West Archives


Baseball: Blackhawk grad on cusp of attaining a special status

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White profiles Blackhawk graduate Brendan McKay, a standout pitcher at Louisville and projected first-round draft pick in this week's MLB Draft.

"You drive a short distance on a gravel road to get to the smallish, off-white ranch house. Mom's Saturn Outlook with 175,000 miles sits on one side of the driveway while Dad's white work van sits on the other.

This is just another modest, ordinary home of a working-class family near some woods in the borough of Darlington, Beaver County. Except for the fact that the small bedroom at the end of a hall belonged to a kid who, in Western Pennsylvania sports annals, is a chosen one. Because, well, he might be chosen one.

Brendan McKay is a phenom baseball player, a junior at the University of Louisville, by way of Blackhawk High School in the WPIAL. He has shined in both high school and college like few others, and this most unassuming star is now on the cusp of reaching a level attained by only one other athlete ever from Western Pennsylvania — in any sport.

"Sometimes we call him 'Uncle Brendan.' Other times we just call him Babe Ruth.""



Track: Ambridge's Elliott rebounds from injuries to win WPIAL gold

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles Ambridge track standout Isaac Elliott.

2017 0526 Ambridge BTrack(Photo: After battling injuries his first three years, Isaac Elliott of Ambridge finally is running healthy for the first time, and he already has two WPIAL gold medals to show for it. Lake Fong/Post-Gazette)

"Isaac Elliott could not have cared less about his times. He just wanted to win.

Last Thursday marked the first time the Ambridge senior competed healthy at a WPIAL track and field championship — coincidentally, he brought home two WPIAL gold medals that night.

"It feels like I can put the past behind me and move on," Elliott said.

After struggling with hamstring and hip flexor injuries for the first three years of his high school career, Elliott won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.74 and the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.99. He'll have his first opportunity for a healthy showing at the PIAA track and field championships beginning today at Shippensburg University."


Track: Ambridge’s Elliott races to a pair of WPIAL gold medals

Written by Brad Everett on .

Ambridge's Isaac Elliott has been one of the WPIAL's top sprinters the past few years, but didn't have any WPIAL gold medals to show for it.

Not anymore.

Elliott continued his big season by winning both the 100- and 400-meter dashes at last Thursday's WPIAL Class 3A championships. A senior, Elliott has battled hamstring injuries throughout his school career, but this season has stayed healthy and finally showed how good he is on the WPIAL's biggest stage.

In both races, Elliott won by narrow margins. His time of 10.74 in the 100 edged out Beaver three-sport star Darius Wise, who finished in 10.83. In the 400, Elliott ran a 48.99, which topped runner-up Nicholas Coleman of Norwin, who crossed the line in 49.03.


Track: West Allegheny’s Salek claims WPIAL title, earns No. 1 seed at PIAA meet

Written by Brad Everett on .

Maddie Salek was the No. 1 seed in the 800-meter run at the WPIAL championships and went on to win the title.

She hopes to replicate that formula at the PIAA championships.

West Allegheny's star junior was golden at the WPIAL Class 3A championships, claiming top honors in the 800 after finishing fourth last year. Salek finished with a time of 2:12.38, which topped an impressive field that included Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin (2:13.55), Greensburg Salem's Malia Anderson (2:15.54) and Butler's Liz Simms (2:16.69). Those three runners placed second, third and fourth.

Salek became the second West Allegheny runner in four years to win the 800 title. Alexis O'Shea did it in 2014.


Track: Riverside’s Fisher reels in two WPIAL titles

Written by Brad Everett on .

Lance Fisher placed at the WPIAL Class 2A championships in both his sophomore and junior seasons, finishing as high as second a year ago.

In his final attempt at winning gold last week, Fisher reeled in two titles.

It was a big performance from Fisher, a senior at Riverside who captured WPIAL titles in the shot put and discus.

In the shot put, Fisher had a top throw of 53-1. McGuffey's Marko Olivarez placed second (46-6). In the discus, Fisher unleashed a winning throw of 151-5. Alex Pherson of Shenango was the runner-up (148-3). Fisher had placed eighth in the shot put his sophomore year and second his junior year.


Track: Sprinter becomes Aliquippa’s latest WPIAL champion

Written by Brad Everett on .

Antwan Brooks missed most of his senior season with a hamstring injury and didn't compete in a meet until the WPIAL championships were just two weeks away.

That didn't stop him from winning three WPIAL Class 2A gold medals.

Brooks won the 100 and 200, and ran a leg on Aliquippa's winning 400 relay team. Brooks became the first Aliquippa athlete to win a sprint title since Tommie Campbell captured titles in the 100 and 200 in 2005. Campbell also won a gold medal in the 400 relay that year. The Quips have won that event four years in a row and 11 of the past 14 years.

Brooks will run in all three events at this weekend's PIAA championships at Shippensburg University. He's seeded fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200. Aliquippa's 400 relay team is seeded second.


Photo Journal: Softball - Freedom vs. South Allegheny WPIAL First Round (May 15)

Written by Marilyn Schwilm on .

Freedom and South Allegheny pair off in a WPIAL 3A First Round Playoff game at Baldwin High School, Monday, Friday 15. South Allegheny poured it on and with their 11-1 win they will move on to face Southmoreland, May 17.

click here to see video highlights of the game

Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service

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Track: Ambridge’s Elliott shoots for golden performance

Written by Brad Everett on .

