Basketball: Mars grad to coach Slippery Rock women

Written by Rick Davis on .

Rick Davis profiles Mars alum Bobby McGraw, recently named head women's basketball coach at Slippery Rock University.

"Bobby McGraw is a Butler County man through and through; he graduated from Mars Area High School, played basketball at Butler County Community College, works in the City of Butler and lives in Butler Township.

So when an opportunity to coach in Butler County presented itself, it was just like the commercial says ... priceless.

McGraw, 42, recently was named head women's basketball coach at Slippery Rock University, replacing Tanya Longo after Longo stepped down after four seasons to join her husband Phil, a former Rock offensive coordinator in football who accepted the same position at Sam Houston State in Texas."



Softball: Mars to challenge District 9 champion in PIAA playoffs

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Last season, Mars finished the year below .500 with a 9-10 record. The Planets reached the WPIAL playoffs but did not get out of the first round. Things are much different this season. Mars finds itself in the PIAA first round this time around. After an unlikely run to the WPIAL Class AAA final, the Planets are in the PIAA playoffs.

Saddled with a No. 11 seed in the WPIAL tournament, Mars sprung a 5-4 upset in eight innings over No. 6 Blackhawk in the WPIAL first round. Mars played cardiac kids once again in the WPIAL quarterfinals, this time knocking off No. 3 West Mifflin 1-0. Mars won its third consecutive one-run game in the WPIAL semifinals against No. 7 Elizabeth Forward, 7-6. The Planets run finally came to end at the hands of another Cinderella, No. 13 Thomas Jefferson. The Jaguars defeated Mars, 5-3, in the WPIAL final.

Now Mars turns its attention to the PIAA playoffs where it hopes to make another unexpected run. First up for the Planets is District 9 champion St. Mary's. The teams will meet in the PIAA first round on Monday at 3:30 p.m. at Brockway High School.


Tennis: Raymundo gives champ stiffest test

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

In his first PIAA Class AA singles tournament, Mars’ Josh Raymundo gave the eventual state champion his toughest match of the tournament.

Raymundo, squared off against Andre Fick of Wyomissing in the quarterfinals, and lost in a tiebreaker in the first set, 7-6 (8-6), before losing the second set, 6-2. It was the only time Fick was pushed to a tiebreaker in the whole tournament, as he didn’t lose a set on his way to the state title.

Fick also beat Raymundo, 6-4, 6-4, in the PIAA Class AA team tournament semifinals the week before.


Softball: Mars reaches title game after finding different ways to win

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

They have done it with defense at times and with offense at other times. Either way they have done it, it has translated into success and the No. 11 seeded Mars Planets are headed to the WPIAL Class AAA final for the second time in program history. In the first round Mars began its string of upsets with a 5-4 triumph against No. 6 Blackhawk (10-4). The win came in dramatic fashion as Blake Kitt singled home Jeanna Sybert in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Mars a walk-off win. In the WPIAL quarterfinals, Mars snuck past No. 3 West Mifflin (17-3) behind a four-hit shutout from Niki Schlegel. The Mars bats came back alive in the WPIAL semifinals. The Planets jumped out to a 7-0 lead against No. 7 Elizabeth Forward (14-7) before holding on for a 7-6 win. Kasey Jones and Kitt combined for five RBIs in the game.

Mars is back in the WPIAL final for the first time since capturing gold in 2006. Mars will play No. 13 Thomas Jefferson (14-6) in an unlikely matchup of double-digit seeds. The WPIAL Class AAA final will be held Thursday, May 29 at California University at 4:30 p.m.