Hockey: Preseason success not translating to regular-season victories for Rams

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Things are not getting better as the season wears on at Pine-Richland.


After winning the St. Margaret preseason tournament, the Rams have fallen on hard times. After their disappointing 1-0 loss to Upper St. Clairon Wednesday, they have sole possession of last place in Class AAA with a 1-7-0 record through eight games.


It’s not like Pine-Richland is getting blown out either. Its minus-11 goal differential speaks volumes about how close this team is to turning it around and making its way back into the postseason hunt.


The Rams will get their first opportunity to start moving up the rankson Mondaywhen they play at Butler (4-2-1), a 2014-15 Class AAA Penguins Cup finalist.


Varsity Xtra: Mark of greatness

Written by Mike White on .

In this week's Varsity Xtra cover story, Mike White profiles Pine-Richland standout Phil Jurkovec.

2015 1113 PineRichland Football(Photo: Quarterback Phil Jurkovec throws a pass during a Pine Richland football practice on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette)

"Phil Jurkovec was the "Human Highlight Film" before he took a snap in a high school football game.

A year ago, Jurkovec was the quarterback of Pine-Richland's ninth-grade team, and there was a highlight film of him on (Internet highlight site) of his countless impressive plays. The film was a huge hit with 11,861 views, a ridiculous amount for something showing plays of a 14-year-old in freshman games.

Jurkovec now plays with the big boys on Pine-Richland's varsity. They're in the process of making another movie about the kid.

Jurkovec is a 6-foot-4½, 190-pound sophomore quarterback for Pine-Richland, and the highlights keep coming. And when it comes to big-time quarterbacks out of Western Pennsylvania, Jurkovec might as well just step up and say "I got next." He already has a handful of scholarship offers from major colleges."


Football: Pine-Richland receivers putting up numbers

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Not too many underclassmen are having the type of football season like Pine-Richland's Phil Jurkovec. Despite being just the third quarterback in WPIAL history to pass for more than 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a season, the sophomore sensation is far from a one-man show.

Jurkovec has had a solid corps of wide receivers who have been hauling in his passes all year. Through 10 games, Pine-Richland (9-1) has five players with 20-or-more receptions and each are averaging more than 11 yards a catch.

Senior Brandon Humphrey leads the group with 400 yards and seven touchdowns on 21 catches. He's also been averaging a team-high 19 yards a reception. Sophomore Jordan Crawford has three touchdowns and 267 yards on 23 catches, while senior Saige Simpson has has collected 291 yards and two scores on 25 receptions. Seniors Anthony Battaglia and Thomas Jurkovec both have 20 catches and are each averaging 13 yards. Senior Joey Joy also has been chipping in with 231 yards and a score from his 16 catches.


Field Hockey: Pine-Richland looks forward to 2016

Written by Joe Koch on .

In the wake of a 7-0 loss to Section 2-AAA champion Fox Chapel in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals this past Wednesday, Pine-Richland coach Donna Stephenson took an upbeat tone after her team finished the season with an overall record of 10-4-2.

"Our girls played a good game," Stephenson said after the loss. "We're really proud of how far they came this season."

She praised the winning team's effort.

"Fox Chapel played hard, and they have a great chance of going far," she said. "We're happy to have had the opportunity to advance to the playoffs and get one more game in the season."


Cross Country: North Feature Athlete - Pine-Richland's Tessa Franchi

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Name: Tessa Franchi
School: Pine-Richland
Grade: 11
Sports: Cross-Country

Background: Tessa is a successful track athlete who qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA track championships the last two years while splitting time with her Cup soccer team. In this, her first season of cross country, Tessa has committed to running and has been Pine-Richland's lead runner in every race. She finished fourth at the SRU Mack Cooper Invitational Oct. 10 with a personal best time of 20:03 for the second-place Rams.