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Boys Track & Field: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Here are some of the highlights from West performers during the 2014 track season.

*The Beaver boys won their first WPIAL Class AA team title in more years than anyone can remember. Junior Chris DiNuzzo was a driving force this year by winning the javelin at WPIALs and went on to place sixth at PIAA. Alex Tolbert also racked points at WPIALs with a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles. The 3,200-meter relay team of Tolbert, Franklin Martone, Jesse Council, Riley Lamison, Luke and Jake Pittner took second at WPIALs. Other Beaver athletes in the top 10 at WPIALs include Council (800), Lamison (1,600), Kyle Grimm (high jump, pole vault) and Cody Plane (shot put).

*Riverside boys placed finished the season fifth in the PIAA and second in the WPIAL. They won the 1,600-meter relay at both WPIAL and PIAA championships. That team was made up of Matt and Aaron Tedys, Marcel Cleckley and Zak Gold. Aaron Tedys placed third in the 400-meter run and sixth in the long jump at WPIALs. He went on to take fourth in the 400 at PIAAs. Austin Sheridan took gold in the discus at both WPIALs and PIAA. Matt Tedys (800), Cleckley (300 hurdles) and Logan Sheridan (high jump) all had top 10 performances at WPIALs.

*Beaver Falls benefited from a strong performance by Dom Peretta this season. He won both the 800 and the 1,600 at the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA championships this year.

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Girls Track & Field: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Here are some of the highlights from West performers during the 2014 track season.

*West Allegheny dominated the short and middle distances. Lauren Costa took second in both the 100 and 200 at the WPIAL Class AAA championships. She advanced to the PIAAs and finished fifth in the 100. Alexis O'Shea grabbed gold in the 800 at WPIALs. She went on to take eighth at PIAAs. Both were on the 400-meter relay team with Brionna Jordan and Carolyn Stout. They finished fifth at WPIALs.

*Maiah Yankello was the only Central Valley female athlete to place at WPIALs. She finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles.

*Fort Cherry dominated the field events in the Class AA postseason. Jenna Lucas is the first Fort Cherry athlete to win back-to-back PIAA titles. Lucas took first in the javelin and second in the discus at WPIALs. Teammate Rachel Bellhy finished right behind her in the discus, taking third. Koryn Jozwiakowski took silver in the triple jump and Erin Allison finished seventh in the 1,600 at WPIALs.

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Boys Track & Field: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature boys track and field athletes from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.

2014 0410 SouthSide BTrack(Photo: South Side Beaver's Ricky Fayad won the WPIAL Class AA 110-meter hurdles title last year in the championship meet at Baldwin. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

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Girls Track & Field: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature girls track and field athletes from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.

2014 0403 FortCherry GTrack(Photo: Fort Cherry's Jenna Lucas, the defending PIAA Class AA javelin champion, has earned a scholarship to Central Florida. Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette)

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Softball: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Beaver Area captured its first ever WPIAL championship, winning the WPIAL Class AA title with an undefeated record. The Bobcats did it by beating the only other undefeated team remaining, Deer Lakes. Beaver was led by sophomore pitcher Casey Farkasovsky (14-0) who also helped her cause at the plate plenty with eight home runs while leading her team in RBIs. Freshman catcher Tayven Rousseau led Beaver in runs with 29 and triples with four.

"The main thing about this team," head coach Butch Rousseau said of Beaver's historic 2014 season, "They bought into it from day one. From conditioning in early December, you could just see it in them. They knew we had a chance to be kind of special."

In Class AAA, Blackhawk (10-4, 8-2) won the Section 1-AAA title. West Allegheny (11-6, 8-4) finished in third in Section 2-AAA but the Indians were able to reach the WPIAL quarterfinals after a first-round upset against New Castle.

Burgettstown finished with 18 wins and a perfect 12-0 record in Section 1-A. The Blue Devils knocked off Frazier and Shenango to reach the WPIAL semifinals but they fell to Neshannock, the same team who would later end their season in the PIAA quarterfinals.

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Softball: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature softball teams from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.

2014 0403 Montour Softball(Photo: Senior right-hander Olivia Dixon is one of three hurlers sharing the workload at Montour. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

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Baseball: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by staff reports on .