Isaac Elliott has had a big senior season, one that has seen him win titles at big meets like the Baldwin Invitational and Butler Invitational.

Thursday, the Ambridge speedster will run in his biggest meet yet.

Elliott is the No. 1 seed in two events at the WPIAL Class 3A championships. Elliott ran the top qualifying times in the 100- and 400-meter dashes. A Duquesne recruit, Elliott owns times of 10.54 in the 100 and 48.64 in the 400.

In the 100, Elliott will try to top a field that includes defending champion Zane Dudek of Armstrong, Beaver's Darius Wise and Bethel Park's James Krandel. In the 400, Elliott's top competition could come from defending champion Brennon Hill of Penn Hills, Norwin's Nicholas Coleman and Latrobe's Zakharee Williams.


Track: West Allegheny’s Salek hopes to outlast competition at WPIAL championships

Written by Brad Everett on .

West Allegheny's Maddie Salek finished fourth in the 800-meter run at last year's WPIAL Class 3A championships.

She's aiming for an even higher finish this year.

Salek is among the favorites in the race at Thursday's championships at Baldwin. A junior, Salek owns the top qualifying time of 2:14.90. No WPIAL girl has run faster this season.

There will be no shortage of excellent competition. A few of the other top runners are Butler's Liz Simms (No. 2 seed, 2:14.96), Greensburg Salem's Malia Anderson (No. 3 seed, 2:15.66) and Pine-Richland's Amanda Kalin (No. 4 seed, 2:16.26).


Track: Hopewell’s Ranieri hopeful a championship day awaits

Written by Brad Everett on .

Hopewell's Dantae Ranieri had a day to forget at last year's WPIAL Class 2A championships. He competed in the high jump and long jump, but did not successfully complete a jump in the high jump and was disqualified in the long jump.

Needless to say, Ranieri hopes things go much smoother Thursday.

Ranieri, a junior, has had a tremendous spring. His success earned him high seeds in three events. He's the No. 1 seed in the long jump, No. 4 in the high jump and No. 4 in the 100-meter dash.

Ranieri's season bests are 22-11 1/2 in the long jump, 6-4 in the high jump, and 11.16 in the 100. Union's James Thomas and Valley's Darius Johnson are the No. 1 seeds in the high jump. Both have jumped 6-6. Thomas is the defending champion. Shenango's Dom Data is the No. 1 seed in the 100 with a time of 11.04.


Track: Riverside standout will try to vault to WPIAL gold

Written by Brad Everett on .

Only two WPIAL Class 2A girls have exceeded the 10-foot mark in the pole vault this season.

With that being the case, Riverside senior Kara Seebacher has to like her chances when the WPIAL championships get underway Thursday at Baldwin.

Seebacher is the No. 2 seed in the pole vault. She posted a qualifying mark of 10 feet, 1 inch. Only Greensburg Central Catholic's Lauren Ritenour has gone a higher distance this season. Ritenour went 10-6.

Seebacher tied for third in the event her sophomore year and finished tied for fourth last year. Ritenour was the runner-up a year ago.


Lacrosse: West Feature Athlete - Moon's Carter Amorose

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Carter Amorose
School: Moon
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Lacrosse
Position: Defense

Background: Carter is a four-year member of the Tigers' program, is a three-year starter and one of the team's four captains. He has scored one goal in his career with Moon. He has committed to play college lacrosse at Robert Morris, the only Divison I program in Western Pennsylvania, where he plans to study Business Administration. He is a member of Moon's Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) organization.


Alumni Update - Matt Heslin (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Washington & Jefferson junior right-hander Matt Heslin took home the final Presidents' AthleticHeslin WJ Conference Pitcher of the Week award for the 2017 season.

Heslin, a Fort Cherry graduate, had a 2-0 week for the Presidents in a pair of appearances, tossing 12.0 total innings and scattering six hits with five strike outs and one walk, holding opponents to just a .146 batting average.

He began the week by helping W&J salvage a doubleheader split against Mount Union on Tuesday, twirling his first career complete-game shutout by allowing four hits and striking out five. Heslin also picked up a win in relief at Thiel on Sunday, throwing 5.0 innings and allowing just a pair of hits and no runs as the Presidents rallied to defeat the Tomcats and tie the PAC record for conference wins in a season (21-3).

Through the regular season, Heslin is 4-0 with a 3.14 ERA and .224 opponents' batting average. His ERA ranks eighth in the PAC, while his opposing batting average is good for second in the league. The righty also ranks eighth in Division III in walks allowed per nine innings (0.63) and 15th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.33).


(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson College)


Alumni Update - Bria Braddock (Westminster)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC) announced its 2017 women's all-conferenceBraddock Westminster teams on Tuesday. Titan first-year defender Brooke Lyczek (Cranberry PA / Seneca) was named on the Second Team, first-year midfielder Bria Braddock earned Honorable Mention, and junior midfielder Alyssa Rossi (Bay Village, OH / Bay Village) was named on the Sportsmanship Team.

The all-conference teams were determined by vote of the league's 10 head coaches.

Braddock, a Blackhawk graduate, registered a team-best 32 points, including team-highs in goals (30) and assists (2). She also led the Titans with 30 ground balls and 35 draw controls.


(photo courtesy of Westminster College)