East Archives


Tennis: Ramesh, Hattangody lead Panthers

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Franklin Regional is in the thick of the playoff race in Class AAA Section 1, and the team’s top two players have played a big role in the team’s success.

Sophomore Rochen Ramesh plays No. 1 singles, and he qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA tournament this season by finishing third in the section tournament. He lost in the semifinals to Penn-Trafford’s Cullen Price, but beat Kiski’s Tyler Paunovich, a WPIAL qualifier in 2013, in three sets in the consolation final. Ramesh lost to two-time WPIAL champion Adam Blasinsky, 10-2, in the first round of the WPIAL tournament.

At No. 2 singles, the Panthers have senior Rohan Hattangady. Hattangady, who played No. 1 singles last season for Franklin Regional, advanced to the quarterfinals of the section tournament this season, losing to Paunovich, 11-10 (7-1). He’s been the section’s best No. 2 player this season.



Tennis: East Feature Athlete — Central Catholic’s Adam Blasinsky

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Adam Blasinsky
School: Central Catholic
Grade: 12
Sport: Tennis

Background: Blasinsky won his second consecutive WPIAL Class AAA championship last week, defeating Latrobe’s Chad Kissell, 6-2, 7-5, in the championship. Blasinsky, who also finished third his at WPIALs during his sophomore season, will move on to the state tournament in Hershey May 23-24. Last season, he finished second at the PIAA tournament, losing to North Penn’s Mike Bauxbaum in straight sets. Bauxbaum has since graduated.

Central Catholic coach Rick Capretta: “I was thinking [during the WPIAL final] how versatile he is. He can play any style of tennis — if you want to bang with him or you want to finesse him.”


Baseball: Penn-Trafford contending for section title

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles the Penn-Trafford baseball team.

2014 0417 PennTrafford Baseball(Photo: Hempfield's Joey DeFloria slides home with a run despite the efforts of Penn-Trafford catcher Scott Koscho. That was one of the few low points for the Warriors as they dispatched the Spartans, 13-2, last Friday in a Section 2-AAAA victory. Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

"It seems as though everyone from Pittsburgh knows something about the 1979 Pirates, even if they hadn't been born by then.

The team that came to be identified as the "We Are Family" group showed why it was tagged with that slogan after winning the franchise's fifth World Series title and second in the decade of the 1970s.

That wasn't the only local historic baseball moment in the Pittsburgh area. That was the first year that Ron Evans began his long and illustrious career with the Penn-Trafford High School baseball program.

"This is my 26th year as head coach at Penn-Trafford," Evans said. "I have been there all my [adult] life. I was an assistant for nine years before that. I have been involved with the program since 1979. I just retired from teaching last year. I taught at Penn-Trafford for 36 years.""


Softball: After fast beginning, Gateway scrambles

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Gateway softball team.

2014 0417 Gateway Softball(Photo: Senior left-hander Kim Mignogna provides a veteran presence in the field for the Gators. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"His team's slow starts in games had first-year Gateway softball coach Andy Popajas worried; the way they closed games though, had him anything but concerned.

Gateway overcame slow starts to blast its first three opponents of the season, Penn Hills, Oakland Catholic and Allderdice. The three section wins allowed the Gators to vault to the top of the Class AAAA Section 2 standings. Losses to Plum and McKeesport last week dropped them to third in the section standings, however.

In those first three section victories, Gateway did not once reach the seventh inning, activating the 10-run mercy rule in all three wins.

"I was a little concerned, the bats didn't really roll in the early innings," Popajas said. "We seemed to struggle in the early innings and then all of a sudden we caught fire after the third inning and that was it. Things started happening.""


Track: Central Catholic senior targets titles

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles Central Catholic track standout David Henderson.

"David Henderson's dream since he was 8 years old was to run track in college.

Earlier this month, that dream became a reality.

Henderson, a senior at Central Catholic, committed to Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia on April 3, joining former Vikings teammate Torey Doaty, who is a freshman for the Hawks track team.

"First of all, they have great academics for what I want to study -- biology," said Henderson, who lives in Stanton Heights. "Also, my former teammate goes there and when I went to visit, I talked to him and he told me a lot of things about the program that I wanted to hear.""



Track: Greensburg Salem's McQuaide raising the bar for competitors

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brad Everett profiles Greensburg Salem track standout Courtney McQuaide.

