-0 7
7. Bishop Guilfoyle (6) 2-0 8
8. Clarion (9) 2-0 10
9. Jeannette (7) 2-0 NR
10. Marian Catholic (11) 2-0 NR

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September 9, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Sound advice

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Jeremiah Jones had no shortage of mentors advising him throughout the recruiting process, from former Woodland Hills stars Ryan Mundy and Wes Lyons to his cousin, former Gateway standout Thomas Woodson.

But the best advice came from his big brother.

Paul Jones was a U.S. Army All-American quarterback at Sto-Rox, a four-star recruit with a big arm who picked Penn State. Where Paul Jones resisted a position switch at Penn State and later transferred to Robert Morris, Jeremiah Jones is a quarterback who is open to playing other positions.

“He told me to go with my gut feeling,” Jeremiah said, “that if it’s the right school to go with it.”

When Jeremiah Jones committed to West Virginia Monday, the news was stunning not because of his talent level but rather because he’s only started three games at quarterback at Woodland Hills. Even Wolverines coach George Novak was stunned, though he knew why Division I programs were interested in Jones.

“When he played last year,” Novak said, “he had a lot of good highlights.”

Although Jones also had scholarship offers from Indiana and N.C. State and was clearly on the radar of BCS programs, his quick acceptance of West Virginia’s early offer was surprising even to recruiting analysts.

“There’s a lot you can do with a player with that size and athleticism,” said Adam Friedman, Rivals.com’s Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst. “The first instinct is to put him at safety. There’s so much a guy like that can do. He can run sideline to sideline. If you put him on defense, you can combine him with guys like Dravon Henry and you’re looking at a formidable defense down the road.”

That ability to play defense — and Jones’ willingness to play offense or defense — makes him a more desirable recruit. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, he has less-than-ideal size for a quarterback but is perfectly suited for safety. And maybe Jeremiah saw what happened to Paul and realized he needed to have an open mind.

“He obviously learned from his brother,” Friedman said. “He’s taking advantage of the opportunity presented. You run into this a fairly generous number of times, when you’re dealing with a sibling. Maybe it didn’t work out for the older one, but they went through the process and learned to maximize the potential. That seems to be the case with Jeremiah.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-9-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Shady Side Academy girls soccer looks to repeat without 3 key players, by Marty Stewart.

#TribHS highlight reel: Root to broadcast Penn Hills at Central Valley

Latrobe’s Cullen commits to Navy for basketball, by Chris Harlan.

#TribHS roundup: Chartiers Valley girls win in double OT

Mt. Pleasant boys soccer hoping experience pays off, by Dave Stofcheck.

Burrell girls soccer team off to 4-0 start in bid to return to postseason, by Doug Gulasy.

Burrell softball coach resigns after five seasons, by Doug Gulasy.

South Allegheny boys soccer victorious in season opener, by Dave Mackall.

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September 8, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS weekend roundup

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PTR tab cover 2

Eyebrows weren’t the only thing raised over the weekend when Clairton led Wilkinsburg by 72 points at halftime en route to an 86-0 victory. It also raised the question of whether the Bears were running up the score against an overmatch opponent.

Only three years ago, we asked the same question after Clairton’s 84-0 victory over Avella occurred on the same night that Gateway beat Norwin, 85-0: Blowup over blowouts: Is pulling starters enough?

The lopsided loss is a tough blow for Wilkinsburg, which has only 18 players. But this could be another history lesson for the Tigers, who were featured as one of the cover stories for the Trib’s GAMEPLAN high school football preview section for celebrating the 100th anniversary of winning the first WPIAL football championship. The Tigers also had a feel-good story in senior Jonathan Carpenter, who made the unusual move from center to quarterback.

But a blowout a loss doesn’t have to be treated as the end of the world, let alone a reason to quit. Where some schools, like Geibel Catholic and Cornell, can’t recover from either roster shortages or lopsided losses (or both), Avella and Norwin are proof that there can be life after an embarrassing defeat.

Coincidentally, when Clairton’s state-record 66-game winning streak ended last year, the longest win streak in the WPIAL belonged to none other than Avella: This Avella streak is no pigskin punchline. And the Eagles pointed to that 84-point loss to Clairton as the turning point for the program, which clinched a WPIAL playoff berth with a dramatic celebration: Avella’s Eagles are finally soaring.

And none other than Norwin is now experiencing a rebirth of its own. As Nathan Smith reported, the Knights remained perfect with win against Hempfield.

So, let this loss serve as a history lesson for Wilkinsburg.

It’s all about attitude. It’s not what happens to you; it’s how you react to it.

RECRUITING

Recruiting column: Franklin Regional wrestlers in demand, by Chris Harlan.

HITTING THE LINKS

Riverview’s rally comes up short against Monessen, by George Guido.

North Allegheny cross country sweeps boys, girls top finishers in Red, White and Blue Classic, by Gary Horvath.

Seneca Valley cross country teams looking for big things, by Jerry Clark.

Southmoreland cross country low on runners, high on talent, by Dave Stofcheck.

Valley tennis team motto no joke for opposition, by Doug Gulasy.

Thomas Jefferson soccer looking to reel in elusive playoff berth, by Ed Phillipps.

Southmoreland girls soccer aims for return to postseason, by Dave Stofcheck.

Connellsville volleyball defends FCCA tournament title.

Kittanning boys golf team shatters school mark, by Matt Grubba.

Young Mars golfer hoping for success, by Joe Sager.

Knoch golfers endure growing pains, by D.J. Vasil.

