Alle Kiski Valley high school notebook: Former Kiski Area standout Walker dies
By: Doug Gulasy
Thursday, November 15, 2018 | 10:24 PM
Former Kiski Area and Penn State Behrend soccer star Dustin Walker died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 30, PSU Behrend announced Tuesday.
A 2010 Behrend graduate and three-time All-Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference selection at Behrend, Walker holds school records with 30 shutouts and 69 games in goal. He stands second with a 0.928 goals-against average and sixth with 272 saves, leading the Lions to the 2007 AMCC title.
“Dustin was a caring, committed teammate and alumnus,” coach Dan Perritano said in a statement. “He was not only a talented player but was an inspirational force for our soccer program.”
Walker was an all-section goalkeeper at Kiski Area. The Cavaliers made the WPIAL playoffs in his final two seasons at the school.
End in sight?
One of the longest championship droughts in the Alle-Kiski Valley can end Saturday.
With a win over Fleetwood in the PIAA Class AA championship game, the Deer Lakes boys would become just the second soccer team in A-K Valley history to win a state title.
Fox Chapel won the PIAA Class AAA championship in 1990, defeating Downington, 1-0, in the finals.
Deer Lakes (21-1-1) also became the sixth team in local history to make it to the state championship game. Fox Chapel finished as boys Class AAA runner-up in 1987 before winning in 1990, and Springdale finished as the Class AA girls runner-up in 1997 and 2009 and the Class A girls runner-up in 2011.
The Lancers’ game against Fleetwood will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium and will be televised on PCN.
’ Tis the season
A blast of winter weather hit Western Pennsylvania on Thursday, heralding the start of the winter sports season.
Friday marks the first official practice date on the WPIAL calendar for winter sports teams, including basketball, gymnastics, rifle, swimming and diving and wrestling.
The first scrimmage date is Nov. 23, with the regular season officially beginning Dec. 7.
A good sign
Highlands senior Zac Kuniak signed this week to play baseball at Slippery Rock.
An infielder, outfielder and pitcher, Kuniak batted a team-high .419 with six doubles, two triples, one homer and seven RBIs as a junior. He went 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA on the mound.
A quartet of Kiski Area football players earned first-team all-conference honors from the Class 5A Northern Conference after helping the Cavaliers reach the WPIAL playoffs.
Senior wide receiver Jack Colecchi, who broke the school’s all-time receiving yards mark, and senior tight end Troy Kuhn were named to the first-team offense. Senior inside linebacker Drew Dinunzio-Biss, Kiski Area’s all-time leading tackler, and senior punter Jared Custer also made all-conference.
Kiski Area also had three second-team honors with freshman offensive lineman Brandon Lawhorn Moore, senior kicker Nick Smith and senior defensive back Tracey Morris. Junior center Jack Dykes, senior quarterback Ryne Wallace, junior multipurpose back Peyton McCann, sophomore defensive lineman Jack Dilts and junior defensive lineman Justin Hessman made honorable mention.
Fox Chapel junior multipurpose back Sam Brown and senior defensive back Korey Simmons made the second team in the Northern Conference. Junior guard Ryan Billings, junior quarterback Shane Susnak and junior defensive back Alex Wecht were honorable-mention picks.
Plum had three second-team selections in the Class 5A Big East — sophomore running back Billy Guzzi, sophomore outside linebacker Max Matolscy and sophomore defensive back Reed Martin — plus eight honorable-mention picks: senior guard Adam Garvin, senior tackle Cooper Aubele, sophomore tackle Evan Azzara, senior quarterback Hunter Linhart, senior running back Jimmy Schropp, sophomore defensive end Jaden Nichols, senior inside linebacker Seth Norcutt and junior defensive back Nicolas Sluka.
Class AAAA revealed its all-section picks for the 2018 season.
Fox Chapel junior forward Zane Ingram and junior defender Josh Miller earned a spot on the Section 1-AAAA first team, and Erik Ingram was named the section’s coach of the year after taking the Foxes to a playoff appearance. Senior forward Alex Marotte and junior midfielder Tommy Tsai made the second team, and junior midfielder David Shin was an honorable-mention pick.
In girls soccer, Fox Chapel had a pair of second-team selections in senior midfielder Maura Curry and senior goalkeeper Kate Feczko.
Celebrating its 33rd year, the Pennsylvania Baseball and Softball Coaches Clinic will take place Jan. 10-12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Green Tree.
Coaches from all levels are invited. Visit pacoachesclinic.com or contact Zach Jankowski at email@example.com to register.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.