North Archives


Photo Journal: Field Hockey WPIAL AA Championship - Shady Side Acad. vs Ellis (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-9499183-226980160-2-WebLarge 0 b1d115b714ea24bed930caf2c56df160 1


Girls Tennis: Dua, Li looking for singles success

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

WPIAL players have won nine of the past 11 PIAA Class AAA singles titles, and Shady Side Academy’s Ananya Dua or North Allegheny’s Anna Li will try to make it 10 of 12.

Dua was the WPIAL champion, defeating Li in the semifinals. Li, who has lost to Dua in three of their four meetings this season, came back from the loss to Dua to take third in WPIALs. Both will begin their quest Friday at Hershey Racquet Club at 9 a.m.

Dua will take on District 3 third-place finisher Sammi Snyder of Exeter, while Li will face District 1 champion Mihaela Codreanu of Methacton. Codreanu was the PIAA singles runner-up last season, losing to Pine-Richland’s Marlys Bridgham in the final. 


Girls Tennis: North teams looking for state doubles titles

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Laurel Shymansky already has one PIAA Class AAA title. This weekend, she’ll try for No. 2.

Shymansky, a junior at Fox Chapel, won the 2013 state doubles title with Lacey Cohen and enters this season’s PIAA doubles tournament along with partner Amanda Nord as the District 7 top seed after the pair won the WPIAL title in October.

Shymansky and Nord, a freshman, will take on District 3 third-place finishers Julia and Rachel Sternberg of Central Dauphin in the first round of the state tournament Friday at 10:30 a.m.


Hockey: Despite key losses in personnel, Talbots stay strong

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Led by Zachary Kosick’s 41 points and Cam Raidna’s 13 wins and four shutouts, Hampton finished in the top five in the regular season in PIHL Class AA last season and advanced to the Penguins Cup semifinals before losing to Bishop Canevin.

Kosick and Raidna graduated, but the Talbots haven’t skipped a beat yet this season, remaining unbeaten (2-0-1) through three games.

Ethan Homitz, who was second on the team last season with 36 points, has started out hot this season. The Talbots forward has netted seven goals in just two games, including five in an 8-4 victory against a strong Armstrong squad.


Girls Tennis: Sewickley falls in state quarters

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Sewickley Academy, searching for its second state title, fell in the quarterfinals to Scranton Prep, 5-0.

The Panthers, who won the 2011 PIAA Class AA title, won their first WPIAL title since 2011 with a win over Indiana. Sewickley then defeated District 5 champion Bedford, 4-1, in the opening round before falling to Scranton.

Scranton went on to make it to the final, where it lost 5-0 to three-time defending champion Mercyhurst Prep.

Sewickley Academy’s 2011 title is the only state championship by a WPIAL team in Class AA. 


Hockey: With a new coach, Tigers remain title contenders

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Jim Black led the North Allegheny program to new heights in his eight years as coach, winning Penguins Cup and Pennsylvania Cup titles in 2007 and 2013.

But Black resigned prior to this season to take over the PIHL commissioner duties. In his place is Mike Bagnato, formerly the coach of rival Pine-Richland.

Bagnato, who took the Rams to the PIHL Class AA Penguins Cup final in 2013, has the Tigers playing well at the start of this season, as North Allegheny has won four of its five contests.


Girls Tennis: North Allegheny wins another title

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

North Allegheny’s girls tennis program had to wait five years in between its first and second state titles. The time in between the second and third titles was much shorter.

North Allegheny won its second consecutive PIAA Class AAA team championship Saturday, defeating Shady Side Academy, 3-1, at Hershey. The Tigers also won the 2008 state title.

North Allegheny won the WPIAL Class AAA title against Shady Side, 4-1, to enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed from District 7.


Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook (Oct. 30, 2014)

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Here's this week's edition of Craig Meyer's North High School Football Notebook.

"With the exception of a chosen few, dry spells are to be expected for most any high school football program.