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September 6, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS: Week 2 football recap

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9-6-14 Gorman column page

The WPXI Skylight Spotlight and my Saturday column, Allderdice twins have singular focus, is about the innate ability James Jackson and Timothy Jackson have playing together for the Dragons and why they want to win a City League football championship so bad.

For photo galleries from Week 2 football games, click here.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

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Upper St. Clair’s Marcus Galie scores during the second quarter against Peters Township Friday night at Panther Stadium.
Photo: Christopher Horner/Trib Total Media

Pittsburgh Trib: Upper St. Clair uses two-headed QB to beat Peters Township, by Chris Harlan.

Greensburg Trib: Greensburg Salem stopped short of goal line in loss to Knoch, by Paul Schofield.

Valley News Dispatch: Apollo-Ridge races past Valley, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Kittanning Leader Times: Turnovers lead Kittanning past West Shamokin, by Matt Grubba.

McKeesport Daily News: Seton-La Salle outlasts stubborn South Allegheny, by Mark Kaboly.

Connellsville Daily Courier: Penn-Trafford waltzes past Connellsville, by Thomas Zuck.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

Top-ranked Woodland Hills survives scare from Bethel Park

Pine-Richland’s aerial attack beats North Allegheny in overtime, by Bill West.

Urso stars as Fox Chapel upsets No. 8 Seneca Valley

North Hills holds off late Plum rally, by R.A. Monti.

McKeesport offense explodes in fourth quarter of rout at Altoona, by Jim Lane.

Norwin remains perfect with win over Hempfield, by Nathan Smith.

Latrobe’s offense erupts in second half against Kiski Area, by George Guido.

WPIAL CLASS AAA

West Mifflin stuns Gateway with comeback victory, by Josh Yohe.

Thomas Jefferson makes strong statement at Belle Vernon, by Jeremy Sellew.

Franklin Regional rebounds behind Zanotto, Birty, by Mike Love.

Big plays propel Highlands past Deer Lakes, by Doug Gulasy.

Elizabeth Forward romps past Albert Gallatin, by David Whipkey.

Ringgold enjoys ‘bounce back’ game in rout of Uniontown, by Bill Hughes.

Laurel Highlands matches 2013 win total by outscoring Trinity, by Jason Black.

WPIAL CLASS AA

Murray ignites offense in Steel Valley victory, by Dave Mackall.

Mt. Pleasant uses fourth-quarter outburst to pull away from Derry, by Les Harvath.

Late touchdowns propel Freeport to victory over Ford City, by Bill Whalen.

Burrell falls to Shady Side Academy in emotional home opener, by D.J. Vasil.

McGuffey parties, Charleroi’s Militzer fumes, by Jeff Oliver.

WPIAL CLASS A

Second-half surge carries Brentwood past Fort Cherry, by Andrew Erickson.

Clairton steamrolls Wilkinsburg, by Ed Phillipps.

Jeannette sprints past Serra Catholic, by Wes Crosby.

Big play sparks Leechburg to victory, by Dave Yohe.

Bentworth passes over West Greene

#TribHS roundup: Beth-Center edges Greensburg Central Catholic, with scores from every class

CITY LEAGUE
Karns City, Redbank Valley victorious in Week 2 matchups

9-6-14 GOW page

Friday’s results
WPIAL
Class AAAA
Quad Central

Penn Hills 42, Canon-McMillan 7
Upper St. Clair 35, Peters Township 13
Woodland Hills 33, Bethel Park 31
Quad East
Latrobe 50, Kiski Area 27
McKeesport 33, Altoona 17
Norwin 21, Hempfield 0
Penn-Trafford 45, Connellsville 7
Quad North
Central Catholic 31, Shaler 0
Fox Chapel 41, Seneca Valley 12
Pine-Richland 28, North Allegheny 24 (OT)
Nonconference
Butler 31, Baldwin 21
North Hills 17, Plum 14
Class AAA
Big 9

Elizabeth Forward 39, Albert Gallatin 20
Laurel Highlands 55, Trinity 42
Ringgold 56, Uniontown 21
Thomas Jefferson 44, Belle Vernon 12
Greater Allegheny
Franklin Regional 33, Hollidaysburg 7
Hampton 31, Indiana 6
Knoch 19, Greensburg Salem 14
Mars 54, Yough 0
Parkway
Ambridge 49, Hopewell 28
Central Valley 67, Blackhawk 0
Montour 40, New Castle 21
West Allegheny 62, Chartiers Valley 14
Nonconference
Mt. Lebanon 54, Moon 6
West Mifflin 22, Gateway 11
Class AA
Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge 49, Valley 0
Freeport 19, Ford City 0
Highlands 35, Deer Lakes 13
Kittanning 54, West Shamokin 14
Shady Side Academy 60, Burrell 20
Century
Seton-La Salle 41, South Allegheny 20
South Fayette 51, Keystone Oaks 7
South Park 48, Quaker Valley 12
Steel Valley 41, East Allegheny 14
Sto-Rox 43, Carlynton 28
Interstate
McGuffey 45, Charleroi 0
Mt. Pleasant 35, Derry 7
Washington 41, Burgettstown 12
Waynesburg 42, Brownsville 0
Midwestern
Aliquippa 49, Laurel 14
Beaver 54, Summit Academy 16
Mohawk 49, Freedom 12
New Brighton 38, Ellwood City 13
Nonconference
Beaver Falls 41, Southmoreland 14
Class A
Big 7