2014 0417 GreensburgSalem GTrack(Photo: Greensburg Salem's Courtney McQuaide competes in the pole vault at the Butler Invitational Friday afternoon. She set a meet record with a vault of 11 feet, 10 inches. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Greensburg Salem's Courtney McQuaide was in eighth grade when she decided she wanted to go out for the track team.

The only problem was that her parents didn't want her to.

McQuaide had been a recreational gymnast since she was 2 years old -- and still is to this day -- and mom and dad felt that adding another sport might be too much.

But that didn't dissuade McQuaide, who, much to her parents' chagrin, took it upon herself to sign up for the Golden Lions track team anyway. Soon after, McQuaide was introduced to pole vaulting coach Jeremy Lenzi, who suggested McQuaide try the pole vault because of her strength and background as a gymnast."


Boys Tennis: Latrobe junior earns PIAA berth

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles Latrobe tennis player Chad Kissell.

2014 0417 Latrobe BTennis(Photo: Latrobe's Chad Kissell returns a shot against Central Catholic's Adam Blasinsky in the WPIAL tournament. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"A three-sport athlete, Greater Latrobe junior Chad Kissell didn't play as much tennis in the offseason during his freshman and sophomore years as many of the other top players in the area because he was concentrating on golf or basketball.

But this past year, he made a concerted effort to focus on tennis, even while participating in his other two sports. The added work has paid off.

Kissell finished second last week at the WPIAL Class AAA singles tournament to qualify for the PIAA tournament May 23-24 in Hershey.

"Last year, I wasn't quite focused on tennis," said Kissell, who lives in the Hostetter section of Unity Township."


Alumni Update - Nicole Sleith (Robert Morris)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Fairfield, Conn. – The Robert Morris University softball team cruised to a win in the opening game of itsSleith RMU Northeast Conference (NEC) doubleheader against Sacred Heart and jumped out to a lead in the nightcap, but the Colonials were unable to hold on and complete the sweep on a mostly sunny Sunday afternoon at Pioneer Park.


RMU won the opener, 5-1, before dropping the nightcap, 4-3.


Junior Nicole Sleith spun a beauty in the opener as she earned the complete game win in the circle. The Yough graduate allowed just five hits and one unearned run while striking out four without walking or hitting a batter. Sleith, who is undefeated in her last six starts, was incredibly efficient as she threw 55 of her 74 pitches for strikes.


(photo courtesy of Robert Morris University)


Alumni Update - Samantha Johnson (Geneva)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Beaver Falls, Pa. Geneva improved to 7-1 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play thanks in great part toJohnson Geneva the strong right arm of sophomore Samantha Johnson. In the first game, Johnson pitched nine shutout innings as the Golden Tornadoes were forced to go extra innings to defeat St. Vincent 2-0.

In the second, a five-run fourth inning took the pressure off and Johnson pitched the first five shutout innings of a 7-0 win. For the day, the Franklin Regional graduate pitched 14 innings, allowed nine hits and allowed just one runner to reach as far as third base.


(photo courtesy of Geneva College)


Alumni Update - Sarah Rebitch (Saint Vincent)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Sarah Rebitch, a Greensburg Salem graduate, won the annual Saint Vincent Invitational at the GlengarryRebitch SVC Golf Links by five strokes with an 84, which helped the Bearcats win the team title of the six competing teams. On Saturday at Westminster, she finished second overall with an 88, six strokes off the lead.

Her performance earned her PAC Women’s Golfer of the Week.


(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)


Alumni Update - Alyssa Bates (Gannon)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Returning to action with less than a 24-hour turnaround, the Gannon softballBates Gannon team earned a road-split with Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opponent Slippery Rock Sunday at the SRU Softball Complex.

Despite earning a 2-0 win over The Rock in game one, the Lady Knights saw their six-game win streak come to an end with a 3-2 loss in the nightcap. The Lady Knights are now 14-12 overall and 7-5 in PSAC play, while The Rock moved to 12-15 on the season and 8-6 in conference action.

Alyssan Bates, a Hempfield graduate, went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored off her first home run of the season.


(photo courtesy of Gannon University)


Alumni Update - Connor Furwa (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Waynesburg University baseball team traveled to Thomas More onFurwa Waynesburg Sunday for the third-and-deciding game of a weekend series with the Saints. The Yellow Jackets struck first, but couldn't make the lead stand up, as Thomas More, the number-two team in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, nipped the fourth-ranked Jackets 9-8.


