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Inside the Lines: Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti

Written by Craig Meyer on .

In this week's Inside the Lines, Craig Meyer profiles Gateway athletic director Randy Rovesti.

"October this year hasn't been all that different than it has been for the past quarter-century or so for Randy Rovesti.

His life has been engulfed by football, but when you work in high school athletics in Western Pennsylvania, that has a tendency to happen.

For roughly the past 25 years, Rovesti has been a member of the WPIAL's football committee, a position that has allowed him to help seed playoff teams and create brackets in the four classifications.

This year, though, there has been one small difference -- he's now the committee chairman."

 

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Photo Journal: Field Hockey WPIAL AA Championship - Ellis vs Shady Side Acad. (Oct. 28)

Written by Marilyn Schwilm on .

The WPIAL AA & AAA Championships were held Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 at North Allegheny High School.  In the AA match Shady Side Academy faced Ellis.  THe only goal of the game was scored by Ellis who defeated Shady Side Academy 1-0.

Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service

Image-9499183-226980081-2-WebLarge 0 76b284e670a48f436723ee92aedc14d9 1

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Hockey: Vikings off to slow start

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Central Catholic is off to a rough start to the 2014-15 season.

Before tying Mt. Lebanon on Tuesday, the Vikings were one of three teams, along with Pine-Richland and State College, which had yet to record a point in the newly revamped PIHL Class AAA Division. In the tie against the Blue Devils, Ryan Kingerski scored two goals eight second apart in the first minute to stake Central Catholic (0-3-1) to a quick 2-0 lead, but the Vikings needed an unassisted goal by Noah Urben late in the third period to even send the game to overtime.

Part of the problem for Central Catholic has been its penchant for penalties. The Vikings are the most penalized team in Class AAA, averaging 22.8 minutes per game and, even though they did not allow a power-play goal to Mt. Lebanon, they expended a lot of energy which inevitably contributed to the tying goal.

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Hockey: Franklin Regional atop conference

Written by Keith Barnes on .

 

Franklin Regional got off to a hot start this season with wins it its first two games and a perch atop the Tier 2 Eastern Conference.

Now, the Panthers are still in first place, but they’re no longer among the unbeaten after a disappointing 6-2 loss at home to Tier 2 Western Conference leading South Park. Things won’t get any easier either as they travel to Kirk S. Nevin Ice Arena tonight for a game against Hempfield (4-1-0), which also got off to a hot start on the year.

Franklin Regional has gotten solid performances from its front-line players in the early going as forward Dakota McIntyre leads the team with five goals and seven points. Zachary Bearley has also contributed with three goals and five points, but there is an offensive drop-off after as only two other players, Jamie Mauro and Kyle Novak, have scored at least two goals.

One way the Panthers are staying in games is through their defense as the goaltending tandem of Nicholas Paone and Mike Gershenzon has been fairly reliable in the pipes.

 

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Girls Tennis: Kluska sisters start PIAA quest

Written by Justin Criado on .

 

The PIAA announced the official singles pairings for the PIAA Class AA singles tournament Tuesday, which means the sisters Alyvia and Michaela Kluska of Greensburg Central Catholic now know where they stand. 

Senior Alyvia will face Anya Plotnikova of South Williamsport at 12 p.m. in the first round Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club, while sophomore Michaela takes on Emma Lipschutz of Masterman. 

Michaela and Alyvia faced off in this year's WPIAL singles championship, playing to a 2-2 tie before Michaela defaulted to her older sibling. 

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Brad Everett's East High School Football Notebook (Oct. 30, 2014)

Written by Brad Everett on .

Here's this week's edition of Brad Everett's East High School Football Notebook.

"When filling out your WPIAL playoff bracket, you would be wise to pick at least one East Xtra team to make it to the Class AAAA final.

It's happened 14 out of the past 15 years, and a deep talent pool of big-school talent has it looking like that trend will continue.

The fight for the Class AAAA title highlights what should be an interesting postseason for East teams.

Twelve teams from the area will take part in this year's playoffs: (Class AAAA) Penn-Trafford, McKeesport, Plum, Norwin, Central Catholic, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills. (AAA) Franklin Regional, Gateway. (AA) Mount Pleasant. (A) Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic."

 

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Football: Gateway weathers storm, reaches playoffs

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Gateway football team.

"The story of Gateway's football season under first-year coach Tom Nola could conceivably have been written by Charles Dickens.