Riverside 30, Western Beaver 8
South Side Beaver 51, Rochester 20
Eastern
Clairton 86, Wilkinsburg 0
Jeannette 53, Serra Catholic 14
Leechburg 19, Springdale 13
Ohio Valley
Avonworth 37, OLSH 21
Brentwood 17, Fort Cherry 14
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 49, Chartiers-Houston 0
Tri-County South
Bentworth 35, West Greene 6
California at Avella, ppd.
Frazier 28, Jefferson-Morgan 7
Mapletown 30, Carmichaels 2
Nonconference
Beth-Center 22, Greensburg C.C. 14
Bishop Canevin 20, Union 14
District 6
Heritage

Blairsville 42, Marion Center 7
Homer-Center 50, Saltsburg 28
Ligonier Valley 23, Purchase Line 20
Penns Manor 18, Northern Cambria 7
District 8
City League

Allderdice 21, Perry 18
Nonconference
Karns City 55, Brashear 7

Saturday’s schedule
WPIAL Class A
Big 7

Shenango at Neshannock, 7 p.m.
Eastern
Monessen at Riverview, noon
Tri-County South
California at Avella, 7 p.m.

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September 5, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS football: Week 2 LIVE blog

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cropped-TribHS-staff2.jpg

Listen to today’s podcast of The Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio:

Welcome to Week 2 of the LIVE blog on iPreps, which adds a new feature with the #TribHS sports staff Twitter feed that will provide constant updates from all of the games our reporters are covering.

From Kevin Gorman, at the D.L. Clark Building :

And the ROOT Sports McDonald’s High School Football Game lives up to its billing, with a thrilling OT.

From Bill West at Newman Stadium: North Allegheny gives K Seth Mancuso another chance, as it lines up for 49-yd FG attempt with five seconds left. Pine-Richland calls timeout in reaction. … Mancuso again comes close, but this kick falls short of crossbar. OT here between Pine-Richland and North Allegheny.

WOLVERINES! Woodland Hills pulls off a dramatic victory at Bethel Park.

Not a bad game at Newman Stadium, either…

Unbelievable game at Bethel Park Stadium…

How about this score? Fox Chapel 41, Seneca Valley 12.

Billy Urso completed 10 of 15 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown and he ran for another score to lead Fox Chapel (1-1, 1-1) to the Quad North win against Seneca Valley (0-2, 0-2). Carrington Vaughn rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown while teammate David Brown caught five passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Corbin Kessler threw for 176 yards and a touchdown to pace Seneca Valley.

UPSET ALERT!

Bethel Park, coming off a 41-0 loss to No. 2 Central Catholic last week, has top-ranked Woodland Hills on the ropes…

FINAL: West Mifflin 22, Gateway 11: DiAngelo Mitchell — the subject of a column last season — rushes for 175 yards and three touchdowns (7, 48 and 5 yards) on 23 carries to lead the Titans to victory and send Gators to an 0-2 start.

And the Wolverines come roaring back at Bethel Park:

In the Pittsburgh Trib Game of the Week, Upper St. Clair beats Peters Township, 35-13. The Panthers scored on five consecutive possessions.

And the latest on Pine-Richland at North Allegheny, from TribLIVE Radio’s Josh Taylor:

For final scores as they are updated, click Football>undefined” title=”Trib Insider final scores” target=”_blank”>here.

From the Bethel Park point of view…

Final: Mt. Pleasant 35, Derry 7.

So much for the upset alert: Final: Final: McKeesport 33, Altoona 17

Final: Knoch 19, Greensburg Salem 14
Final: Mars 54, Yough 0

And, for the surprise score of the night…

Final: Steel Valley 41, East Allegheny 14

Final: Apollo-Ridge 49, Valley 0

Final: Clairton 86, Wilkinsburg 0.

Upset alert? Not really, but Gateway is now in danger of losing for the second consecutive week.

From Josh Yohe at West Mifflin’s Titan Stadium: DiAngelo Mitchell just struck again. The dynamic tailback exploded for a 48-yard touchdown and West Mifflin now leads Gateway, 15-11, late in the third quarter. The Gateway sideline looks stunned as the Gators are suddenly in danger of falling to 0-2 in the first season at the Class AAA level. After being held to 16 yards on seven carries in the first half, Mitchell has now rushed for 120 yards in the third quarter.

Final score: Highlands 35, Deer Lakes 13

Another final score: South Park 48, Quaker Valley 12. From Gary Horvath: Fueled by a 34-point second quarter, South Park (1-1, 1-1) throttled No. 9 Quaker Valley (1-1, 1-1) 48-12 Friday at Chuck Knox Stadium in a Century Conference matchup. The South Park defensive front seven was dominant, forcing 4 fumbles and intercepting Quaker Valley’s Amos Luptak once. South Park quarterback Nick Scholle ran for three touchdowns and passed for one more. Quaker Valley wide receiver Chris Conlan scored touchdowns of 62 and 20 yards.

First final score: Jeannette 53, Serra Catholic 14

Maryland recruit Brett Zanotto, who was injured in Franklin Regional’s opening loss to Knoch, has 153 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries as Franklin Regional leads Hollidaysburg, 20-7, at the end of the third quarter.

Old news: Clairton is dominating, again. The Bears are leading Wilkinsburg, 72-0, at halftime at Neil C. Brown Stadium. Ed Phillipps reports that Noah Hamlin and Harrison Dreher each returned an interception for touchdowns, while linebacker Vance Gibson had two sacks and a fumble recovery.

A close game at Laurel Highlands Stadium, where Jason Black reports that the Mustangs hold a 21-14 lead over Trinity in a Big 9 Conference game. Laurel Highlands has scored on a 29-yard run by Jimmy Pierce, a 72-yarder by Dontay Jacobs and a 25-yarder by Dominic Galderisi, who also caught a 46-yard pass from Pierce. … Trinity scored on Zach Cain’s 34-yard pass from Forrest Cullings and an 80-yard kick return by Joseph Koroly. Koroly’s 28-yard run cuts Laurel Highlands’ lead to 27-21.