Sophomore Connor Furwa got the start on the mound and logged five innings in a no-decision. The Latrobe graduate, allowed seven runs, five of which were earned, on 10 hits and a walk.


(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)


Alumni Update: Chansler Poole (Saint Vincent)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Chansler Poole’s 1,500 time (3:49.22) in the Invitational division of last weekend’s Bucknell OutdoorPoole SVC 101013 Classic is the top time in the league and currently ranks third among all Division III competitors.

The Penn-Trafford graduate, also helped the Bearcats’ winning 4x800 relay (7:46.25) establish a new school record while posting Division III’s third-fastest time in the event this season.

His performance earned him PAC Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week.


(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)


Alumni Update - Brandon Gelet (Thiel)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

ERIE, Pa. – The Thiel Tomcats suffered a 17-5 non-conference loss on the road Monday to the Penn StateGelet Thiel Behrend Lions in a contest shortened to eight innings due to rain.


Brandon Gelet, a Yough graduate, led the Tomcats at the plate with a 2-for-2 performance, recording a triple and a run scored.


(photo courtesy of Thiel College)


Track: Gateway's Nicholson has a record-breaking effort

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Last Saturday was a day of record breaking for Gateway senior Montae Nicholson.

Nicholson earned gold and the rights to stadium records in both the 110 hurdles and long jump at the Wildcat Invitational at Latrobe Stadium. He ran a 14.26 in the 110 hurdles to take the record from former Latrobe standout Jeff Elam (14.76).

If that wasn't good enough, Nicholson went on to break the long jump record held by former Washington star Brian Davis by leaping a distance of 24-0.5. Davis held the record of 23-9.25 since 1984. He also broke the meet record (23-2.25) set by Penn Hills' Richard Rouse in 2011.


Track: East Feature Athlete - Peyton Deri, Norwin

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Name: Peyton Deri
School: Norwin
Grade: 10
Sport: Track
Events: Triple jump, long jump, high jump, 400, 1,600 relay and 300 hurdles

Background Info: Deri placed in the top 10 in two events at the Wildcat Invitational at Latrobe Memorial Stadium last Saturday. He placed seventh in the high jump (5-6) and fifth in the triple jump (42-8), which was a personal best. He continues to be one of the most improved athletes for Norwin this year. Deri also plays football and basketball.


Track: East Feature Athlete - Maddy Mueseler, Latrobe

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Name: Maddy Mueseler
School: Latrobe
Grade: 11
Sport: Track
Events: 100 hurdles, 300 hudles, 100, 200 and 3,200 relay.

Background Info: Mueseler placed second in the 300 hurdles (46.24) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.33) at the Lady Spartan Invitational last Saturday. She was a part of both the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams that placed in the top five. Mueseler placed third in the 300 hurdles (45.49) and was part of the first place 1,600 relay team at the 2013 WPIAL Class AAA championships. Mueseler also competes on the soccer and indoor track and field teams.


Track: Led by Holmberg, Hempfield girls claim Lady Spartan Invitational title

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Maddie Holmberg played a large part in Hempfield's team success on Saturday at the 23rd Annual Lady Spartan Track and Field Invitational.

The junior won individual medals in the long jump and the 100 and 300 hurdles. She set a meet record of 44.80 in the 300 hurdles and ran on the record-breaking 1,600 relay team.

Bridget Guy, Lauren George and Jasmine Jones completed the relay team.

Holmberg's medal rack earned her the MVP title and assisted in her team's first-place finish.

Hempfield also won the 400 and 3,200 relay events.


Baseball: Bats coming alive for Central Catholic

Written by Brad Everett on .

Central Catholic has a strong pitching staff led by senior right-hander Grant Gustic, but it's been the team's offense that has led to a recent surge.

After scoring a total of 17 runs in splitting its first four games, Central Catholic has won two straight by producing 24 runs. The Vikings won at Gateway, 12-5, last Thursday, and then won at Hempfield, 12-8, on Saturday. Those wins moved the Vikings to 4-2 overall, 1-1 in Class AAAA Section 3.

The non-section triumph against Hempfield was likely Gateway's most significant win of the season. Just like Central Catholic, Hempfield is expected to make a run at the WPIAL title. Senior Alex Baretta was the star for Central Catholic that day, as his grand slam served as the biggest hit of the game.