South Archives


Football: Blue Chip Chat with Thomas Jefferson's Devin Danielson

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White has today's Blue Chip Chat with Thomas Jefferson's Devin Danielson.


Thomas Jefferson



Year: Senior

Height: 6-3

Weight: 285


Considered one of the best defensive linemen in WPIAL in recent years. Excellent quickness and good size has allowed him to dominate at times. One of few freshmen to start at Thomas Jefferson. Made Fabulous 22 and all-state as a junior. Has dropped 10-15 pounds since last year."



Hockey: Upper St. Clair sophomore named to U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles Upper St. Clair's Harrison Burgess, who was selected to the U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team.

"After learning he'd been selected to the 2017-18 U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team, 15-year-old Harrison Burgess played a trick on his mom, Michele.

"He said 'Before we go out tonight, we need to stop at the hockey store ... I need to get a new white helmet with the USA logo on it,'" Michele Burgess said.

A sophomore at Upper St. Clair, Burgess will be the youngest player and one of three new faces on the development team, which participates in its own events in addition to training with the national sled hockey team. Burgess, who has spina bifida, hopes to make the Paralympics team and compete in the 2022 Paralympics, which will be played after the Winter Games.

After watching a video of the Pittsburgh Mighty Penguins sled hockey team during intermission of a Penguins game, Burgess, age 8, decided to take to the ice. He started on the novice team, advanced to the junior level team and attended a six-day USA Hockey's sled hockey player development camp in July before being selected to the development team."


Girls Basketball: Bethel Park freshman picks up a Division I offer

Written by Brad Everett on .

Olivia Westphal has not yet started high school, but already has a Division I scholarship offer.

Westphal, who will be a freshman at Bethel Park this fall, picked up an offer from Duquesne earlier this week. Westphal is considered to be one of the WPIAL's top incoming freshmen. She plays for the Western PA Bruins AAU program.

It's not all uncommon anymore for colleges to offer scholarships to athletes before their high school careers begin. Duquesne has done it several times in recent years, most notably when it offered Blackhawk's Mackenzie Amalia when she was in seventh grade. Amalia will be a sophomore this year.


Football: Mt. Lebanon's Coco commits to Colgate

Written by Brad Everett on .

One of Mt. Lebanon's best football players decided on a college Saturday.

Coleman Coco committed to Colgate.

That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Coco, a senior defensive end and Mt. Lebanon's top returning tackler, picked the Patriot League school located in Central New York. Coco announced his decision on Twitter.


Boys Soccer: Soccer success is music to South Fayette coach's ears

Written by Jason Mackey on .

Jason Mackey profiles South Fayette boys soccer coach Rob Eldridge.

"The basement of Rob Eldridge's McDonald home provides a fascinating window into two very different worlds in which he excels.

At the center hangs a gigantic TV, perfect for playing video games and watching sports. Nearby there's a weight bench and workout area. Go left or right, and you'll see either Eldridge's home recording studio or his collection of albums and vintage sound equipment, both impressive.

Real life or metaphorically speaking, sports and music are never terribly far apart for Eldridge.

"It's important to have that balance in my life," said Eldridge, who has been the South Fayette boys soccer coach since 2007 and a professional musician for much of his adult life. "I'm sort of a restless person. I need to be doing things.""


Football: South Fayette's Plack-Tallerico commits to Delaware

Written by Brad Everett on .

South Fayette's Noah Plack-Tallerico was so good as a junior that he earned all-conference honors on both offense and defense.

With his senior season about a month away, the tight end/linebacker has decided where he will play in college. Plack-Tallerico committed to the University of Delaware on Thursday and announced his decision via Twitter.

"First off I would like to thank my family and coaches for pushing me to be the best that I can possibly be. It has been great to be able to visit all of the schools that I have. This process has been very exciting for me and I am thankful to all the coaches that have reached out to me. I'm truly blessed to have all the options that I have. This has been a dream come true. With that being said I am happy to announce that I will be committing to the UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE to continue my academic and athletic career!!! #GoBlueHens" -- @ntpt223

Plack-Tallerico was South Fayette's second-leading receiver his junior season when he finished with 35 receptions for 679 yards (19.4 yards per catch). He also tied for second on the team in touchdowns with 10. Plack-Tallerico helped South Fayette win the Class 4A Northwest Nine Conference title and finish 10-1.


Football: Trinity lineman commits to Akron

Written by Brad Everett on .

At 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, Ben Phillis is a big teenager who has a big presence on the football field.

On Wednesday, he made a big decision.

Phillis, a senior at Trinity, verbally committed to Akron. He took to Twitter to announce his decision.

"Beyond blessed to have been given this opportunity to play football at such a high level by the gift god has given me. Also, I would like to thank my family, friends, and coaches who have helped me out so much throughout this process. In addition, I would like to give a big thank you to all the coaches and colleges that have recruited me. With that said, I am verbally committed to the University of Akron to further continue my academic and athletic careers. #GoZips" -- @benphillis30


Boys Volleyball: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Bethel Park claimed its seventh consecutive Class AAA Section 1 title during the 2016-17 season. The Black Hawks have lost only three section matches during that stretch.