Upset alert? Hampton leads Indiana, 17-0, at halftime. Indiana beat Mars, 29-26, last week. Then again, Hampton beat Albert Gallatin, 56-0.

Notable, from #TribHS sports editor Bill Hartlep: California at Avella football has been postponed until 7 p.m. Saturday after the referees didn’t show up.

Upset alert? Altoona leads McKeesport, 17-7, at Mansion Park Stadium. The Mountain Lions were 2-7 last year, with their only wins over Norwin and Connellsville.

Remember when South Park wanted to open Tom Loughran’s job after 31 years and two PIAA titles?

Then, after an outcry of support, it reversed course and decided to keep one of the classiest coaches in the WPIAL?

Good move.

After giving Seton-La Salle a run last week, South Park is taking it to Quaker Valley right now.

Follow Gary Horvath for updates @GHorvath_Trib. The #TribHS staff Twitter feed is on the right of this page.

After spending the afternoon at George K. Cupples Stadium on the South Side, I’m back at Trib HQ on the North Shore.

My Saturday column focuses on Allderdice juniors James and Timothy Jackson, the identical twins who comprise one of the most dynamic duos in Western Pennsylvania. They are hoping to lead the Dragons to their first City League football championship since 1967, and connected for the winning touchdown on a 12-yard pass play in a 21-18 victory over Perry in an exhibition game.

We will be providing in-depth updates from #TribHS reporters covering the top games in the WPIAL:

Pittsburgh Trib Game of the Week
PETERS TOWNSHIP AT UPPER ST. CLAIR

From Chris Harlan at Panther Stadium: As pictured below, USC offensive tackle Brandon Ford is out. One of the top juniors in the WPIAL, Ford hasn’t played in the Panthers’ first two games. … Peters Township and USC are scoreless after one quarter. The only real scoring chance was a missed 29-yard field goal by USC. … USC’s Gunnar Lund rushes 15 yards for a 7-0 lead. USC is switching between two QBs, with Dan Trocano having started. … Upper St. Clair scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to lead Peters Township 21-6 at halftime. Dan Trocano has thrown two touchdowns. … Upper St. Clair has scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions to lead Peters Township 28-13 after three quarters. USC’s Marcus Galie has scored twice. … USC scored touchdowns on five consecutive possessions. FINAL: USC 35, Peters 13

Greensburg Trib Game of the Week
KNOCH AT GREENSBURG SALEM

From Paul Schofield at Offutt Field: Knoch goes 85 yards on a scoring drive, capped by Cody Milsom’s 1-yard run. The extra point was blocked, so Knoch leads, 6-0. … The Knights turn to trickery, as wide receiver Ryan Grossman tosses a 46-yard touchdown pass to Asa Adams for a 12-0 lead late in the second quarter. … Knoch now leads, 19-0, on a Cody Milsom 9-yard run in the third. … Connor Forkey’s 1-yard plunge for Greensburg Salem cuts Knoch’s lead to 19-7. … Greensburg Salem gets 25-yard touchdown pass from Brady Mason to Tyler Mathias for a 19-14 lead. … Knoch stops Salem at the 2 with 5:18 left, but Salem blocks a 24-yard field-goal attempt with 1:27 left. FINAL: Knoch 19, Greensburg Salem 14

Valley News Dispatch Game of the Week
VALLEY AT APOLLO-RIDGE
From Bill Beckner Jr. at Owens Field: Jonah Casella scores on an 81-yard run on second play for Apollo-Ridge, which leads Valley 7-0. … Pitt recruit Tre Tipton makes it look too easy: returns punt 92 yards for touchdown to give Apollo-Ridge 14-0 lead over Valley, 2:44 left in first quarter. … Tre Tipton swing pass to Duane Brown goes for 54 yards, sets up Jonah Casella’s second TD run of the game. … Duane Brown steps in front of Philip Petit pass and returns it 47 yards for pick-six. Then runs in 2-pointer. Apollo-Ridge 28-0 over Valley. … Tre Tipton fires 6-yard TD strike to Alex Smith. Apollo-Ridge extends its lead over Valley to 35-0. Mercy rule. … Sophomore Duane Brown having himself a night. Returns punt 76 yards for touchdown. Apollo-Ridge extends lead to 42-0 over Valley, 31.2 seconds to go 3rd quarter. … ‏Apollo-Ridge backup QB Kyle Fitzroy throws 29-yard TD pass to Daylon Wells. Apollo-Ridge pads lead over Valley to 49-0, 4:24 to go. FINAL: Apollo-Ridge 49, Valley 0

McKeesport Daily News Game of the Week
SETON-LA SALLE AT SOUTH ALLEGHENY
From Mark Kaboly at Glassport Memorial Stadium: Davonte Johnson intercepts Seton-LaSalle’s Tyler Perone in the red zone on the opening drive that set up a 8-play, 82-yard drive that was capped by a 4-yard Curtis Moore touchdown. The kick failed and South Allegheny leads 6-0 after one quarter. … Ricky Mellick scores from 6 yards out on fourth down and Seton-La Salle takes a 7-6 lead with 9:48 left until the half. … Liam Sweeney, son of former Seton-La Salle, Pitt and NFL center Jim Sweeney, went in from a yard out late in the first half as Seton-La Salle takes a 14-6 lead into halftime against South Allegheny. Seton outgained SA 166-63 in the first half. Ricky Mellick has 52 yards rushing. … Curtis Moore’s 69-yard TD catch for South Allegheny cuts it to 20-12 with eight minutes left in the third. … Perone hits Paris Ford for a TD to give Seton-La Salle a 27-12 lead. … Seton-La Salle leads, 34-20, with 8:01 left. FINAL: Seton-La Salle 41, South Allegheny 20

