Football: Pine-Richland wins WPIAL Class AAAA title

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ben DiNucci threw for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, and ran for a third score to lead Pine-Richland to a 21-13 win against defending champion Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AAAA title game, Friday at Heinz Field.

Pine-Richland (13-0) was making its fifth appearance in a WPIAL title game and claimed its fourth title, first since 2003. Central Catholic (11-2) was making its seventh title appearance and placed second for the third time.

Pine-Richland broke a scoreless tie with a 6-yard pass from DiNuccci to Michael Merhaut with 10:24 left in the third quarter. The touchdown capped a 10-play, 76-yard drive.


Football: Pine-Richland's Slomka marches to his own beat

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles Pine-Richland running back Connor Slomka.

2014 1120 PineRichland Football(Photo: Pine-Richland's Connor Slomka, carrying against North Hills this season, has been a workhorse for the Rams offense. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

"Pine-Richland running back Connor Slomka is a man of his word.

When Army started recruiting him during his junior year, he wasn't sure about attending a service academy, but said if he did decide to go that route, Army would be his choice.

"The first time that Army came to my house, I promised them that if I went to a military school it would be Army," Slomka said. "There's not a chance I would be at Navy."

Slomka's Army allegiance goes deeper than just recruiting letters and chummy visits, though, because his father, Jim, was a defensive lineman for the Black Knights in the early 1990s and later served as the assistant athletic director."


Alumni Update - Gabrielle Olson (Clarion)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – It's a clean sweep of the four major PSAC West postseason awards for the PSAC West championOlson Clarion Clarion University women's volleyball team.


Thursday saw senior setter Laura Subject named the PSAC West Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, junior Libero Morgan Seybold named the Defensive Player of the Year, freshman middle hitter Gabrielle Olson named the Rookie of the Year and head coach Jennifer Mills named the Coach of the Year for the second straight season and for the third time in the last five years. The awards are voted on by the conference coaches.


Clarion, which has won back-to-back PSAC West titles, is the first PSAC school (West or East) to sweep all four major awards since the Defensive Player of the Year award was created in 2011, and it is the first PSAC West school to sweep all of the major award since IUP took home Coach of the Year, Athlete of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2002.


Olson, a Pine Richland graduate, has had an outstanding season ranking fifth in the PSAC in hitting percentage at .313 (252 kills, 72 errors, 575 attempts) and 18th in blocks with 0.82 per set while averaging 2.23 kills per set. 


(photo courtesy of Clarion University)


Football: Pine-Richland's DiNucci eclipses 6,000 career yards in blowout

Written by Post-Gazette on .

Phil Cmor covered Friday's WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game between Pine-Richland and Altoona.

"Ben DiNucci got the history out of the way quickly Friday, then went about working on his next goals.

DiNucci became the ninth passer in WPIAL history to surpass the 6,000-yard mark when he connected with Michael Merhaut on a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage and finished with 373 yards and three touchdowns in top-seeded Pine-Richland's 49-7 Class AAAA quarterfinal win against Altoona at Gateway.

DiNucci entered the game 6 yards shy of the milestone.

"It feels good that hard work is paying off," said DiNucci, who completed 16 of 24 passes despite having several dropped. "But that's a credit to everyone: my receivers, my line, my coaches, everyone that's told me what to do, showed me what to do, caught passes.""