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Boys Soccer: Ambridge off to a hot start

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Ambridge boys soccer team.

"One of the biggest turnarounds in WPIAL boys soccer this season has occurred at Ambridge.

The Bridgers have already equaled their victory total from 2013 by winning their first four games.

Sure, part of the reason is the Bridgers are playing in Class AA after two seasons in AAA. But Ambridge won its annual Labor Day tournament for the first time since Drew Lewis became the head coach eight years ago with an eye on even bigger things.

"We learned a lot playing against those higher-ranked teams," Lewis said. "It's not that our competition here is not good, but we've seen what the best teams in the state do in terms of how they train and warm up. It's more business-like. We're still having fun, but there are things we want to accomplish this year.""

 

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Football: Ambridge wins Bradley's home debut

Written by staff reports on .

While Friday's home game with Hopewell was the home debut for new Ambridge coach Dan Bradley, he wasn't the newbie that made the big splash. Bridger sophomore Daiquon Alston rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns in the 49-28 win.

In his first game at Baldwin, Alston had gained 29 yards in 10 carries but he matched that yardage total in the first quarter. His first touchdown – a 25-yard run in the first quarter – brought the Bridgers to within a single point at 7-6 and when he scored in the second on a 23-yard run, Ambridge never trailed again.

Alston carried the ball just 15 times and had 20 yards on a pass reception so he finished his night averaging almost 14 yards per touch. In a conference tightly packed behind Central Valley and West Allegheny, the addition of a performer like Alston propels the Bridgers right into the midst of the playoff race, although a small roster leaves them little margin for error.

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Boys Soccer: Ambridge back where it belongs

Written by staff reports on .

After spending last year in Class AAA because of a clerical error, Ambridge is back in Class AA this season (Section 4) and a legitimate contender for a playoff spot. The Bridgers opened up their season with a pair of wins in their own tournament over the weekend. Christian Fisher and Shelton Howard each scored a pair of goals in a 5-1 win over Elizabeth-Forward on Saturday. A day later, the Bridgers defeated Class AAA Brashear, 4-1.

The Bridgers celebrate their return to Section 4-AA with games at Beaver, a playoff team last season, and hosting Hopewell, which just missed the playoffs by one game. Admittedly, it is still very early in the season but Section 4-AA, with the addition of Ambridge and South Side Beaver, appears to be very strong. After the opening weekend, teams in the section are 4-2-2, the best record of any AA section in the WPIAL.

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Ambridge 2014 Football Preview

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Coach Dan Bradley replaces Neil Tkatch, who had a 11-34 record in his six years at the helm. The Bridgers posted a 2-7 record last season and haven't been to the WPIAL playoffs since 2005.

Bradley comes to Ambridge after leading Sto-Rox to the WPIAL Class A title game the past three years.

"We are both inexperienced and young," Bradley said. "Almost everybody on our roster was playing on either the junior varsity or junior high last year. We have to mature quickly and stay healthy."

Only five starters return for the Bridgers. The top returnee is Stephan McGinnis (5-8, 150, Sr., WR/CB), who has moved from quarterback to wide receiver. Last season, McGinnis, who is also a standout on the basketball squad, threw for 453 yards and rushed for 656 yards.

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Boys Basketball: Ambridge champs of summer league

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles the Ambridge boys basketball team.

"The Ambridge Area boys varsity basketball team has improved in each of the two seasons since Mark Jula took over the head coaching position.

If Ambridge's performance at the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Summer League is any indication, the Bridgers look poised to run their improvement streak to three years this upcoming school year.

Ambridge went 10-2 in the summer league, including a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs to capture the big schools (Class AAAA/AAA) title last week.

"Most summer work is individualized," Jula said. "It's about the players getting better individually. But this gave us an opportunity to experience game situations as a team and get better as a team.""