Kittanning Leader Times Game of the Week
KITTANNING AT WEST SHAMOKIN
From Matt Grubba at Jack E. Boyer Field: Austin Reesman scores on a 55-yard fumble return for West Shamokin but Kittanning answers with a 98-yard kick return by Zane Dudek. The Wildcats add a two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead. … Zane Dudek with an interception to set up his own 9-yard TD run. Kittanning 21, West Shamokin 7 after one quarter. … Braydon Toy hits Brady Crissman on a 62-yarder to give Kittanning a 27-14 lead. … At the half, Kittanning leads, 33-14, after Zane Dudek’s third TD of the game. … Pitt recruit Nick Bowers has a rushing TD and two receiving, as Kittanning has pulled away with a 54-14 lead in the third. FINAL: Kittanning 54, West Shamokin 14

Valley Independent Game of the Week
MCGUFFEY AT CHARLEROI

From Jeff Oliver at Cougar Stadium: Neither team uses a huddle, so the game is going fast. Teague Nicolella’s 31-yard field goal gives McGuffey a 3-0 lead. … McGuffey later drove from its own 1-yard line to the Charleroi 4 before stalling out. … On fourth-and-10, Nate Whipkey hits Adam Narigon on a deep post for a 32-yard score and 10-0 lead. Whipkey connects with James Duchi for a 50-yarder and 17-0 lead with 3:39 left in the half. … Whipkey has two touchdown passes and another rushing, as McGuffey leads, 24-0, at halftime. … McGuffey scores two quick TDs in the third quarter, one on a 20-yard pass from Whipkey to Nick Kubacki, and the mercy rule kicks in. FINAL: McGuffey 45, Charleroi 0

CLASS AAAA
PINE-RICHLAND AT NORTH ALLEGHENY

From Bill West at Newman Stadium: Ben DiNucci throws a 28 yard touchdown pass to D’Ondre Gastion to put Class AAAA No. 5 Pine-Richland ahead, 7-0, over No. 6 North Allegheny with 10:04 left in the first quarter. DiNucci went 4 for 5 for 64 yards on the Rams’ opening drive. … Connor Slomka scores from 6 yards out and Pine-Richland takes a 14-0 lead with 4:57 left in 1st quarter. … North Allegheny’s Clay Byerly returns the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 14-7. … Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci, responsible for 273 yards in Week 1, continues to pile up the passing yards, as he completed 16 of 21 attempts for 163 yards and one touchdown in the first half to lead the Rams, who led, 14-0, with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. He spread the touches around, as Mike Merhaut had four receptions for 46 yards, and D’Ondre Gastion grabbed three passes for 33 yards, 28 of which came on a catch just inside the back-right corner of North Allegheny’s end zone. … Clay Byerly fueled the Tigers’ first-half comeback, as he answered the Rams’ second touchdown with a 90-yard kick return for a score. He later came up clutch, as his 6-yard run on fourth-and-2 at Pine-Richland’s 15-yard line kept North Allegheny’s second scoring drive alive. Byerly, listed as a wide receiver, then had a 5-yard carry that set up quarterback Jeff Clemens’ 4-yard touchdown run that tied the score with :32 left in the first half. … Clemens completed 4 of 10 pass attempts for 42 yards in the first half. He also rushed for 23, while Josh Bergman led the Tigers’ ground game with nine carries for 38 yards. … Pine-Richland goes ahead, 20-14, on a 1-yd run by Connor Slomka, who has 2 TDs, to complete 86-yard drive. Rams lead North Allegheny, 21-14, w/ 3:40 left in third. … A 6-yd TD run on a jet sweep by North Allegheny’s Clay Byerly ties the Tigers and Pine-Richland at 21-21 after the PAT, 8:56 fourth quarter. … FINAL: Pine-Richland 28, North Allegheny 24 (OT)

CLASS AAA
GATEWAY AT WEST MIFFLIN
From Josh Yohe at Titan Stadium: There is no score here late in the first quarter, with the Titans and Gateway Gators struggling to muster offense. West Mifflin star tailback DiAngelo Mitchell has been held to only eight yards on three carries. Gateway appears the more physical of the two teams so far and is starting to mount a drive, making its way to the West Mifflin 34-yard-line with 3:46 left in the opening quarter. … Gateway has finally taken the lead against West Mifflin as Adam White’s 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal resulted in the game’s first points with 2:56 remaining in the second quarter. The Gators went for two and converted to take the eight-point lead. … Gateway’s offense hasn’t been impressive, but its defense has been terrific. Star West Mifflin running back DiAngelo Mitchell has only 16 yards on seven carries. … Slowly but surely, Gateway is taking control in West Mifflin.
The Gators just got a 29-yard field goal from Jordan Washington to take an 11-0 lead against the Titans. West Mifflin’s offense has been hapless so far. Let’s see if West Mifflin can establish its vaunted rushing attack. … And just like that, we’ve got a game. West Mifflin star running back DiAngelo Mitchell, who was held to 16 yards in the first half, erupted for 61 yards on seven consecutive carries to start the third quarter. His 7-yard touchdown run has pulled West Mifflin with 11-8 with 3:38 left in the third. … DiAngelo Mitchell just struck again. The dynamic tailback exploded for a 48-yard touchdown and West Mifflin now leads Gateway, 15-11, late in the third quarter. The Gateway sideline looks stunned as the Gators are suddenly in danger of falling to 0-2 in the first season at the Class AAA level. Mitchell has now rushed for 120 yards in the third quarter. … DiAngelo Mitchell has left the game because of leg cramps, just as West Mifflin is driving for a score that potentially could put the game away. It’s 15-11 West Mifflin with 9:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. … FINAL: West Mifflin 22, Gateway 11

