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Mars 2015 Football Preview

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Coach Scott Heinauer has led the Planets to 13 playoff appearances in 14 years. The Planets have made seven consecutive postseason appearances since moving up to Class AAA. Mars tied for third place in the Greater Allegheny Conference title last season and finished with a 7-4 record after losing to Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

"Our goal every year is to win the conference," Heinauer said. "But it will not be easy in such a strong conference. Franklin Regional has to be considered the favorite. Gateway, Hampton, Knoch and Indiana also have a good group of kids back. The addition of Armstrong [merger of Kittanning and Ford City] should make the conference even stronger."

Six starters are back on offense, including tailbacks Isaiah Johnson (5-10, 180, Jr., RB-CB) and Eli Brooks (6-0, 190, Sr., RB-DB). Johnson rushed for 506 yards on 82 carries last season. Brooks missed half of the season with injury. Max Chizmar (6-3, 215, Jr., RB-LB) and Nate Rosswog (5-9, 150, Sr., RB) are also in the mix. Rosswog had 223 yards on 35 carries last year.

"We lost three running backs to injuries last season," Heinauer said. "We would have won the conference if it wasn't for the injury to Josh Schultheis. He had 71 in the first quarter of our first game when he got injured."

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Boys Basketball: Mars' Carmody a hot commodity

Written by Brad Everett on .

Robby Carmody has yet to begin his sophomore year, but the Mars basketball standout is already one of the most heavily recruited basketball players in the WPIAL.

Carmody, a 6-foot-4 guard, has become a hot name among Class of 2018 players this summer, and the heat continued to rise this weekend in Las Vegas, where Carmody and the Ohio Basketball Club competed in the Adidas Uprising AAU National Championships. Carmody had some big individual efforts, helped his team reach the Sweet 16, and picked up his third Division I scholarship offer.

The University of Cincinnati became the latest school to offer Carmody, joining a list that already included Duquesne and Penn State. Many other schools are already showing interest, including Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue, Dayton and Xavier.

This summer, Carmody played with the Ohio Basketball Club's U15 team, which won its group and finished 4-1 in Las Vegas. They were knocked out of the tournament by Team Rio National, a team based in New Jersey that has an enormous mount of Class of 2019 talent. Among their stars were Scottie Lewis -- considered one of the top players in his class nationally -- and Cole Anthony, son of former NBA player Greg Anthony. Carmody scored 26 points against Team Rio.

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2015 North Male Athlete of the Year - Mars' Ori Rinaman

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the North Xtra Male Athlete of the Year, Mars' Ori Rinaman.

"Ori Rinaman knew early on that, no matter what happened while playing football his senior year and no matter what kind of interest he received, he was steadfast that he would only run track collegiately at Shippensburg University.

That does not mean, though, that there might not be a pang or two of regret in retrospect for this recent Mars Area High School graduate.

"I'd say I'm glad I made the decision to run track because, now that it's summer and I'm starting to see football starting up again, it would have been harder to make that choice," Rinaman said. "I'm starting to miss it right now, being with my friends on the field, but I'm glad I made the decision to run track [only]."

Considering the success he had at both sports during his senior year, it would be easy to question the Post-Gazette North Xtra Male High School Athlete of the Year's decision to eschew playing football in college."

 

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Track: Mars senior closes in a rush

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles Mars hurdler Ori Rinaman.

2015 0529 Mars BTrack(Photo: Mars' Ori Rinaman heads to the finish line to win the Class AAA 110-meter high hurdles Saturday at the PIAA championships. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

"Endings can be bittersweet.

They're exciting and sad, a chance for a new beginning, but at the same time, the end of another.

For Mars Area High School senior Ori Rinaman, he finished his interscholastic athletic career as the PIAA Class AAA champion in the 110-meter high hurdles May 23 at Shippensburg University, but, by sheer coincidence, it won't be the last he sees of the Raiders' Seth Grove Stadium track. Rinaman will be running for the NCAA Division II school next school year in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

"He's got what it takes to be a champion and he deserves it," Mars track coach Larry Young said. "When you run your last track meet of your [high school] career and you're a state champion, that's pretty special.""

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Boys Tennis: Mars pair takes third

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Mars juniors Josh Raymundo and Aaron Gruber won the WPIAL Class AAA doubles title back in April.

But they had the third-highest finish of the three WPIAL state qualifiers at the PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament last weekend.

The Mars pair lost to Mt. Lebanon’s Charlie Strohl and Dane Bendel in three sets in the semifinals, but bounced back to beat Conestoga’s Steve Yang and Max Howarth in the consolation match to place third. North Allegheny’s Jared Isaacs and Richard Hoffman, who lost to Raymundo and Gruber in the WPIAL final, beat Strohl and Bendel in the state final.

Raymundo and Gruber started the tournament with two straight set wins, defeating Hershey’s Dante Falcucci and Jacob Jastrzebski in the first round and Upper Dublin’s Bryan Szayna and Brian Hampton in the quarterfinals.