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The Final Post - Sports Town will cease operations in October

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Below is a message from Sports Town Editor Ken Wunderley.

In 2010, Tri-State Sports & News Service and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette teamed up to form the Sports Town web site. Sports Town provided excellent coverage of all high school sports for 6 1/2 years.

We were fortunate to have McDonald's as our sponsor during a six-year run, but the corporation has decided to end its sponsorship.

After an unsuccessful three-month search for a new sponsor, the Sports Town web site will cease operations in the near future.

The web site will be shut down at the end of October, so feel free to go back and find any posts or photos that you would like to save.

I would like to thank all the writers and photographers who contributed to Sports Town, especially writer Brad Everett (my right-hand man) and photographer Marilyn Schwilm. The full list of writers and photographers who have contributed over the years are listed below.

I also would like to thank McDonald's, for its six years of sponsorship, along with the many high school coaches, athletes, and fans who visited our site. Your support is greatly appreciated.

And lastly, I would like to thank Post-Gazette Executive Editor David Shribman, for giving me the opportunity to head up Sports Town, and Post-Gazette Assistant Managing Editor Matt Kennedy, for all his help with creating the web site and overseeing its operations.

I am currently working on a WPIAL and PIAA history site. My hope is to find a sponsor and unveil the site on Oct. 1. I will keep everybody updated on my progress.

Sports Town Alumni:

Writers
Chris Adamski
William P. Allmann Sr.
Keith Barnes
Stephen Catanese
Justin Criado
John D'Abruzzo
Brad Everett
Brittany Goncar
Joe Greiner
Drew Karpen
Joseph M. Koch
John Perrotto
Ryan Riordan
Nicholas Tolomeo
Ken Wunderley

Photographers
Marc Billett
Cara De Carlo
Marsha Green
J.J. LaBella
Jim Nagle
Matt Kruth
Dean Longwell
Lynda Scahill
Marilyn Schwilm
Susan Wentzel

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Football: It's the year of the lineman this season

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White takes a look at who the WPIAL's top linemen are this season.

"Like a senior class in high school, a senior class of talent in WPIAL/City League football can take on a personality. Some years, it might be above average for major-college talent, while other years it might be mediocre or below average. A class can be loaded at one position.

The class of 2018 lays it on the line.

The WPIAL senior class is heavy with heavy guys, er, linemen. So far, 15 seniors from the WPIAL have made verbal commitments to FBS schools. Ten of those 15 are linemen, and some of them were heavily recruited. One of the biggest is 6-foot-5, 310-pound Blake Zubovic. Two of the best are Thomas Jefferson's Devin Danielson and Butler's Jake Kradel.

Thomas Jefferson has two linemen committed to Pitt — defensive tackle Danielson and defensive end Noah Palmer."

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Football: Blue Chip Chat with New Castle's Marcus Hooker

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White has today's Blue Chip Chat with New Castle's Marcus Hooker.

"MARCUS HOOKER

New Castle

DATA

Position: RB-DB

Height: 6-0

Weight: 197

Year: Senior

THE SCOOP

Moved from receiver to running back late in season and helped lead New Castle to the WPIAL Class 4A championship game. A varsity member since freshman season, Hooker will move from cornerback-linebacker to free safety this year on defense. Also excellent basketball player with more than 1,000 career points. Younger brother of Malik Hooker, the Indianapolis Colts' first-round pick in the 2017 draft."

 

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Football: High school football participation dropped again in 2016

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White reports that high school football participation dropped again in 2016.

"It has been well-documented how fewer boys are playing football across the country in recent years. At the high school level, the number of boy players has dropped in five of the past six years.

But the biggest drop during that time came last year.

The National Federation of State High School Associations released its annual sports participation survey recently, and it showed almost 26,000 fewer boys played 11-man high school football in 2016 than the previous year (some states have 6- and 8-player football).

It should be noted that football still has the most boy participants than any other sport, by far, with a little more than one million playing 11-man football, almost 500,000 more than the second-most popular sport of track and field. Overall, participation in all sports — boys and girls — increased for the 27th consecutive year in the U.S."

 

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Softball: Five WPIAL athletes named among state's best players

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White reports that several WPIAL softball players were recognized as some of the best in the state.

"When it came to the best high school softball players in Pennsylvania this past season, many of them were on fields in the WPIAL.

At least that's what the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association says. The PHSSBCA has released its all-state teams and players of the year in different classifications for the 2017 season. Five players from the WPIAL were named player of the year, including twin sisters from one team.

Hempfield pitcher Morgan Ryan was selected the overall Pennsylvania Player of the Year, regardless of classification. In June, Ryan, a Notre Dame recruit, also was selected the Post-Gazette Player of the Year for the third time.

The other players of the year from the WPIAL were: Belle Vernon pitcher Bailey Parshall (Class 4A), South Park third baseman Kaitlyn Pavlik (Class 3A) and West Greene twin sisters Madison Lampe, a third baseman, and McKenna Lampe, a center fielder, who were named 1A co-players of the year."