Bethel Park received a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed, then advanced to the WPIAL semifinals with a 3-1 win over Shaler. The Black Hawks dropped a 3-1 decision to defending WPIAL champion and eventual runner-up Penn-Trafford.

Bethel Park did earn a PIAA berth with a 14-25, 25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 15-13 win against Seneca Valley in the WPIAL consolation for third place. The Black Hawks also swept Erie McDowell 3-0 in the opening round of the PIAA Tournament.

In the PIAA quarterfinals, Bethel Park saw its season come to an end with a 3-0 loss to North Allegheny.

In Class AA, South Park claimed the Section 3 title with a 10-0 record. The Eagles lost in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.


Track: Peters Township grad finishes fifth in Peru

Written by Brad Everett on .

Whether it's in Peters Township or Peru, Nick Wolk shines on the track.

Wolk, a former WPIAL champion, competed Friday at the Pan Am Junior Championships in Trujillo, Peru. Wolk did very well, too, finishing fifth in the 5,000-meter run.

A rising sophomore at Pitt, Wolk finished the race in 14:59.88. The other Team USA runner, Alec Haines of Oklahoma State, was fourth with a time of 14:58.00. Carlos Hernandez Samaca of Colombia won in 14:53.93.

Wolk qualified for the meet by winning the title at the USATF Junior Championships last month in Sacramento. The top two finishers in each event qualified.


Boys Lacrosse: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Joe Koch on .

For the boys lacrosse programs at Peters Township and Mt. Lebanon high schools, the 2017 season revealed some telling moments.

For the Indians, the journey was a historic one as they fought their way into the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs and won their first WPIAL championship with a heart-stopping 12-11 double-overtime victory over Mt. Lebanon at Robert Morris University's Joe Walton Stadium.

The Indians' Danny Bacchiochi ended the epic battle between the two longtime rivals with a spinning shot from 15 yards out with 2:41 left in the second overtime.

Bacchiochi was pleased with what the victory meant for the Indians in both the short- and the long-term.


Girls Lacrosse: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Joe Koch on .

When the WPIAL Class 3A girls championship game was being played this past last May, a team that many suspected would be in the championship game found itself on the outside looking in.

That team was the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils.

One of the most solid teams in the WPIAL found its season at a end following a 16-12 loss to eventual champion Pine-Richland in the WPIAL semifinals.

That setback completed the Blue Devils' season at 15-3. Their other losses were a section setback to Peters Township, 10-9. That loss snapped a 13-game winning streak that began after Mt. Lebanon suffered a 14-4 loss to Langley, Va., in the season opener on March 25.


Boys Tennis: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Peters Township freshman Connor Bruce had an impressive debut.

Though highly rated coming into the year, he had not faced many of the top WPIAL players during his years competing in USTA tournaments.

He didn't waste any time making an impact.

Bruce led Peters Township into the WPIAL Class 3A team championships and, despite losing to Fox Chapel sophomore Robby Shymansky in what turned out to be the deciding match, he was ready to take on all comers in the WPIAL individual championships.


Boys Tennis: 2017 South Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys tennis players from the area's South zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2017 season.

2017 0513 UpperStClair BTennis(Photo: Upper St. Clair's Kevin Kwok, above, and Liam Gibbons won the WPIAL Class 3A boys tennis doubles championship over Hampton's Ted Donegan and Ben Ringeisen on Friday. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)


Boys Track & Field: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Brad Everett on .

With one attempt remaining, Upper St. Clair's Harvey Kane sat in fourth place in the long jump at the PIAA Class 3A championships.

Kane sure did make the most out of that final try.

Kane, a senior, jumped 23-0 ¼ to win the gold medal, the first by an Upper St. Clair athlete at the PIAA championships in 13 years. Kane, the runner-up at the WPIAL championships, also claimed a state title during the indoor season.

"For some reason, pressure helps me," Kane said. "I'm not sure what it is. I always jump well my last jump, too, for whatever reason. Both indoor and outdoor it was my final jump that won it."


Girls Track & Field: 2017 South Season Recap

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brenna Cavanaugh's junior season nearly ended with a flop.

Instead, it concluded with a state gold medal.

What a season -- particularly the final meet -- it was for Cavanaugh, a standout at Bentworth who won WPIAL Class 2A titles in the 100 hurdles and long jump. She also placed second in the 100 and fifth in the triple jump.

But it was at the PIAA championships where Cavanaugh leaped over her biggest hurdle. In a semifinal heat of the 100 hurdles, Cavanaugh held the lead until her foot clipped the final hurdle and she tumbled to the ground. She quickly got back onto her feet, but she didn't win or even finish in the top three. However, she did grab the last qualifying spot for the finals and made the most of it, winning the title despite running in Lane 8.


Boys Track & Field: 2017 South Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys track & field athletes from the area's South zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2017 season.

2017 0409 LaurelHighlands BTrack(Photo: Laurel Highlands' Sven Rabshal wins the high jump at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Invitational Saturday at West Mifflin High School. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)


Girls Track & Field: 2017 South Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature girls track & field athletes from the area's South zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2017 season.

2017 0526 CanonMcMillan GTrack(Photo: Chyna Beck, right, of Canon-McMillan is a WPIAL champ in the 100-meter hurdles, but will be a big underdog in the PIAA championships when she goes up against one of the country's best. Lake Fong/Post-Gazette)