Deer Lakes 2015 Football Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

Steve Sciullo is a former NFL offensive lineman who is in his second season as coach at Deer Lakes. It just so happens that the strength of Sciullo's team appears to be its offensive line. And, boy, it sure is a super-sized one.

Deer Lakes boasts one of the biggest groups of linemen in Class AA. In fact, there probably aren't many Class AAAA teams much bigger. The starters — from left to right — are Brandon Zilavy (6-2, 290, Sr.), Nathan Morrissey (6-2, 290, Sr.), Geoffrey Matthews (6-0, 330, Sr.), Billy Palmiere (5-11, 275, Jr.) and Cody Edwards (6-2, 245, Sr.). Also in the mix are Mark Brenner (6-2, 245, Sr.) and Dan Cervone (5-11, 290, Sr.).

"We have a lot of size, and we have seven linemen with starting experience," Sciullo said.


Hockey: Deer Lakes is forced to drop varsity program

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Deer Lakes hockey team.

"Deer Lakes finished with the second-best record in PIHL Class A hockey last season and made it to the Penguins Cup semifinals for the first time in the program's history.

As it turns out, it will be the last time the Lancers make it that far for the foreseeable future.

Because of a lack of turnout, Deer Lakes, which finished the regular season 16-5-1 and won the Tier 1 Eastern Conference, will not field a varsity team for the 2015-16 season. Because of the PIHL's annual realignment, none of the four teams that made it to the Class A semifinals, the Lancers, Quaker Valley, Mars and Hempfield, will take the ice in that classification.

"It's kind of frustrating and a little disheartening and it's kind of dysfunctional and I'm not real happy right now," Deer Lakes coach Todd Luniewski said. "We need to recruit young players and bring them through and that's what needs to happen.""



Softball: Mistakes cost Deer Lakes in final

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Deer Lakes softball team.

"Deer Lakes could not have imagined itself to be in a better position than it was in the PIAA Class AA softball championship game.

Not only did the Lancers have a one-run lead in the bottom of the fourth inning against District 2 champion Holy Redeemer, they had a first-team all-state pitcher on the rubber in Seton Hill recruit Tiffany Edwards, a defense that had played almost flawlessly throughout the season and, to top it off, an offense that had proven it can score nearly at will.

Then the bottom fell out.

Deer Lakes (24-2) uncharacteristically made several mistakes, with a wild pitch, an error, a passed ball and a couple of mental mistakes that allowed the Royals to post a five-run rally that chased Edwards and helped Holy Redeemer to a 10-5 victory at Penn State University's Beard Field."



Softball: Errors erase Deer Lakes' title hopes

Written by Megan Ryan on .

Megan Ryan covered Friday's PIAA Class AA championship between Deer Lakes and Holy Redeemer.

2015 0613 DeerLakes Softball(Photo: Deer Lakes' Maureen Hutchinson (33) holds the ball aloft after making a diving catch on a ball hit by Holy Redeemer's Maria Taliani in the 2nd inning in the PIAA Class AA Championship June 12 in State College Pa. Craig Houtz/Special to the Post-Gazette)

"UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Deer Lakes knew heading into the PIAA Class AA title game it was pretty evenly matched with District 2 champion Holy Redeemer. Both teams' talented offenses were on display early, with Deer Lakes holding a slim one-run lead into the fourth inning.

But the Lancers found themselves on the wrong side of the deciding factor when two similar teams face off — mistakes.

Deer Lakes committed five errors to Holy Redeemer's two, allowing the Royals (23-1) to take home their first PIAA Class AA softball championship, 10-5, against the Lancers (24-2) Friday at Penn State. The Lancers missed on what would have been their first title. This was both teams' first trip to the final.

"The only way we'll lose a game is errors," senior shortstop Katie Gozzard said. "They have the same style as us. We're both offensive machines, and defense, we're solid. Playing a team like that, you're going to make mistakes. It's just being able to overcome that.""


Softball: Deer Lakes comes through in clutch, makes title game

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Deer Lakes softball team.

2015 0612 DeerLakes Softball(Photo: Deer Lakes' Tiffany Edwards delivers against Marion Center during the PIAA softball playoffs at Fox Chapel High School. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

"There have been very few times this season that the Deer Lakes softball team's offense has been tested.

In fact, since returning from a season-opening visit to Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Lancers had outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 229-31 in their previous 20 games before taking on Cambridge Springs in the PIAA Class AA semifinals on Tuesday at Slippery Rock.

But with their back figuratively to the wall for the first time all season and faced with elimination, the Lancers showed they can not only score runs at will, they can manufacture them at need.

Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Rachel Tallini doubled in pinch-runner Danielle Huffman to tie the score and send it to extra innings."