THOMAS JEFFERSON AT BELLE VERNON
From Jeremy Sellew at James Weir Stadium: Phil Taylor scores on a 62-yard run but a botched snap on the PAT gives Belle Vernon a 6-0 lead over Thomas Jefferson. … After a field goal, TJ takes a 10-6 lead on Austin Kemp’s 39-yar run. … The Jaguars are back to running the wildcat and lead, 37-6. … Kemp finishes with 234 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries. FINAL: Thomas Jefferson 44, Belle Vernon 12

CLASS AA
STEEL VALLEY AT EAST ALLEGHENY
From Dave Mackall at Churchman Stadium: East Allegheny takes a 7-0 lead on Rod Jones’ 6-yard run at 8:22 of the first quarter. … Steel Valley answers 12 seconds later with a 75-yard kick return by Trey Earl Edwards, but the kick failed. East Allegheny leads, 7-6. … Halftime: East Allegheny7, Steel Valley. 6. Steel Valley sophomore running back DeWayne Murray, who rushed for 174 yards and four TDs last week, has been held to just 19 yards on 4 carries. … EA QB Deon Smith has rushed for 62 yds. … Tyrone Freeman scores on a 3-yard run at 3:24 of the third quarter to give Steel Valley a 13-7 lead over East Allegheny. … DeWayne Murray’s 26-yard run gives Steel Valley a 20-7 lead. After being held in check early, he has 92 third-quarter yards and 111 total on 10 carries. … Murray scores on a 29-yard pass from Freeman at 7:07 of the fourth for a 27-7 lead. … East Allegheny’s Lamar Jones scores on a 20-yard pass from Deon Smith with 2:44 left to cut it to 27-14. … Murray scores again, this time on a 45-yard run. He now has, ahem, 174 yards on 13 carries with 1:55 left. … Steel Valley’s Kennedy Smith scores on an 18-yard fumble recovery for a 41-14 lead with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter. … Murray finishes with 181 yards, 155 in the second half. FINAL: Steel Valley 41, East Allegheny 14

CLASS A
BRENTWOOD AT FORT CHERRY

From Andrew Erickson at Ranger Stadium: A Devon Brown 9 yard keeper puts Fort Cherry ahead of Brentwood 7-3 with 5:13 to play in the first quarter. … Fort Cherry punts, but Tayron Kyser of Brentwood fumbles. Fort Cherry recovers on the Brentwood 47 with just under 7:30 left in the second quarter. … In the absence of a passing game, Fort Cherry’s run game is working well. Nick Cook goes 21 yards to put Fort Cherry within striking distance at the Brentwood 34. … Fort Cherry’s punt is blocked and recovered by Brentwood at the Fort Cherry 33 yard line. 1:16 left in the half w/ no timeouts left. … A 33-yard Brentwood TD from Connor McWilliams to Steve Mattola called back due to holding with 44 seconds left in half. … Fort Cherry leads, 7-3, at the half. Fort Cherry RB Nick Cook has 80 yards rushing on 10 carries. … Brentwood’s Tayron Kyser took a short pass from Connor McWilliams 92 yards for a touchdown. McLaughlin kick makes it 10-7 Brentwood. … Brentwood’s Patrick Carr ran 45 yards for a touchdown. Brentwood takes a 17-7 lead with 9:38 to go in the fourth quarter. … Brentwood holds Fort Cherry on the Brentwood 4-yard line. Turnover on downs with 3:35 to play. … Fort Cherry’s Devon Brown hits Alex Babirad for a 50-yard TD with 1:02 to play. Brentwood 17, Fort Cherry 14 with 1:02 to go. … FINAL: No. 6 Brentwood 17, No. 10 Fort Cherry 14

From Chris Harlan for Peters Township at Upper St. Clair’s Panther Stadium, highly regarded junior offensive tackle Brandon Ford is not playing for the second consecutive week. That’s him wearing No. 77.

Brandon Ford out at USC

From Mark Kaboly at South Allegheny’s Glassport Memorial Stadium, where Laura Thomson is public address announcer.

LT on mic

And this is her view.

SL-SA at Glassport Memorial Stadium

From Josh Yohe at West Mifflin’s Titan Stadium, where Gateway coach Tom Nola and West Mifflin’s Ray Braszo talk pre-game with legendary Gators coach Pete Antimarino.

Nola, Braszo and Pete Antimarino

From Jeremy Sellew, where the game ball for Thomas Jefferson-Belle Vernon was flown in by parachute at Belle Vernon’s James Weir Stadium.

Game ball arrives at TJ-BVA

From Bill West at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium: Before any players walked onto the field, competition had begun between North Allegheny and Pine-Richland’s student sections, who held dueling tailgates about 50 yards from each other.

Pine-Richland’s students went with a white-out theme.

Pine-Richland student whiteout

The Tigers faithful chose a black-out.

NA student section blackout

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September 5, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Perfect for the PA

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Laura Thomson

Laura Thomson is at ease speaking in public and into a microphone, given her job as South Allegheny’s public relations coordinator.