It has been the best of times and the worst of times for the 2014 Gators. Despite coming off an 8-3 season in 2013 where Gateway gave eventual state runner-up Central Catholic all it could handle in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals. The Gators, despite dropping to Class AAA, started this season 0-3 before rebounding to make the postseason with a 4-5 overall record, 4-4 in the Greater Allegheny Conference.

That was good enough to clinch a WPIAL playoff berth. The Gators will play at Ringgold (8-1, 7-1), the runner-up of the Big Nine Conference, at 7:30 p.m. Friday."

 

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Football: Batts leads Jeannette to playoffs

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles Jeannette quarterback Julian Batts.

2014 1030 Jeannette Football(Photo: Jeannette quarterback Julian Batts has worked hard to improve all aspects of his game, especially his passing. Connor Mulvaney/Post-Gazette)

"Good players have the ability to stand alone on pure athletic ability. Great players have the ability to continue to work to perfect their craft.

That is what Jeannette senior quarterback Julian Batts has done in all four years as a Jayhawk.

"He is a perfectionist," Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. "He is his hardest critic. He is on himself even on a completed pass if it isn't where he wants it to be.

"No matter how well he may play, he still feels there is more room for improvement. He doesn't have an ego at all. He is the first one to encourage his teammates.""

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Football: Penn Hills focuses on success

Written by Marky Billson on .

Marky Billson profiles the Penn Hills football team.

2014 1030 PennHills Football(Photo: Penn Hills quarterback Bill Kisner, shown running the ball against Central Valley, led Penn Hills in rushing in the regular season. Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)

"By virtue of their 22-15 victory at Woodland Hills on Friday, the Penn Hills Indians clinched the top seed out of the Southeastern Conference with a 6-1 record, 7-2 overall.

Afterward, both players and coaches spoke of the team's commitment to success and desire for recognition as the reason for the Indians' first conference title since 2008, but another factor seems to be even more evident -- intensity.

The Indians will play Plum (5-4, 5-3), the fourth-place team out of the Foothills Conference, at home Friday at 7:30 p.m.

While high spirits would seem to be the norm under such a circumstance of success, it seems coach John Peterman's attitude is somewhat infectious with the Indians; have high energy, preach fundamentals, and have a Jim Valvano-like resolve to never give up."

 

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Football: East Top Games - WPIAL Playoffs: First Round (2014)

Written by Brad Everett on .

Here's a look at three of the top games involving East teams in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

North Hills (6-3) at Woodland Hills (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. – Two of the top programs in Class AAAA get together for this first-round game. Woodland Hills, the No. 6 seed, finished second in the Southeastern Conference. North Hills, the No. 11 seed, placed fourth in the Northern Eight Conference. Woodland Hills hopes to make it to the championship game for the third year in a row. The Wolverines had their sights set on a top-four seed, but a loss last week to Penn Hills extinguished those hopes. The only other loss the Wolverines have endured was an overtime defeat at West Allegheny on Oct. 10. Miles Sanders is one of the top running backs in the WPIAL. Sanders, a Penn State recruit, has rushed for 1,010 yards and 15 touchdowns. North Hills finished behind Pine-Richland, Central Catholic and North Allegheny in what was arguably the best conference in the WPIAL. Jake Bruder has passed for more than 800 yards and eight touchdowns. The Indians average 22.6 points per game and give up 15.6, while the Wolverines score 35.9 per game and allow 13. The Indians are looking for their first playoff win since 2010. The winner plays the winner of No. 3 Central Catholic and No. 14 Norwin.

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Football: East Feature Athlete - Penn Hills' Billy Kisner

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Billy Kisner
High School: Penn Hills
Grade: 11
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback

Background: Kisner passed for two touchdowns and engineered a fourth-quarter scoring drive that was the difference in Penn Hills' 22-15 win at Woodland Hills last week. Kisner completed 3 of 5 passes for 71 yards and scoring passes to Christian Randall-Posey (41 yards) and Greg Hoolahan (19 yards). With the game tied, 15-15, in the fourth quarter, Kisner fueled a drive that was capped by Milan Smith's 3-yard touchdown run. Kisner hooked up with Hoolahan on an 11-yard pass-and-catch on a third-and-11 earlier in the drive. Kisner rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries and his 54-yard punt return set up the Indians' first touchdown.

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Football: 2014 East WPIAL Playoff Preview

Written by Brad Everett on .

When filling out your WPIAL playoff bracket, you would be wise to pick at least one East team to make it to the Class AAAA final.

It's happened 14 out of the past 15 years, and a deep talent pool of big-school talent has it looking like that trend will continue.