Whether it's from the graduation of a successful class, a transition from one coach to another or something else entirely, almost no team can stay on top forever. Or at least they typically don't.

Unsuccessful runs are virtually inevitable, but the key variable is how long they last. For some, it's only a few games, like an adjustment period to get things figured out before moving forward.

For a school such as Shaler Area, though, it's something else entirely."



Football: Senior QB drives Fox Chapel to playoff spot

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles Fox Chapel quarterback Billy Urso.

"Competing in Class AAAA with a roster of about 36 players presents a team with many challenges.

Fourth-year coach Eric Ravotti relies on many of his players to play offense and defense.

One player who is not a two-way player is senior Billy Urso — he does plenty playing quarterback for the Foxes."



Football: Memo to playoff foes: Don't forget North Allegheny

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the North Allegheny football team.

"If it's ever possible for an Art Walker-coached North Allegheny team to enter the WPIAL playoffs "under the radar," this may be the year.

It was only two years ago that the Tigers were celebrating their third consecutive WPIAL Class AAAA title at Heinz Field.

But last year they were knocked out of the WPIAL playoffs in the quarterfinals. Teams started to forget about the Tigers.

Even more forgot about them when they were decimated by graduation after last season."



Football: Springdale works for respect

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles the Springdale football team.

"Springdale coach Dave Leasure and his Dynamo players still read newspapers.

This past August, when the annual preseason predictions were making the rounds, they read about how they were supposed to finish in the Class A Eastern Conference cellar, nowhere near the WPIAL playoffs.

"Sure we did. We have about five or six articles posted in our weight room with the preseason predictions and all the articles that didn't mention Springdale even though we've had a lot of success here since 2002," Leasure said. "The expectation on the outside was we were going to go 2-7 or 3-6 and start the downward spiral of Springdale football.""



Football: Shady Side senior makes his mark with fine speed

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Drew Karpen profiles Shady Side Academy football standout Louis Berry.

2014 1030 ShadySideAcademy Football(Photo: Shady Side Academy's Louis Berry has rushed for 1,062 yards this season. Matt Hafley/Post-Gazette)

"Very few high school athletes have the opportunity to play on a team coached by their own parent. That number dwindles when some parents say they don't want to coach their child because they know he or she can receive a better education at another school.

That is the case of Shady Side Academy senior tailback Louis "Manny" Berry IV. His dad is the head coach at University Prep in the city but Manny has been attending Shady Side since he was in sixth grade.

"My parents knew how good of a school Shady Side Academy was so they wanted me to stay," said Berry, a Stanton Heights resident. "It wasn't too tough of a decision."

After finishing the regular season 6-3 in the Allegheny Conference in Class AA, the Indians have qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. They will play at Mount Pleasant (7-2, 7-1), the Interstate Conference runner-up, at 7:30 p.m. Friday."


Cross Country: North runners prevail at WPIAL championships

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch reports that multiple athletes from the North area excelled at the WPIAL cross country championships.

2014 1030 QuakerValley BCrossCountry(Photo: Quaker Valley's Zach Skolnekovich won the WPIAL Class AA individual cross country championship last Thursday at Cooper's Lake Campground. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"The North Xtra area schools of the WPIAL had plenty of accomplishments at the WPIAL Cross Country Championships last Thursday at Cooper's Lake Campground in Butler County.

That included the record-shattering effort of Shaler Area's Brianna Schwartz in the Class AAA girls championships and the 10th consecutive Class AAA title won by the North Allegheny boys team. But there were plenty of other solid accomplishments that landed these runners in Saturday's team championships in Hershey.

Seneca, NA teams qualify

The Seneca Valley girls cross country team employed depth and youth to capture the WPIAL Class AAA team championship."


Golf: Beloved educator, coach Dede Rittman retires as North Allegheny boys coach

Written by Joe Koch on .

Dede Rittman thought for a moment and chuckled.

"I turn 62 next month and I've taught and coached for more than half of my life," said the longtime North Allegheny High boys golf coach.

