South Archives


Hockey: Indians rally to remain unbeaten

Written by Keith Barnes on .

It’s going to take a lot more than a 16-day layoff to sweep Peters Township out of the ranks of the unbeaten.


After falling behind second-place Seneca Valley (5-4-0), 2-1, after two periods, the Indians came up with a three-spot in the third period to pull out a 4-2 victory and remain the only unbeaten team (5-0-3) in Class AAA.


Ross Opeka tied the game at2:49of the third period, then Zachery Gielarowski scored what turned out to the game-winning goal on the power play with2:34remaining in regulation. Jake Shopes added an insurance goal at 16:04 and goaltender Caden Shell, one of the best statistical netminders in Class AAA, made it stand up as he made 35 saves in the game.


Peters Township gets another eight days off before it plays Bethel Park on Thursday.


Hockey: Black Hawks looking to bounce back from latest loss against first-place Peters

Written by Keith Barnes on .

For most of the early part of the season, Bethel Park has been sitting near the middle of the pack in Class AAA, waiting for the time to make a move up the standings.


That time begins next week.


On Thursday, the Black Hawks (4-3-1) will take on first place Peters Township (5-0-3) in the first of their two meetings this season and will have an opportunity to end the longest unbeaten streak in the classification.


Bethel Park is coming off a 4-1 loss to North Allegheny on Monday as Evan Oakley scored the only goal for the Black Hawks on a power play at 15:24 of the second period.


Hockey: South Feature Athlete – South Fayette junior Jordan Timmons

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Jordan Timmons

School: South Fayette

Grade: 11

Sport: Hockey


Background: Was named to the PIHL Class A all-star team last season as a sophomore as he led the team with 31 goals and 43 points despite playing only 13 of 22 games. Has only played three games for the Lions so far this year but has made the most of them with 11 goals and 15 points, which leads the team. His 11 goals place him in a tie for eighth in Class A, while his 5.0 points per game places him second in the classification among players with at least three games played.


Football: Thomas Jefferson reaches WPIAL championship

Written by Brad Everett on .

One loss broke a lengthy conference winning streak. The next snapped an even lengthier home winning streak.

Thomas Jefferson's 0-2 start seems like it happened ages ago.

After reeling off 10 consecutive wins, Thomas Jefferson will play for a WPIAL title for the first time in seven years. The sixth-seeded Jaguars (10-2) will face top-seed and defending champion Central Valley in the Class AAA final Saturday at Heinz Field at 8 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson has been excellent since beginning the season with losses to Ringgold and Belle Vernon. The Jaguars have won all of their games by double digits, the most recent being a 34-21 semifinal victory against Franklin Regional. Quinton Hill rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Hill has rushed for 627 yards and six touchdowns in the playoffs to increase his season totals to 1,451 yards and 23 touchdowns.


Football: South Fayette's Hayes singing better tune

Written by staff reports on .

Last year during the WPIAL Class AA Championship game, there were tweets across social media about Hunter Hayes, the country singer, the same time there were tweets about Hunter Hayes, the South Fayette running back.

Again, there could be some question about which Hunter Hayes is having a better year. Hayes, the singer, was named Favorite Male Country Artist at the People's Choice Awards but was also nominated for four other awards he didn't win. Hayes, the South Fayette running back, still hasn't lost.

South Fayette is again undefeated and playing Aliquippa for the third straight time in the WPIAL championship game. This year, Hayes has rushed for almost 1,350 yards and scored 21 touchdowns and, last week, he rushed for 124 yards and a pair of scores and returned a fumble for another score in the Lions' 27-19 win over Steel Valley.



Football: Championship game familiar territory for Clairton

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Heinz Field pretty much has become a second home to Clairton's football team.

The defending Class A champion Bears (12-0) return to the North Shore to face Eastern Conference-rival Jeannette (11-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday in the WPIAL Class A championship game. Root Sports will televise the contest live.