Local baseball drew the attention of fans (and scouts) across the country as Blackhawk senior left-hander Brendan McKay put together a scoreless innings streak that approached a national record. McKay made it through the entire regular season and reached the WPIAL championship game without allowing a run but finished tied for second in the national record books with a streak of 71 1/3 innings.

It was West Allegheny that broke the streak as pinch runner Nic Daigle scored to open the scoring as the Indians prevailed, 5-3, in eight innings. The win allowed West Allegheny to capture its fourth WPIAL title in history, but it didn't get them much further in their quest for a first state title. West Allegheny lost its opening round PIAA playoff game as did every other local team except Blackhawk.

The Cougars rebounded from the WPIAL title game loss to defeat Somerset but fell to Harriton, 2-1, in extra innings. McKay started that loss to Harriton but ran out of gas after seven innings. The season ended in disappointment for McKay but his was one of the exciting careers in recent memory. McKay was still deciding between professional baseball and a scholarship to the University of Louisville but appeared to be leaning towards college.

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Baseball: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature baseball teams from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2014 season.

2014 0403 Moon Baseball(Photo: Moon is hoping for a big season offensively and defensively from junior second baseman Rocco Maue. Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

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Wrestling: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Avella Area's Jake Temple had a storybook finish to his high school career.

He won WPIAL, Southwest Region and PIAA Class AA titles en route to a perfect 43-0 record.

"It's an awesome experience to wrestle in the PIAA finals and win a state title," Temple said. "I wish I could do it everyday. I always dreamed of this moment."

Temple capped his season with a 3-1 victory against West Branch's Reynold Maines, which was a rematch of the Southwest Region final.

"I knew I had to be more aggressive in this match," Temple said. "When I got the takedown in the first period, I knew I would beat him again."

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Wrestling: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature wrestlers from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2013-14 season.

2013 1205 Montour Wrestling(Photo: Montour's Cole Macek, left, competed against West Mifflin's James Keys during the 220-pound championship match at the Eastern Area Invitational Tournament at Gateway High School last year. Ken Wunderley/Tri-State Sports & News Service)

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Hockey: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Beaver hockey's turnaround was the highlight of the West zone.

The Bobcats hadn't made the postseason since 2008 prior to this past season, but Beaver went 12-10 and won its first-round playoff game against Peters Township before falling to Harbor Creek in the Open Cup quarterfinals.

Beaver's win total improved by seven from the previous season, and their goal differential went from minus-89 during the 2012-13 season to plus-27 in 2013-14.

Antoni Chirgott and Ryan Hartman led the offense. Chirgott finished the regular season with 15 goals and 39 points, while Hartman had 21 goals and 37 points. Chirgott had a team-best three goals in the playoffs.

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Hockey: 2014 West Photo Recap

Written by Sports Town on .

The following photos feature hockey players from the area's West zone. These ran in the Post-Gazette during the 2013-14 season.

2013 1212 OLSH Hockey(Photo: Paul Heflin, a student at Avonworth High School, clears the puck for the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart hockey team. John Heller/Post-Gazette)

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Football: Central Valley's Whitehead recruited by notable list of schools

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brad Everett profiles Central Valley football star Jordan Whitehead.

"Most of Jordan Whitehead's trip to the University of Alabama earlier this week went as expected.

Like the part when he toured the campus. And the part when he hung out with good friend Robert Foster, a former teammate at Central Valley.

A one-on-one meeting with 'Bama coach Nick Saban surely wasn't on Whitehead's original itinerary. Neither was receiving a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide.

Whitehead got them both, and has quickly found his college selection process even more interesting than it had already been."

 

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Football: Montour grad Macek off to West Point

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Ken Wunderley profiles Montour graduate Cole Macek. Read his story below.

Cole Macek will be entering a new phase of his life on Saturday, but he will not be able to tell anyone back home about it ... at least not right away.

"We're not allowed to have contact with anybody during our first three weeks of basic training," said Macek, who recently graduated from Montour High School. "That includes not speaking to anybody, not even our parents."

Macek will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point on a football scholarship.

"We start football practice immediately after our three weeks of basic training," Macek said. "I've been training for both since the high school wrestling season ended. I've been doing a lot of squats, lifting and running."

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Golf: West Allegheny golfer shows maturity

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Ryan Riordan profiles West Allegheny golfer Jake Gazella.

