Football: 2015 East Season Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

Central Catholic has gotten a lot of preseason hype. For good reason, too. The Vikings return many of their key players from last year's WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up, boast more Division I recruits than any other school in the WPIAL, are ranked in the top 25 in the country in one poll, and are expected to have a defense that might be more talented than the Steelers (OK, so that last part might be a bit of a stretch).

Now all the Vikings need to do is live up to those lofty expectations.

A year after going 11-2 and losing to Pine-Richland in the WPIAL final, Central Catholic is the favorite to hoist the championship trophy at Heinz Field this season. Six players have Division I offers: seniors Damar Hamlin, Bricen Garner, Rashad Wheeler and Ron George, and juniors David Adams and C.J. Thorpe. All are starters on a defense that gave up a Class AAAA-low 11.4 points per game last season. Garner and Wheeler are Pitt commits. Hamlin is one of the most highly-recruited players in the state, boasting an offer list that includes Pitt, Penn State and Ohio State. Adams and Thorpe are both ranked among the top 200 juniors in the country.


Football: 2015 East Players to Watch

Written by Brad Everett on .

Here are some football players to watch from the East area this season.

Jake Adamrovich, Mount Pleasant, Sr., RB-DB - Adamrovich (549 yards) is the top returning rusher for a Vikings squad that could contend for the Interstate Conference title.

David Adams, Central Catholic, Jr., TE-LB - Highly-regarded junior is ranked by one recruiting service as the No. 4 player in the state and No. 5 inside linebacker in the country.

Nick Amendola, Norwin, Sr., QB-LB - East Fabulous 22 choice as a linebacker after making 71 tackles and six sacks, and also passed for 862 yards and led the Knights in rushing.

Santino Birty, Franklin Regional, Sr., QB - Two-year starter passed for 1,053 yards and added 405 on the ground to help the Panthers reach the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals.

Bricen Garner, Central Catholic, Sr., WR-DB - Standout safety is a Pitt commit, and will try to use his terrific size (6-feet-1) and athleticism to help Central Catholic win a Class AAAA WPIAL title.


Boys Soccer: 2015 East Season Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

Winchester Thurston stood tall and ended a WPIAL title drought by East teams last season.

The Bears hope to keep the wins flowing and make another big splash this fall.

Prior to last season, no East team had won a WPIAL championship since 2009, but Winchester Thurston changed that when the Bears defeated defending Class A champion Sewickley Academy in a shootout to claim their first title.

A year later, the Bears will defend that championship, as well as their Section 1 title. The Bears went 21-1-1 overall and 10-0 in section play. Their only loss came in a double-overtime thriller to Sewickley Academy in the PIAA semifinals. The Bears return seven starters, including senior forward Tyler Coleman and senior midfielder Max Rogow. Coleman scored 12 goals last season. Topping Sewickley Academy will be difficult, though, as the Panthers return 10 starters.


Boys Soccer: 2015 East Players to Watch

Written by Joe Greiner on .

Here are some boys soccer players from the East to keep an eye on this season.

Tyler Aber, Riverview, Junior, Defender
Robbie Bailey, Mount Pleasant, Senior, Goalkeeper
Paul Bence, Central Catholic, Senior, Defender
Jake Beretta, Penn-Trafford, Senior, Defender
Nick Broujos, Central Catholic, Senior, Forward
Tyler Coleman, Winchester Thurston, Senior, Forward
Cameron Eckberg, Norwin, Junior, Forward
Reginald Holt, Penn Hills, Junior, Midfielder/Forward
Matt Johnson, Mount Pleasant, Senior, Defender
Oscar Marroquin, Central Catholic, Senior, Goalkeeper
Corey Mazary, Burrell, Senior, Forward
Hunter Petrosky, Latrobe, Junior, Forward
Ever Rodriguez, Allderdice, Senior, Forward
Max Rogow, Winchester Thurston, Senior, Midfielder
James Young, Franklin Regional, Senior, Midfielder



Girls Soccer: 2015 East Season Preview

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Greensburg Central Catholic will try to repeat as WPIAL Class A champions this year. Junior forward Bailey Cartwright has established herself as one of the top goal scorers in the state. She led the WPIAL with 59 goals last season.

In Class AA, Yough has quickly established itself as a soccer power. The Cougars won 17 games last season and did not concede a goal in the regular season. Senior goalie Leigh Appolonia is back this year along with senior forward Shawna Zaken.

Section 1-AAA could be wide open. A year after Norwin edged Penn-Trafford by half a game to win the section title, there is a lot of turnover. The Warriors lose Italia Biondi, while Norwin welcomes back all-state senior forward Micayla Livingston and all-WPIAL senior defender Jess Boytim. Many are expecting an improved Kiski Area side. The Cavaliers return senior forward Taylor Morlacci. Plum will be a tough out with senior Ashley Amato returning a year after scoring 19 goals.