Boys Basketball: North Feature Athlete - Pine-Richland's Phil Jurkovec

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Phil Jurkovec
School: Pine-Richland
Grade: 9
Sport: Boys Basketball
Position: Guard-forward

Background: Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 guard-forward, is arguably the top freshman in the WPIAL. Jurkovec has scored in double figures in every game, highlighted by a 23-point effort against Penn Hills when he made the winning basket with three seconds left in overtime. He's averaging 19 points per game. Pine-Richland is 6-1 overall and 1-1 in Class AAAA Section 3. The Rams host Central Catholic in a section game tonight.


Football: 2014 Post-Gazette Coach of the Year - Eric Kasperowicz

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White profiles the 2014 Post-Gazette Coach of the Year, Pine-Richland's Eric Kasperowicz.

"Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz likes to have his team participate in group activities away from football to promote chemistry and cohesion among the players. Earlier this year, the team had an outing at "Go Ape," a treetop adventure course in North Park.

On the field, Kasperowicz took the Rams on an adventure they hadn't seen before in WPIAL Class AAAA. Kasperowicz had Pine-Richland go crazy over winning.

Since moving up to Class AAAA in 2008, Pine-Richland had never won more than five games in a season. In only his second season as coach, Kasperowicz guided the Rams to a WPIAL Class AAAA championship and a runner-up finish in the PIAA.

It was certainly a memorable run for Pine-Richland, and for his efforts, Kasperowicz has been selected the Post-Gazette Coach of the Year. The award takes into consideration all WPIAL and City League coaches."



Football: Pine-Richland's comeback falls short

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the Pine-Richland football team.

"Phrases such as "Instant Classic" are often bandied about when it comes to great high school, college and professional football games. Sometimes, that term is a little overblown.

But in the case of St. Joseph's Prep's 49-41 victory against Pine-Richland in the PIAA Class AAAA championship game last Saturday night at Hersheypark Stadium, the term is warranted.

"We showed what a team should look like," Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz said. "We felt that if there was any time on the clock, we had a chance to win the game. Twenty years from now, these guys will know [this game] was a loss, but they'll remember they got so much from this game. They know that if you work hard, things will happen."

Trailing 42-21 with 9:25 remaining in the game, the Rams embarked upon a furious comeback that culminated in three touchdown passes from Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year Ben DiNucci to Antonio Battaglia from 4 yards out and successive touchdown passes from DiNucci to D'ondre Gastion from 23 yards and 31 yards, respectively."



Football: Pine-Richland suffers loss in PIAA final

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White covered Saturday's PIAA Class AAAA championship between Pine-Richland and St. Joseph's Prep.

2014 1214 PineRichland Football(Photo: Pine Richland's D'ondre Gastion carries for a touchdown against St. Joseph Prep in the PIAA class AAAA championship at Hersheypark Stadium Saturday. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"HERSHEY, Pa. — The previous time Pine-Richland had played at Hersheypark Stadium, the Rams were involved in what was considered one of the greatest games in PIAA championship history.

This one might deserve to go in the same class. But unfortunately for Pine-Richland, the result was the same.

The Rams came close to pulling off the greatest comeback in PIAA championship history Saturday night, but came up short, losing to St. Joseph's Prep of Philadelphia, 49-41.

A handful of PIAA championship records were broken in the game. So was Pine-Richland's winning streak as the Rams finished 15-1. The Rams were trying to win their first PIAA title after losing to Manheim Central, 39-38, in double overtime in 2003 on a snow-covered field. Pine-Richland lost because of a missed extra point in the second overtime."


Swimming: Pine-Richland grad transferring to Pitt

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Dominic Giordano enjoyed great success in diving around the Pittsburgh area. Now after a year diving at Florida State University, the former Pine-Richland graduate is coming home to dive at the University of Pittsburgh. Giordano is part of the Pitt 2014-15 recruiting class. At Pine-Richland, Giordano was a four-time All-American diving, capturing two WPIAL championships and one state title. Not only is Giordano returning home, but he will come back to dive for his former coach at Pitt Aquatic Club, Julian Krug. Giordano will have three years of eligibility remaining for the Panthers.

In his most recent national competition, the 2014 USA Diving AT&T Senior National Diving Championships last summer, Giordano placed fourth overall on platform and 20th from 3-meters. Collegiately, Giordano earned a ninth place finish as a Seminole at the USA Winter Diving Nationals last December.