Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Race to playoffs gets interesting

Sunday, September 30, 2018 | 9:00 PM

With the second half of the season underway in soccer and girls volleyball, playoff races are beginning to heat up.

The Deer Lakes boys soccer team became the first in the Alle-Kiski Valley to clinch a postseason berth. The Class AA No. 3 Lancers (11-0-1, 8-0) are two games clear of their closest competitors in Section 2-AA. Class A No. 3 Springdale (7-2-1, 6-1-1) also appears in strong position for a WPIAL playoff berth.

Some of the most interesting races include Section 1-4A, where Fox Chapel (9-5, 6-4) trails Pine-Richland (7-3-2, 6-2-2) for the final playoff spot; Section 3-4A, where Plum (7-5, 6-4) is tied with Latrobe (6-5, 6-4) for fourth place; and Section 1-AAA, where Kiski Area (7-5, 6-4), Indiana (5-8, 5-5), Highlands (5-8, 4-6), Knoch (4-7-2, 3-6-1) and North Hills (3-7-1, 3-6-1) are fighting for two playoff spots.

On the girls side, No. 5 Deer Lakes (10-1, 7-0) leads Section 2-AA, with Burrell (8-1-1, 6-1) right behind. The teams play Wednesday at Burrell. Freeport (5-5, 4-3) holds third place, and Highlands (3-5, 2-4) and Apollo-Ridge (2-3-1, 1-3-1) are battling for fourth place.

Class 3A No. 4 Kiski Area (8-2, 7-1) and No. 5 Plum (9-1, 6-1) are in second place in their respective sections and appear poised for a playoff berth.

In the running for a title

A quad meet this week could decide the championship in Division II, Section 4 cross country.

The boys and girls teams from Freeport, Knoch and Riverview are battling for the title, and they’ll meet Tuesday at Knoch in a race that also will include Southmoreland.

Clubhouse leaders

The WPIAL golf season is winding down, with the Class AAA individual championships taking place Tuesday (boys) and Wednesday (girls) and the team playoffs beginning next week.

Burrell and Riverview emerged from the three-team race with Freeport to claim the two team semifinal berths from Section 1-AA boys, and Fox Chapel’s boys and girls teams made the Class AAA postseason.

Collins recognized

Jim Collins, the former Deer Lakes football coach and WPIAL administrator from Natrona Heights who died in 2016, was recognized at Deer Lakes’ homecoming game Friday, in which the Lancers brought back members of the 1969 football team, the first in school history.

Collins’ four grandchildren — 12-year-old Tyler Collins, 4-year-old Gracin Collins, 8-year-old Ryan Craven and 6-year-old Josh Craven — served as honorary captains for Deer Lakes on Friday for the opening coin toss.

Collins coached Deer Lakes from 1969-72 and went 18-15-4. He is one of only two Lancers coaches — the other is current coach Tim Burk at 3-2 — with an overall winning record. He later worked as a WPIAL administrator, becoming instrumental in the creation of the WPIAL Hall of Fame. The former assistant to the executive director was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2017.

Net worth

Freeport is hosting a “pink out” for its Section 5-AA girls volleyball match Tuesday night against Derry.

The night is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and survivors, and Freeport is asking survivors to meet at 6:50 p.m. at the admission table in order to be honored before the match. Fans are asked to wear pink.

It’s one of two upcoming theme matches for Freeport, which is hosting a throwback night for its Oct. 9 match against East Allegheny. That match will be played in the high school gymnasium instead of the middle school, and the Yellowjackets will wear old uniforms.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, or via Twitter .

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