Wrestling: Thin but talented lineup gives Shaler a shot to end drought

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Shaler wrestling team. Read his story below.

The Shaler Area wrestling team opened the season with a respectable 3-2 record at the Hampton Dawg Duals, held Dec. 5-6, but the Titans record does not tell the whole story.

Shaler opened the one-day tournament with a 42-34 win against Mount Pleasant, then posted a 39-28 upset of Hempfield Area in the second round. After a earning a bye in round three, the Titans dominated Ligonier Valley, 57-18, to up its record to 3-0.

"Ligonier Valley had only seven wrestlers, but in three of the bouts we had a starter go down with an injury," Shaler coach Drew D'Agostino said. "I had to sit all three for the next two matches."

To make matters worse, Shaler suffered a fourth injury in its next match against Hampton.


Girls Basketball: Shaler hopes to bounce back from loss to North Allegheny

Written by Joe Koch on .

After a heart-stopping 33-32 victory over preseason No. 1 Penn-Trafford in the Norwin tournament on Dec. 6, Shaler absorbed its first loss with a 62-42 setback to Section 3-AAAA rival North Allegheny this past Friday.

The Titans got right back on the floor with a non-section 48-39 at home against No. 8 Penn Hills before hosting Butler at 7:30 p.m. today.

After trailing 22-8 about 90 seconds into the second quarter, Shaler rallied to cut the deficit to 34-27 on a putback by Andi Lydon with 5:43 left in the third quarter. But after North Allegheny coach Sherri McConnell called a timeout, the Tigers gradually took control.

"NA's an excellent team," said Shaler coach Neal Martin. "They bring a lot of pressure, but I was proud of the way our girls battled back in the second half. We have some experienced players, and we also have some players that are learning on the fly. This will only make us better as we move forward, because (North Allegheny) is a pretty good barometer of what you are going to see in this section and any kind of playoff run we hope to make. We know where we need to get better; it's just a matter of us worrying about ourselves right now."


Cross Country: Shaler's Schwartz finishes 18th in prestigious race

Written by Mary Albl on .

Mary Albl reports that Shaler standout Brianna Schwartz finished 18th overall at Saturday's Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego.

"SAN DIEGO -- After winning the Northeast Foot Locker Cross Country Regionals two weeks ago, it was hard for Shaler's Brianna Schwartz to hide her disappointment Saturday.

Racing in her second consecutive Foot Locker Championships in San Diego, Schwartz battled a tough, fast-paced field to place 18th overall in a time of 18 minutes, 19 seconds at Morley Field in Balboa Park.

"I think I started off pretty conservatively, which was what I wanted to do, but I got caught up too much in the pack," Schwartz said. "It was hard trying to pass as many people as I wanted to."

It was a fast start that saw Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka, Ind., win in 17:13 on the difficult 5,000-meter course."



Hockey: North Feature Athlete – Shaler’s Alex Ficorilli

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Name: Alex Ficorilli
School: Shaler
Grade: 11
Sport: Hockey

Background: Ficorilli plays center and defense for the Titans, and is an assistant captain for the team. He entered Wednesday tied for the Class AA lead in goals with 19 and second in points with 30. He has five hat tricks on the season, including one in each of his past three games. He plays amateur hockey for the Butler Valley Dawgs.

Shaler coach Tim Bosack: “He’s a born leader – he keeps everyone in line on the ice. He has also has one of the best shots I’ve seen at the high school level, especially his backhand.”


Shaler girls take it to next level

Written by Brian Batko on .

Brian Batko reports that a large amount of Shaler girls recently signed letters of intent with Division I schools.

"Girl power is alive and well in Shaler Area athletics.

While some of the boys teams have struggled the past few years, the female Titans have shined and now have the paperwork to show for it.

Six senior girls in four sports at Shaler signed letters of intent this month to continue their careers at Division I colleges: Annie Bozzo (Syracuse volleyball), Steph Fleming (Saint Francis, Pa., lacrosse), Lizzie Kline (Connecticut volleyball), Andi Lydon (Central Connecticut State basketball), Shannon Lynch (Albany lacrosse) and Brianna Schwartz (Colorado cross country, track and field).

"I'd like to know what was in the water 18, 17, 16 years ago," athletic director Paul Holzshu joked, adding that this is "unprecedented" in his experience."