When Thomson takes the mic Friday night at Glassport Memorial Stadium, she will combine those skills to provide a rare female voice in a male-dominated position in the press box.

As the official public-address announcer for South Allegheny, Thomson is the voice for the Gladiators’ football games.

“That makes me proud,” Thomson said. “We embrace that at South Allegheny — women in nontraditional roles — and I’m glad that girls and women can see me as a role model.”

South Allegheny athletic director Eric Roche said Thomson’s involvement in the school district and upbeat personality made her a natural choice.

“I didn’t really think anything of it,” Roche said, “but now that you mention it, I’ve been to many games and can’t think of a female that does it.”

That makes two of us.

But that’s the thing about the PA announcer: If they’re good, you usually don’t notice them. If they’re bad, it can make for a long game in the bleachers.

A sports enthusiast whose promotional ability helped draw national news coverage when former South Allegheny soccer star/placekicker Audra Lewis won homecoming queen last fall, Thomson is taking it seriously.

An old pro shared this advice: You’re not the show. The show is on the field. But you can make friends by introducing linemen or cheerleaders and always correctly pronouncing names.

“I’ll know I’m doing a good job if nobody turns around,” Thomson said. “If everybody is looking straight ahead and watching the game, it’s going OK.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-4-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Seneca Valley QB one of several stepping in for injured stars in Week 2, by Bill West.

Chartiers Valley guard Matty McConnell picks Robert Morris, by Bill West.

#TribHS highlight reel: Highmark set to host soccer games, Franklin Regional wrestler commits

#TribHS roundup: Peters Township tops rival Canon-McMillan

Alle-Kiski HS football notebook: Kiski Area’s Collins balances course, kicks, by Bill Beckner Jr.

Kiski Area wrestling coach Tursky to enter SRU Hall of Fame, by George Guido.

Led by deep senior class, Hempfield volleyball has championship aspirations, by Brian Graham.

Kittanning volleyball team downs Indiana, by Matt Grubba.

Connellsville boys cross country aims to better 8-1 mark, by Jason Black.

Statewide HS football notebook: Late Mount Carmel coach to be honored

GEORGE GUIDO’S TOP 10
WPIAL CAREER RUSHING LEADERS
Here is a list of the top 10 rushers in WPIAL history:
Player School Senior year Yards
1. Rushel Shell Hopewell 2011 9,081
2. Mike Vernillo Fort Cherry 1999 7,646
3. Matt Gavrish Penn-Trafford 1997 6,512
4. Rodney Wilson West Greene 1993 6,304
5. Tyler Boyd Clairton 2012 5,763
6. Jason Barr McGuffey 1993 5,749
7. Julian Durden North Catholic/Montour 2011 5,537
8. Chico Williams Aliquippa 1992 5,417
9. Darrell Harding Charleroi 1991 5,410
10. Dravon Henry Aliquippa 2013 5,275

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September 4, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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#TribHS Week 2 football preview: Position transition

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Wilkinsburg coach Michael Fulmore gave Jonathan Carpenter a choice three years ago that wasn’t really much of a choice.

“I told him, ‘You can stay at quarterback and be the fourth-stringer, or you can start at center,’” Fulmore said. “If you do that, every chance I get I’ll work with you (at quarterback).”

That explains why Carpenter spent the past two seasons as Wilkinsburg’s starting center, only to make an unheard-of transition to a new position this year. My Thursday column is on how Carpenter, a 5-foot-9, 188-pound senior, went from playing center to going under center as the Tigers’ quarterback for the first time in his career.

Carpenter calls it a dream come true, one that he earned.

Credit Fulmore for keeping his promise.

Carpenter had competition from sophomore Daniel Scott, and there was some thought on the coaching staff that the Tigers should stick with Carpenter on the offensive line.

“The overall thought was to move him back to center and he can help the line, but we didn’t have much to go with it,” Fulmore said. “Jon went through seven-on-seven with us, and he made the decision pretty easy.”

Where Carpenter made his first career start at quarterback against Leechburg in Week 1, Wilkinsburg also had to break in a new center in Shawn McCarthy. Another center, Nicholas Jones, is expected to see action Friday night against Clairton. The good thing is, they both have an understanding quarterback in Carpenter.

“It helps you appreciate the center, if anything,” said Carpenter, who doesn’t hesitate to offer advice to his snappers. “It helps that the guy at quarterback knows what he’s talking about.”

#TribHS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

PTR Trend page

#TribHS trend story: As hurry-up offenses get more popular, teams go to no-huddle defense, by Chris Harlan.

PTR GOW page

Pittsburgh Trib Game of the Week: Upper St. Clair, Peters Township try to recover after Week 1 losses, by Bill West.

#TribHS football notebook: Teams with Week 1 losses have won WPIAL titles, by Chris Harlan.

Previewing the top Week 2 matchups in Western Pennsylvania football.

GTR GOW page

Greensburg Trib Game of the Week: After upset wins, Knoch, Greensburg Salem look to remain perfect in GAC, by Paul Schofield.

VND GOW page

Valley News Dispatch Game of the Week: Apollo-Ridge, Valley set to square off in Allegheny Conference, by Bill Beckner Jr.

DN GOW page

McKeesport Daily News Game of the Week: South Allegheny to get tested by highly touted Seton-La Salle, by Dave Mackall.

LT GOW page

Kittanning Leader Times Game of the Week: Armstrong County neighbors Kittanning, West Shamokin renew rivalry, by Matt Grubba.

DC GOW page

Connellsville Daily Courier Game of the Week: Connellsville football team faces another tough test versus Penn-Trafford , by Jason Black.