"When Jake Gazella played on the Butler's Woodside Golf Course in 2013, he hit it into a bunker on the par-3 No. 15 hole and carded a triple bogey, destroying his round.

On June 10, Gazella again found himself in the bunker on No. 15 at a King's Junior Golf Series event. This time he scored a double bogey and followed with a bogey on No. 16.

"I thought, 'Great, here we go again,'" Gazella recalled.

But a year older and a year wiser, Gazella was able to regroup to finish out his round with two consecutive pars to not only win the event title for the 15-16-year-old age group by five strokes, but finish in a tie for first among all competitors (there is also a 17-18 age group)."

 

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Boys Swimming & Diving: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

West Allegheny junior Jarod Kehl, already established as one of the premier swimmers in the states after two years at Montour, made a gigantic impact on the West Allegheny boys team this year after transferring. Kehl won state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle, swimming a personal-best 4:28.80 in the 500 freestyle.

"This just feels amazing," Kehl said after winning the 500 freestyle. "I started feeling the tightness hit me about halfway through the race, so I had to dig deep and keep going to the finish."

His win in the first day at states over his rival, Chartiers Valley's Drew Damich, the defending PIAA champion, was one of the more dramatic finishes. Kehl avenged his WPIAL loss to Damich by edging him by 0.05 seconds.

"Yeah, it feels good [to beat Damich]," Kehl said after winning the 200 freestyle at states. "The WPIAL race was a great race and so was [this]. The PIAA final was always the focus for me. I didn't taper for the WPIAL met, but I worked on the little things -- my turns, my starts and my kicks. And it paid off."

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Girls Swimming & Diving: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The West Allegheny girls swimming and diving team captured their second WPIAL title in four years, edging South Fayette 227-199 in the WPIAL Class AA team standings. West Allegheny was led by many strong relays but also strong individual performances. Sophomore Hannah Charlton took silver in the 100 butterfly, her freshman teammate Kaylee Musiol was not far ahead at sixth in the same event.

Blackhawk had an impressive third-place performance in the WPIAL team standings, tallying 188 points and Riverside was not far behind with 119 in eighth place. Blackhawk was led by sisters Brianna and Marissa Camp, and Casey Cerbus and Lexy Lopez. Marissa Camp and Cerbus finished fifth and sixth respectively at WPIALs in the 200 freestyle, Marissa Camp also took fifth in the 100 butterfly. Lopez finished fourth in the 50 freestyle at WPIALs. The Camp sisters along with Cerbus and Lopez teamed up to finish second in the 200 freestyle relay at WPIALs.

Riverside freshman Erica King made her WPIAL debut by taking fourth in the 200 freestyle. She joined Kirsten Wiley, Raena Valli and Kelly Krechowski in a fifth-place 200 freestyle relay at WPIALs.

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Football: Central Valley's Whitehead offered by Alabama

Written by Brad Everett on .

Jordan Whitehead made the long drive from Center Township to the University of Alabama Saturday night.

When he headed back north late Monday night, he did so with a scholarship offer in hand.

Whitehead, a senior at Central Valley, has more than 20 scholarship offers. The latest came from Alabama, a program that already owns the top-rated recruiting class in the country.

Whitehead, who is being recruited as a cornerback, worked out for Alabama coaches Monday and met with head coach Nick Saban shortly after.

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Boys Basketball: 2014 West Season Recap

Written by staff reports on .

While the controversy continues about charter schools competing with traditional public schools throughout the PIAA, there was no controversy when Lincoln Park Charter School took the field this past season – the Leopards were good ... exceptionally good.

Led by Robert Morris recruit Elijah Minnie and statewide player of the year Maverick Rowan, the Class A team lost only once this season – to undefeated Class AAAA New Castle at the Holiday Tournament held at CCBC. In the WPIAL tournament, the Leopards were never challenged, winning their four playoff games by an average of over 42 points. Lincoln Park then won its first three PIAA games by an average of over 46 points before meeting an extremely confident Math, Civics, and Science – a charter school from Philadelphia – and defeated them for the PIAA title.

Lincoln Park, though, wasn't the only successful team or individual on the local scene. Central Valley won the WPIAL Class AAA title with a total team effort – there was a different star every night but Tony Gates got the honors in a dramatic overtime win over Chartiers Valley in the WPIAL final.