The fight for the Class AAAA title highlights what should be an interesting postseason for East teams.

Eleven teams from the area will take part in this year's playoffs: (Class AAAA) Penn-Trafford, Plum, Norwin, Central Catholic, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills. (AAA) Franklin Regional, Gateway. (AA) Mount Pleasant. (A) Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic.

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Football: East Week 9 Stat Leaders (2014)

Written by Brad Everett on .

Here are the leaders in rushing, passing and receiving among East area players in Week 9, as reported to the Post-Gazette.

Rushing (yards)
157 -- Jacob Ross, Franklin Regional
137 -- Deon Smith, East Allegheny
132 -- Miles Sanders, Woodland Hills
116 -- Devin Austin, Penn-Trafford
109 -- Lenny Grebeck, Greensburg Salem
108 -- Marcus Williams, Wilkinsburg
104 -- Trevor Salopek, Mount Pleasant
103 -- Rod Jones, East Allegheny

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Boys Soccer: East Feature Athlete - Winchester Thurston's Lucas Rosenblatt

Written by Stephen Catanese on .

Name: Lucas Rosenblatt
School: Winchester Thurston
Grade: 12
Sport: Soccer
Position: Midfielder

Background: Still undefeated at 18-0-1 and heading to the WPIAL final for the first time in school history, Class A No. 2 Winchester Thurston has continued to impress during a record-breaking campaign. One of the main reasons the Bears have found success is through the efforts of influential midfielder Lucas Rosenblatt.

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Girls Soccer: East Feature Athlete - Greensburg C.C.'s Bailey Cartwright

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Bailey Cartwright
High School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Grade: 10
Sport: Soccer
Position: Forward

Background: In terms of pressure, there was perhaps no player in the WPIAL with more of it on them this season than Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore forward Bailey Cartwright. Cartwright was the leading returning goal scorer on a team that graduated two of the greatest in WPIAL history - Frannie Crouse and Malea Fabean - and she was the coach's daughter. Her father Bryan Cartwright took over this year as head coach.

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Boys Soccer: Central Catholic to face Peters Township in WPIAL semifinals

Written by Stephen Catanese on .

The last time Central Catholic had a chance to capture a WPIAL Class AAA title, in 2010, it was Peters Township that defeated the Vikings in the final in overtime.

Now the Vikings face another Peters Township test in this year's WPIAL semifinals. The teams will meet up tonight at West Allegheny High School at 8 p.m.

Central Catholic (19-1) nearly finished the regular season undefeated before losing to Upper St. Clair in its regular-season finale. However, the Vikings haven't taken a wrong step in the postseason, dispatching a pair of dangerous low seeds in Kiski Area and Canon-McMillan.

The victory over Canon-McMillan marked the first time a team from Section 5-AAA was defeated prior to the semifinals since 2011.

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Boys Soccer: Winchester Thurston keeps making history

Written by Stephen Catanese on .

When Winchester Thurston knocked off Riverview, 1-0, last week, it marked the first time the Bears advanced beyond the WPIAL quarterfinals in school history.

Now the record-setting Bears are hoping to one-up that by reaching the WPIAL Class A finals. To do that, they'll have to get past Vincentian Academy. The teams are set to meet tonight at Mars High School. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

This marked the first year that Winchester Thurston (17-0-1) won a section title and finished the regular season with an undefeated record. The only team the Bears did not defeat this regular season was Allderdice, a playoff qualifier in Class AAA.

Perennial playoff qualifier Vincentian (17-2-1) defeated Bentworth and Our Lady of Sacred Heart in the first two rounds to reach the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 2005.

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Girls Soccer: Top-ranked Greensburg C.C. meets Mohawk in semifinals

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The top-ranked Greensburg Central Catholic girls soccer team is seeking a return to the WPIAL Class A championship game. Standing in the way of the Centurions (19-1) is Section 1-A champion Mohawk (14-2-1). The teams will meet Monday night at 6 p.m. at Canon-McMillan. No. 5 Mohawk has defeated No. 12 Vincentian, 4-0, in the first round and knocked off No. 4 Seton-LaSalle, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Mohawk will have to find a way to slow down the WPIAL's leading scorer, Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Bailey Cartwright. In an 8-2 first-round rout of No. 16 Chartiers-Houston, Cartwright had four goals. She had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over No. 8 Neshannock to reach the WPIAL semifinals. The winner of the game will advance to the WPIAL Class A championship game at Highmark Stadium to play the winner of Shady Side Academy/Freedom.