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Baseball: Big season could be in store for Belle Vernon

Written by Brad Everett on .

A year after winning a section title, Belle Vernon slipped to third place a season ago.

The Leopards might have what it takes to reach the summit again this season.

Belle Vernon is off to a perfect start. The Leopards were 3-0 heading into Monday's Class AAA Section 4 opener against West Mifflin.

"Because of this team's attitude and work ethic, I think that this team can be in the hunt for the section title and/or a playoff berth," first-year coach Daryl Hixenbaugh said.

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Boys Basketball: South Feature Athlete - Belle Vernon's Jason Capco

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Jason Capco
School: Belle Vernon
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Guard

Background: Belle Vernon won't make the playoffs this season, but could still finish with a winning record. A big reason for that has been the play of Capco, a 6-foot-3 senior guard who is averaging a team-best 20.6 points per game. That's more than any other South area player.

Capco had a great two-game stretch in mid-January. He scored 29 points in an overtime win against Ringgold and followed that up with a career-high 36 in a loss to Class AAAA Section 4 leader Thomas Jefferson. As a junior, Capco averaged 15.8 points per game.

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Girls Basketball: South Feature Athlete - Belle Vernon's Kaitlyn Slagus

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Kaitlyn Slagus
School: Belle Vernon
Grade: 11
Sport: Girls Basketball
Position: Forward

Background Info: Kaitlyn is a three-year starter for the Leopards and is one of four captains on this year's team. Kaitlyn is averaging approximately 21.9 points, 16.1 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.5 assists a game. In a 53-44 victory over Serra Catholic, Kaitlyn had 21 points and 10 rebounds. She also had 26 points and 22 rebounds in a 56-50 victory over West Mifflin this past Monday. In Thursday's 41-38 victory over Thomas Jefferson, Kaitlyn scored 14 points -- 12 of them in the fourth quarter -- and secured 15 rebounds. In a 76-49 victory over Greensburg Salem on Dec. 16, Kaitlyn scored a school-record 38 points. Kaitlyn also competes in the shot put and the discus for the Leopards' girls track team. She's a member of the Interact Club, which is an organization that helps raise money for nonprofit organizations.

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Alumni Update: P.J. Tasser (Pitt)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

PITTSBURGH –University of Pittsburgh senior heavyweight P.J. Tasser has beenTasser PItt named ACC Wrestler of the Week, the conference announced this morning.

Tasser, a Belle Vernon graduate, takes home the honor after an exciting 3-1 overtime victory over No. 5 Oklahoma State’s Austin Marsden on Sunday. The award marks the first ACC honor for any Panther grappler.

The senior captain stepped to the mat with the match on the line and his team trailing 18-15 giving up nearly 50 pounds to No. 14 Austin Marsden but Tasser would not be denied when he capitalized on a double leg shot near the Pitt bench in the first sudden victory period of overtime to give him a 3-1 win and tie the match at 18-18, allowing the Panthers to win on criteria.

 

(photo courtesy of University of PIttsburgh)

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Wrestling: Young Belle Vernon coach eager for season to begin

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Ken Wunderley profiles the Belle Vernon wrestling team. Read his story below.

Belle Vernon Area's rookie wrestling coach, Tyler Nauman, is looking forward to seeing the Leopards in action for the first time.

His squad is entered in the Eastern Area Invitational, which begins Friday at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

"I've seen what my kids can do in practice and at a few scrimmages, but competing in a tournament is much different," said Nauman, who was a four-year starter at the University of Pittsburgh. "I'm excited to see what the kids can do."

Belle Vernon is one of 20 teams entered in the two-day, double-elimination tournament. The Leopards finished fourth in last year's team standings.