Clairton has won seven WPIAL titles in the past nine years and 11 in program history. This weekend also marks the 20th time the Bears have competed for a district championship. Clairton, which also won a PIAA Class A title last year, has won 28 consecutive games and hasn't suffered a loss since losing to Sto-Rox in the 2013 WPIAL semifinals.

Saturday morning's contest also is a rematch of Week 6, when the undefeated Bears earned a 56-29 win over the Jayhawks. That was the most points allowed against Clairton, which is outscoring opponents by an average of 59.0-8.6. The Bears have scored 70 points or more four times this season.


Girls Volleyball: An emotional ride for Bishop Canevin

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Bishop Canevin girls volleyball team. Read his story below.

2015 1125 BishopCanevin GVolleyball(Photo: Members of the Bishop Canevin girls volleyball team celebrate their victory in the PIAA Class A championship. Marilyn Schwilm/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

It was an emotional weekend for the Bishop Canevin girls volleyball team and coach Kevin Walters for more than the obvious reason.

On Saturday, the Crusaders became the first team in school history to win a PIAA title with a 3-0 sweep of District 5 champion North Star in the Class A final at Johnstown Richland High School.

But it was also a time to reflect for Walters and his year-long battle with mantle cell lymphoma. Walters spent most of the 2014 season on the sideline. Chemotherapy treatments kept Walters from attending practices, but he was able to coach in most of the matches. The Crusaders finished second in the WPIAL and advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals.

Walters returned this season in a full-time capacity after winning his battle with cancer and led the Crusaders to their most memorable season, winning WPIAL and PIAA titles.


Girls Soccer: Upper St. Clair joins elite company

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Upper St. Clair girls soccer team.

2015 1125 UpperStClair GSoccer(Photo: Members of the Upper St. Clair team celebrate their 2-1 victory against Central Bucks East in the PIAA Class AAA girls championship Saturday in Hershey, Pa. Bradley C. Bower/For the Post-Gazette)

"The WPIAL Class AAA girls soccer teams that have won state championships since the turn of the century are household names.

There was the Peters Township three-peat from 2010-12 with Veronica Latsko under Pat Vereb. And before the Indians it was Pine-Richland in 2005 with World Cup hero Meghan Klingenberg under coach Jodi Chmielowski.

Now you can add the 2015 Upper St. Clair Panthers with seniors Emma Hasco, Maddy Rocks and Bri Murgi along with five freshmen starters and coach Dave Gray.

"Being in the conversation with those Peter Township teams and going back to those Pine-Richland teams, it is very special," Gray said. "Now someday people will mention this team with Emma Hasco, that is a big deal. We understand the company we are in right now and how special of a team this is.""



Boys Soccer: South Park unable to shake nerves in PIAA final

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the South Park boys soccer team.

"South Park coach Jon Cantwell has enough experience in the PIAA Class AA finals to have picked up a sixth sense to know when something about his Eagles is even the slightest bit off.

And though it might not have sent a prickle up the back of his spine before South Park kicked off against Lewisburg Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium, he certainly wasn't as confident as he had been in other years.

"We looked nervous and looked like we were in Hershey's stadium," Cantwell said. "They looked like they might have been playing in any field in Lewisburg."

In the end, whether it was nerves or that the District 4 champions were just that much better than South Park (22-2-1), the Eagles dropped a 3-0 decision to the Patriots and kept them without a state title since winning the second of their back-to-back championships in 2005-06. No WPIAL team has won the PIAA Class AA crown since Hampton in 2010 and South Park is now 2-2 all time in the finals."



Football: Team-first attitude is key to Thomas Jefferson standout back's success

Written by Megan Ryan on .

Megan Ryan profiles Thomas Jefferson football player Quinton Hill.

2015 1125 ThomasJefferson Football(Photo: Running back Quinton Hill of Thomas Jefferson rushes in the first half against West Allegheny on Nov. 13. Justin K. Aller/For the Post-Gazette)

"Quinton Hill has racked up 1,449 yards and 23 touchdowns so far this season, averaging 9.2 yards per carry.