Rittman now refers to both careers in the past tense. After retiring from teaching in 2011 to look after her husband Scott who subsequently died from colon cancer, Rittman continued to coach the Tigers' boys golf team for an additional three seasons.

Her last official act as coach was addressing her team and the players' parents and relatives at the golf team's banquet this past Tuesday night.


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

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

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

North Hills (6-3) at Woodland Hills (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. - North Hills will face quite the challenge in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. The Indians travel to Turtle Creek to face perennial-powerhouse Woodland Hills at the legendary Wolvarena. The Indians finished fourth in the Northern Eight Conference and enter the postseason winning just two of their last five games. North Hills looks to rebound following last week's 31-7 loss against nearby-rival North Allegheny. Kindhal Taylor scored the Indians' lone score with a 22-yard touchdown run. During the regular season, Taylor as well as quarterback Jake Bruder, running back Nick Santucci and receiver Andrew Bly were North Hills' top offensive playmakers. The Wolverines, who lost to Central Catholic during last year's championship game, enter the postseason after losing two of their last three games. Woodland Hills is coming off a 22-15 loss to Penn Hills. Star running back Willie Sanders rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns last week. Sanders rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns during the regular season. The Wolverines also have playmakers in quarterback Jeremiah Jones, receiver Art Thompkins and running back Jo-El Shaw. These two teams met in the first round two years ago. Woodland Hills won that game, 27-7.


Football: North Feature Athlete - Freeport's Andrew Romanchak

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Name: Andrew Romanchak
High School: Freeport
Grade: 12
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback

Background: A 6-foot-2, 190-pound veteran quarterback, Romanchak turned in an impressive individual performance during Freeport's regular-season finale last week against Valley. Besides completing 21 of 29 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns, Romanchak also rushed for 124 yards and another three scores in the 39-30 victory.


Football: Mars surprises Hampton

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Last week presented a must-win situation for the Mars football team. A win, and the Planets would be in the playoffs. A loss, and the Planets would have to pack up their equipment until next fall.

Mars (6-3), however, pulled off a stunner last Friday night on the road against rival Hampton. The Planets knocked off the then-undefeated No. 4 Talbots, 20-14 in overtime.

"Sometimes you have a little luck, but that's OK," Mars coach Scott Heinauer said. "We're excited. We knew if we won we were going to be in the playoffs. Our kids knew that and [making the playoffs] is what our kids wanted."

Running back Isaiah Johnson scored the game-winning touchdown on a five-yard run in overtime. Ori Rinaman scored a pair of touchdowns during regulation, while quarterback Jake Rosswog completed 7 of 14 passes for 131 yards. Rinaman rushed for 1,002 yards and scored a team-high 17 touchdowns during regular season. Rosswog enters the playoffs with 966 passing yards and 10 touchdowns.


Football: North Week 9 Stat Leaders (2014)

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

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

Rushing (yards)
174 -- Elijah Jackson, Highlands
126 -- Connor Slomka, Pine-Richland
124 -- Andrew Romanchak, Freeport
118 -- Nick Barto, Vincentian
110 -- Michael Pope, North Allegheny
108 -- P.J. Fulmore, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic
100 -- Dane Jackson, Quaker Valley


Alumni Update - Andy Borgen (Saint Vincent)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Andy Borgen put together his best performance of the season on Saturday, combining for five touchdowns (three rushing,Borgen SVC two passing) to lead the Bearcats to a thrilling 38-31 come-from-behind victory over Carnegie Mellon.

Borgen tossed an 86-yard touchdown pass to Dustin Lowman late in the third quarter to give the Bearcats their first lead of the contest, then connected with DJ Oceant-Kelly on the game-winning 16-yard touchdown in the fourth.

He finished the day 15-of-23 passing for 254 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 14 times for 58 yards and three scores.

The Pine-Richland graduate earned the PAC Offensive Player of the Week award.

(photo courtesy of Saint Vincent College)