Valley Independent Game of the Week: Charleroi, McGuffey look to light it up, by Jeff Oliver.

#TribHS INSIDER

PTR Gorman column page

Pittsburgh Trib Q&A: Central Valley QB John George

Greensburg Trib Q&A: Mount Pleasant RB Trevor Salopek

Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Valley WR-DB-KR Asa Adams

McKeesport Daily News Q&A: West Mifflin WR Kevin Garback

Kittanning Leader Times Q&A: Ford City FB-LB Garrett Virostek

Connellsville Daily Courier Q&A: Southmoreland RB Mateo Garner

HITTING THE LINKS

WPIAL again rules Southmoreland wrestler ineligible, by Chris Harlan.

Quaker Valley QB Amos Luptak up to the task, by Gary Horvath.

Seton-La Salle boys soccer gearing for banner season, by Ray Fisher.

Penn-Trafford junior golfer Justin Guzik raising expectations, by Alex Oltmanns.

Sewickley Academy boys golf is at it again, by Gary Horvath.

Fox Chapel volleyball focused on reaching postseason, by Marty Stewart.

Pine-Richland girls soccer looking to reclaim section title, by Jerry Clark.

South Fayette boys soccer reinforcing team attitude, by Gary Horvath.

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September 3, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Time to Jam the Gym

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When the message from Ellen Toy’s doctor came across Tim Toy’s iPad, he knew it wasn’t good news for his wife.

The cancer was back.

“When I saw that, your heart just sinks,” Toy said. “I knew we were back in the battle.”

The Toys know all about the battle against cancer, for it is close to their hearts — and to those on the Kiski Area volleyball team. They already lost Ellen’s assistant, Jaime Vick Moran, to acute lymphatic leukemia in August 2012. Now, after a three-year remission and just days before her 52nd birthday, Ellen was battling gastric cancer again.

That’s why Jam the Gym fundraiser is so meaningful. You can donate here.

And why I wrote my Wednesday column on Kiski Area jamming the gym tonight for Toy.

“It’s something we wanted to do for Jamie and Ellen,” Toy said. “We wanted to get as many people to come in for a volleyball match because we knew Jamie was in for a fight.”

Ellen Toy returned to the sidelines this season after a one-year hiatus, where she had a gastrectomy — the surgical removal of her stomach — and retired from teaching after a quarter century in physical education.

“She’s doing well, actually, but not well enough to continue teaching,” Toy said. “Right now, it’s just about enjoying this time. We’ve bought three years. I want to be wrong. I want to be with her for more.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-3-14

HITTING THE LINKS

Franklin Regional’s Roberge follows in brothers’ soccer footsteps, by Bill West.

HS highlight reel: Obama soccer standout commits to Penn State, by Bill West.

HS soccer roundup: South Fayette opens section play with victory.

Kittanning boys soccer team pleases new coach in season-opening loss, by Matt Grubba.

West Mifflin coach wants boys soccer team to learn from first-round losses, by Brian Graham.

Geibel boys soccer motivated to succeed in 2014, by Jason Black.

New kickoff time leaves fans squinting, by George Guido.

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September 2, 2014
by Kevin Gorman


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Dori’s excellent adventure

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USA bkb 3x3 Dori

Photo: USA Basketball

USA bkb 3x3 gold

Photo: Xinhua/Meng Yongmin

Dori Oldaker had never really been abroad.

“Just on cruise ships,” she said. “I’d never been into a different country like we were.”

Dori didn’t waste any time conquering the world.

My Tuesday column is on how the Mt. Lebanon girls basketball coach led the four-member USA 3×3 women’s team to a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, late last month.

The Americans went undefeated, beating Hungary, 21-14, in the semifinals and the Netherlands, 19-10, Aug. 26 in the gold-medal game.

“It was an amazing experience,” Oldaker said. “I was proud to be a part of USA Basketball and help with their program.”

Oddly enough, she won gold but didn’t bring home a medal. Only the players received medals.

“Oh, I brought lots of things home,” Oldaker said. “There was a woman who held a sign on a standard, with USA flag and basketball. When it was over, I asked her if I could keep it and my four players autographed it.”

Most of all, Oldaker made memories. She visited Nanjing’s Great Wall, which surrounds one of the earliest established cities in China. She visited city markets for outdoor shopping.

“They’re very excited to see Americans,” Oldaker said of her four-player team. “They were excited to see tall people so they wanted to take our pictures all the time.”

Of course, Oldaker coached some basketball along the way — just not in the actual games. That was forbidden by Youth Olympics rules, which also include a 12-second shot clock on a half court and no stoppage of play except for personal fouls and when the ball goes out of bounds. But she believes her work in scouting and perfecting plays in practice will be beneficial to her coaching the Blue Devils, one of the WPIAL’s powerhouse programs.

“I think so. I think I can,” Oldaker said. “It’s kind of breaking down the offense. It really helps with setting good screens, using the screens and reading the screens. I would like to implement it into our practices, working on 3-on-3. In 3-on-3, you really can’t hide. When I was scouting, there wasn’t a weakness to go after. We were playing the best four players in other countries.”

And coaching the best four-player women’s 3×3 team in the world.

USA bkb 3x3 Dori 2

Photo: USA Basketball

HITTING THE LINKS

Moon girls savoring return to big-school soccer, by Bill West.

Highlight reel: Red, White & Blue meet set for Saturday, Shaler’s Schwartz ranks among best and more.

Bitter playoff loss fuels Kiski Area boys soccer, by Doug Gulasy.

Southmoreland boys soccer expects another strong season, by Dave Stofcheck.

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 9-2-14

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