Basketball: University Prep grad making his point at Polk State

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles University Prep graduate Troy Simons, who is now a standout basketball player at Polk State.

"Troy Simons is in the midst of his final audition for Division I basketball coaches. His every shot, pass, and thunderous dunk can be analyzed at any time, via live-action or later on video.

This Polk State College sophomore, by way of Brashear High/University Prep/Imani Christian Academy/Renaissance Christian Academy, is embracing these moments with great fervor.

A 6-1 combo guard who is playing the point, Simons scores (25.3 points per game), passes (2.1 assists), rebounds (5.4), steals (2.0) and regularly opens the eyes of Division I programs.

Pitt has shown interest in the Hill District resident. Ditto for Dayton, New Mexico State, Portland State, Memphis, Utah (which visited the Winter Haven, Fla., school last week) and Middle Tennessee State."


Football: University Prep alum has a monster game

Written by Brad Everett on .

Marcus Johnson was already having an excellent junior season at Slippery Rock, but he took his play to a different level to help lead his team to a season-ending win.

Johnson, who once starred at University Prep, put up some gigantic numbers in a 57-15 win against East Stroudsburg on Nov. 12. Johnson had 10 catches for 237 yards and four touchdowns. The yardage mark was a school record and the four touchdowns tied a school record.

It capped what was an outstanding season for Johnson, a 6-foot-2 wide receiver who recently earned second-team all-conference honors in the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference. Johnson led Slippery Rock with 54 catches for 898 yards (sixth-most in school history) and 13 touchdowns (second-most in school history).

Johnson was an all-City League selection his senior season at University Prep. He played his freshman season at Thiel, where he was named the Presidents' Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year. He had 46 receptions for 827 yards and eight touchdowns at Thiel before transferring to Slippery Rock for his sophomore season. In his first season at Slippery Rock, Johnson had seven catches for 126 yards and one touchdown.


Football: University Prep falls in PIAA playoffs

Written by Brad Everett on .

The City League champs saw their season come to an end Friday night.

University Prep was bounced from the PIAA playoffs after being trounced by Erie Cathedral Prep, 58-12, in a Class 4A first-round game at Erie Veterans Stadium. The Panthers finished the season with a record of 6-5, while Cathedral Prep (11-0) advances to take on WPIAL champion Thomas Jefferson in next weekend's quarterfinals.

Cathedral Prep, ranked No. 2 in the state, wasn't expected to have much difficulty beating its City League counterpart, and that belief held true. The Ramblers scored the first 16 points of the game, led 30-6 after one quarter, and held a 58-6 advantage at halftime. University Prep scored the only touchdown of the second half.

Matthew Lupo and Joe Mischler had big games for Cathedral Prep, which improved to 64-4 over the past five seasons. Lupo rushed for three touchdowns and Mischler threw for a pair of touchdowns. The Ramblers also made some big plays on defense and special teams. Henry Fessler returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown, Jerry Roberts returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown, and the Ramblers also recorded a safety. Terry Roberts added a 57-yard punt return for a score.


Football: University Prep plays PIAA opener tonight

Written by Brad Everett on .

All the talk today centers around the four WPIAL championship games at Heinz Field, but a City League team will also be in action.

That team has a mighty challenge ahead of itself.

It will be a battle of Preps when University Prep (6-4) travels to Erie Veterans Stadium to take on Erie Cathedral Prep (10-0) at 7 p.m. in a PIAA Class 4A first-round game.

University Prep has not played since beating Brashear in the City League championship on Nov. 5. It's been an even longer break for Cathedral Prep, which last took the field against Canisius, N.Y. way back on Oct. 28.


Alumni Update - Marcus Johnson (Slippery Rock)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Slippery Rock University football senior class made sure it would go out with a bangJohnson SRU before the game against East Stroudsburg even started Saturday.

The victory gives Slippery Rock a 7-4 finish to the year and marks the eighth consecutive winning season for the program and the first under head coach Shawn Lutz. East Stroudsburg, coached by 1963 SRU alumnus Denny Douds, finishes the year at 4-7.

Multiple school records were matched or broken in the game for the Slippery Rock offense, led by senior quarterback Don King III and wide receiver Marcus Johnson, who connected three times on TD passes during that 30-point run.

Johnson, a University Prep graduate, caught 10 passes for a new school record 237 yards and tied the school record with four TD receptions.

Johnson's four TD catches tied the SRU record of Devin Goda, set against Lock Haven in 2011, and his 237 yards broke John Schademan's former record of 229 yards, set against Mercyhurst in 2013.


(photo courtesy of Slippery Rock University)