Football: Carrigan takes winding, difficult road to be 'big' addition for Pine-Richland

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Pine-Richland tight end Grant Carrigan.

"In a whirlwind 11 months, Grant Carrigan has been enrolled in three high schools, resided in three states and encountered countless classmates.

All the while, this 6-foot-7, 250-pound senior at Pine-Richland High School who committed to Pitt Thursday has served as an indispensable support system to his father, Richard, who is battling leukemia.

"Grant had to make a change geographically, and that's not always an easy thing to do," said Richard Carrigan, a reserve basketball player at Pitt under Roy Chipman and later Paul Evans from 1984-88. "But for him and me to spend time together, it was a great experience. He's been a great help."

Dad and son moved from Las Vegas to Weirton last September so Richard could be closer to his doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he underwent chemotherapy treatments. Then, last month, the entire Carrigan family moved from Vegas to Wexford. Grant enrolled at Pine-Richland in July."


Football: Blue Chip Chat - Pine-Richland's Phil Jurkovec

Written by Mike White on .

In today's Blue Chip Chat, Mike White profiles Pine-Richland's Phil Jurkovec.

Name: Phil Jurkovec
School: Pine-Richland
Year: Junior
Height: 6-5
Weight: 200
Pos: QB

Jurkovec appears to be "Up Next" in Western Pennsylvania's rich tradition of producing talented quarterbacks. Scouting services rank him among the top 10 quarterbacks in the country in the junior class. ranks him the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback. Jurkovec has good size and is very athletic. A year ago, he became only the second quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season (including playoffs). He finished 176 of 264 passing for 2,560 yards and 20 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,250 yards on 130 carries. Jurkovec also was a starter on Pine-Richland's WPIAL championship basketball team.



Baseball: 2016 Minor League Update - Vinny Nittoli (Pine-Richland)

Written by John Perrotto on .

Vinny Nittoli pitched so well early in the season in the Seattle Mariners' farm system that the right-handed reliever received a promotion.

The Pine-Richland High School graduate was moved up to high Class A Bakersfield in the California League on May 12. That came after he went 1-0 with three saves and a 2.13 ERA in nine games with low Class A Clinton in the Midwest League.

Nittoli, 25, also has three saves for Bakersfield in 14 games to go with a 2-2 record and 4.88 ERA. He has given up 24 hits in 23 innings with 30 strikeouts and 10 walks.

The Mariners chose Nittoli in the 25th round of the 2014 amateur draft from Xavier University. In three pro seasons, he has compiled a 4-4 record with seven saves and a 3.91 ERA in 42 relief appearances.


Baseball: 2016 Minor League Update - Blake Lalli (Pine-Richland)

Written by John Perrotto on .

Blake Lalli is having a rough season in the minor leagues as he attempts to return to the major leagues for the first time since 2013.

The Pine-Richland graduate is hitting just .194 with one home run and 17 RBIs in 63 games for the Atlanta Braves' Class AAA Gwinnett farm club in the International League. The 33-year-old catcher has a .236 on-base percentage, a .245 slugging percentage, seven doubles, 10 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Lalli played in a combined 22 major league games with the Chicago Cubs (2012) and Milwaukee Brewers (2013), hitting .128 with four RBIs. In 11 minor league seasons, he has a .284 batting average, 59 homers and four stolen bases in 98 games.

Lalli overcome steep odds to reach the major leagues as he went undrafted following his senior season at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., in 2006. The Cubs signed him as a free agent and he eventually made it to the big leagues six years later.


2016 Post-Gazette Female Athlete of the Year - Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin

Written by Brian Batko on .

Brian Batko profiles the Post-Gazette's Female Athlete of the Year, Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin.

"Whether on the basketball court or soccer field, Jodi Chmielewski can just tell when Amanda Kalin is about to shift into another gear.

"You can see it in her eyes when she's going to take over a game," said Chmielewski, Pine-Richland High School's soccer coach. "I think that's a rare quality that you see in those elite athletes."

Kalin has taken over enough games in her two-sport career at Pine-Richland to make her the Post-Gazette Female High School Athlete of the Year for the 2015-16 school year and impress those who matter most. Division I scholarship offers in soccer gave way to Division I offers in basketball, and now her college future is set before she even enters her senior season. Kalin takes the Post-Gazette's top individual award for this past high school season after consideration of all WPIAL and City League standouts.

"I feel honored," Kalin said as she took a few minutes to relax from a busy summer including club soccer and AAU basketball tournaments. "These are the kind of things that you work really hard for and now you finally see your hard work pay off. It's amazing to see.""