But mention this statistic to Thomas Jefferson's junior running back, and he'll be quick to defer — the credit goes to the offensive line, fullback Braden Pahanish, almost anyone but the man himself.

That team-first attitude was a product of the storied powerhouse — now playing Central Valley in the Class AAA WPIAL championship 8 p.m. Saturday at Heinz Field — shockingly losing its opening two games of the season.

"After we lost those first two games, we got together ... and everybody individually stated, 'Look, here's what I need to do to make this team better,'" Jaguars coach Bill Cherpak said. "And everything we've done since then has been the team, the team, the team."


Football: Clairton senior is a two-way threat

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles Clairton football player Aaron Mathews.

"For two of his four years, Aaron Mathews has been the quarterback of one of the most dynamic offenses in the WPIAL.

In the other two, 2012 and 2014, he was a huge outside target on WPIAL Class A championship teams for Clairton quarterbacks Armani Ford and Ryan Williams.

Next season, when the Clairton senior takes his skill set to the collegiate ranks, it's pretty much a lock that he won't be the one delivering passes downfield. He'll be the one racing through the defensive backfield to catch them.

"I like them both, but I think I like playing wide receiver better," Mathews said. "I like being the playmaker.""



Alumni Update - Pete Coughlin (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Washington & Jefferson football team closed out the 2015 campaign and sent its seniorsCoughlin WJ out in style with a 45-23 win over Waynesburg.

With the victory, the Presidents end the season with an 8-2 overall record and 6-2 mark in the Presidents' Athletic Conference. It marks the 32nd consecutive winning season for the program, dating back to 1984. After the eight wins in 2015, W&J has won at least eight games in 28 seasons during the streak.

Pete Coughlin, an Upper St. Clair graduate, passed for 370 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-26.

For Coughlin, it marked the 11th time over 300 yards in his career. Three of his top four passing yard totals have come during his four-game streak of 300-plus yard games. He ends his junior campaign with career numbers of 6,869 yards (ninth in PAC history) and 60 touchdowns (eighth all-time in the conference. 


(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson College)


Girls Volleyball: WPIAL champ Baldwin loses in semifinals

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles the Baldwin girls volleyball team. Read his story below.

The Baldwin High School girls volleyball team found out the hard way that a good start doesn't guarantee a victory. Especially when you're facing a team that has been to the PIAA finals five years in a row.

The Fighting Highlanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Tuesday's PIAA Class AAA semifinal match against Landisville Hempfield, but came up short in the final three sets, thus ending their hopes of playing in Saturday's title match.

"It's so frustrating to see the girls get that far and fall short," Baldwin coach Chris Kelly said. "They deserved a better fate."

Baldwin opened the match with a 28-26 victory, then followed with a 26-24 win in the second set.


Football: South Fayette, Steel Valley focus on task at hand

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes previews Friday's WPIAL Class AA semifinal between South Fayette and Steel Valley.

2015 1120 SouthFayette Football(Photo: Hunter Hayes and South Fayette will need to focus all their attention on Steel Valley. Justin K. Aller/For the Post-Gazette)

"There aren't many times when a WPIAL Class AA semifinal, with a trip to Heinz Field for the title game on the line, can be considered a trap game.

Then again, few teams can honestly say they're in the unique position where top-seeded South Fayette (11-0) finds itself heading into its game against No. 4 Steel Valley (10-1) at 7:30 p.m. today at Peters Township.

Not only is South Fayette the two-time defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champion, the team has already gone on the road to Campbell Field on Oct. 9 and hammered Steel Valley, 37-0, in a showdown for first place in the Century Conference. And, if all goes according to the seeding, the Lions will have a date with No. 2 Aliquippa (11-0) in the final for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in the past six.

Now it's up to the Lions coaches to make sure the players don't see a win against Steel Valley as a foregone conclusion."


Football: McKeesport's season ends in overtime

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles the McKeesport football team.

