Avonworth 2014 Football Preview

Written by Joe Koch on .

With a 42-player roster, Avonworth coach Duke Johncour has high expectations for a team that advanced to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals a year ago.

The Antelopes went 9-2 overall and finished runner-up to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in the Eastern Conference with a 7-1 mark. The 'Lopes also lost to the Trojans, 14-7, in the playoffs. They are playing in the Black Hills Conference this season.

"We have a strong core of returning players with solid experience, and we expect to make it to the playoffs and take it as far as we can," Johncour said.

Foremost on the list is Josh Drwal, a 5-8, 160-pound senior slot receiver who last year caught 22 passes for 256 yards, an average of 11.6 yards per catch.


Track: North Feature Athlete — Avonworth’s Beth Shenck

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Beth Shenck
School: Avonworth
Grade: 12
Sport: Track and Field

Background: Shenck set the WPIAL Class AA meet record last week in the 800 and 1,600 meters, winning both events. She also was part of the Avonworth/Northgate’s 3,200-meter team that also won the gold medal at the WPIAL meet.

Avonworth/Northgate distance coach Frank Nesko: “Her performance was one of the best I have been a part of in my career.  To win three gold medals, 4x8, 1600, and 800, and to set two WPIAL AA records in the process, words can not describe the feeling of joy and admiration I have for her.  What makes Beth special is the fact that she is a team first person.  She was given the option to focus on individual events this year and she chose to be a part of the 4 x8 relay because of her friendship with, and respect for, the other girls on the team.   


Wrestling: Coaching earns Avonworth's Giel a nod as Hall of Famer

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles current Avonworth and former Sewickley Academy wrestling coach Tim Giel, who is being inducted into the PWCA Hall of Fame. Read his story below.

2014 0515 Avonworth Wrestling(Photo: Avonworth coach Tim Giel was inducted into the wrestling hall of fame. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

Tim Giel's coaching career began after a bout of horseplay.

"I was doing my student teaching as an athletic trainer at Shady Side Academy in 1981," Giel said. "I walked into the wrestling room and one of the wrestlers grabbed me."

The student was just fooling around, but Giel surprised him with a counter move.

"I put the kid on his back," Giel laughed as he recalled the event. "Coach [Bob] Grandizio saw what happened and asked if I would join the coaching staff. I worked as a volunteer assistant that year, then as a full-time assistant the following year."


Baseball: O'Malley enjoying a strong season for Avonworth

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles Avonworth baseball player Chris O'Malley.

"There are a select few players in the WPIAL that teams would rather "pitch around" than let him do more serious damage.

One of those players is Avonworth's Chris O'Malley.

Entering his junior year, O'Malley decided to make a change in his on-field demeanor which resulted with him performing better on the field.

"There has been a huge upgrade from last year," O'Malley said. "I wasn't as mature and developed when I knew my teammates were looking to me to make a play last year.""



Track: Avonworth’s Baurle runs well at Butler

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Kenny Baurle made a name for himself Friday.

The Avonworth sophomore won the 400 and finished third in the 200 at the Butler Invitational.

In the 400, Baurle ran a 50.22 to beat Seneca Valley’s Bradley Banks, Fox Chapel’s Elias Graca and Kiski’s Ben Kinnamon.

In the 200, Baurle (23.20) finished behind West Mifflin’s Kevin Garbark and Kinnamon (22.79).