"McKeesport Area's hopes for an extended run in the WPIAL Class AAAA football playoffs seemed all too real as the Tigers held a 32-21 lead with 1:56 left in the third quarter of their quarterfinal game with Penn-Trafford this past Friday night at Gateway.

McKeesport even held a 32-24 lead with 4:11 left in regulation after a Warriors field goal.

But a turnover on downs, and a late Penn-Trafford touchdown extended the game into overtime and the Warriors took a 39-32 lead in the extra period when quarterback Brett Laffoon hit Tim Vecchio on a fourth-and-21 play for the winning score.

McKeesport was unable to move the ball on its overtime possession, and the Tigers' season came to an end with an overall record of 9-2. Both of their losses came against Foothills Conference rival Penn-Trafford."


Football: Outstanding season ends for Belle Vernon

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles the Belle Vernon football team.

"There were a lot of firsts for the Belle Vernon football team this season.

It was the debut of the Leopards' newly installed gold turf field, they finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in 15 years and won their first postseason game since that 2000 campaign when they lost to West Allegheny in the last WPIAL Class AAA championship game played at Three Rivers Stadium.

In the end, though, a season of firsts ended the same way it did a year ago ... with a loss to Franklin Regional in the WPIAL playoffs.

"I think the team exceeded a lot of their expectations even though I knew that we had a chance to be pretty competitive this year," Belle Vernon second-year coach Mark Humbert said. "I don't think I forecast an undefeated regular season, but I did think that we'd compete for a conference championship and I think that, at any level, to go undefeated in the regular season is such a tough thing to do.""


Hockey: Only suspension can slow down Serra Catholic standout

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Keith Barnes profiles Serra Catholic hockey standout Roman Kraemer.

2015 1120 Serra Hockey(Photo: Justin Hummert and the rest of his Serra Catholic teammates will need to step up in the absence of leading scorer Roman Kraemer. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

"A year ago, Roman Kraemer decided to move to the Boston area to improve his hockey skills and maybe get a look from a top tier junior team or two.

When his season was over, though, he had a choice. He could have stayed in Massachusetts or return to Pittsburgh to finish high school with his graduating class at Serra Catholic.

He chose the latter, and the Eagles hockey program has been the early beneficiary.

Through Serra Catholic's first five games, Kraemer scored a whopping 24 goals and chipped in 10 assists for 34 points, an average of 4.8 goals and 6.8 points per game. With him in the lineup, the Eagles opened the season 4-1-0 and scored 50 goals."


Wrestling: Coach forced to step down at Mt. Lebanon

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley reports on the Mt. Lebanon coaching situation. Read his story below.

2015 1120 MtLebanon Wrestling(Photo: Mt. Lebanon wrestling coach Bill Lewis, left, is stepping down and turning the program over to his assistant coach Marc Allemang, right. Ken Wunderley/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

The last thing Bill Lewis wanted to do was step down as Mt. Lebanon's head wrestling coach. Unfortunately, he didn't have a choice.

Lewis, a coach at Mt. Lebanon for 21 years, was forced to step down due to a rare medical condition.

"About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed by my neurologist as having a rare movement disorder that affects my nervous system called orthostatic tremors," Lewis said. "Essentially I have a rapid tremor in my legs while standing but that, curiously enough, is alleviated when sitting or walking. In some aspects of my life I have been successful in masking or managing the condition but it does take its toll on my body."

Lewis was Mt. Lebanon's head coach the past 14 years. He also served as an assistant to Rod Gerhart for seven years prior to taking over as head coach.


Football: Upper St. Clair grad a top quarterback at W&J

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Upper St. Clair graduate Pete Coughlin, who is now a standout football player at Washington & Jefferson.

"Thanks, but no thanks.

This is what Pete Coughlin told Football Championship Subdivision football coaches when they tried to recruit him out of Upper St. Clair to play cornerback.

"It wasn't what I wanted to do," he said. "I wanted to be a college quarterback."

But what about his perceived size limitations, at 5 feet 10, 190 pounds? And that unorthodox throwing style, in which he barely cocks back before delivering the football?"