Author: Doug Gulasy


Leechburg’s McKenna Pierce drives in a run against Jeannette during a WPIAL Class A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Leechburg softball hopes to overcome semifinal hurdle against Union
May 21, 2019
Leechburg scored runs seemingly at will as it tore through the regular season and won a third consecutive Section 3-A championship, but the Blue Devils saw quickly the difference the playoffs can bring.

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Freeport starting pitcher Jarrett Heilman throws against Deer Lakes Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Freeport’s Heilman nears perfect game
Jarrett Heilman strung together plenty of dominant pitching performances during the regular season, but the junior reached another level in his first postseason start.

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Freeport first baseman Matt Mitchell makes a diving catch against Deer Lakes Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Freeport baseball set to face Steel Valley in semifinals
BASEBALL

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Knoch shortstop Monica Gourley fields a ball hit by Greensburg Salem’s Kayla Gaughan during quarterfinal Monday, May 20, 2019 at Hampton Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley softball preview capsules for games of Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Wednesday’s games

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Blackhawk’s Hunter Woodward scores past Mt. Pleasant catcher Pete Billey during their WPIAL Class 4A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
WPIAL releases baseball semifinal sites
Greensburg Salem and New Castle still need to decide their WPIAL baseball quarterfinal, but the victor already knows its destination.

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Leechburg’s McKenna Pierce drives in a run against Jeannette during a WPIAL Class A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Leechburg softball tops Jeannette for 3rd time, moves to semifinals
May 20, 2019
Leechburg expected a tougher game from Jeannette in the WPIAL playoffs than what the Blue Devils saw from their section rival during the regular season.

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Highlands’ Michael Magdinec tags out Thomas Jefferson’s Andy Kalup Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
A-K Valley WPIAL baseball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, May 20
May 19, 2019
WPIAL baseball quarterfinals

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Freeport celebrates with Jarrett Heilman after Heilman hit a two-run walk off double to beat Deer Lakes in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for week of May 20, 2019
MONDAY

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Plum’s Mackenzie Lake prepares to take some batting after a cancelled a game April 23, 2019.
WPIAL softball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, May 20
May 18, 2019
Monday’s games

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise scores hehind Thomas Jefferson catcher Josh Reynolds in the first inning Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
Highlands baseball uses mix of older, younger players to continue playoff run
As the stress began to build in Highlands’ first postseason appearance in more than a decade and a half, one of the Golden Rams’ most experienced players gave way to one of their youngest.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise scores hehind Thomas Jefferson catcher Josh Reynolds in the first inning Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Highlands, St. Joseph, Springdale have lofty postseason goals
May 17, 2019
As pleased as Highlands and St. Joseph baseball felt to end years-long WPIAL baseball playoff droughts, and as excited as it made Springdale to make the softball postseason for the first time in nearly two decades, all three teams had loftier goals than that.

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Mt. Pleasant pitcher Carolyn Alincic celebrates a strike-out with her infielders during their game against Yough Monday, April 29, 2019, at Mt. Pleasant Area High School.
WPIAL releases schedule for softball quarterfinals
The WPIAL on Friday revealed the sites for its softball quarterfinals, which will take place Monday.

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Penn Trafford’s Tyler Horvat celebrates with Luke Fabac after scoring during the sixth inning against Norwin Thursday, April 18, 2019, at Norwin High School.
WPIAL releases baseball quarterfinal schedule
The WPIAL on Friday released the sites and times for its baseball quarterfinal games, which will take place Monday and Tuesday.

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Kiski Area’s Garret Polka charges for second base as Laurel Highlands pitcher Andino Vecchiolla throws to first base. Polka was out on the play.
Vecchiolla, Laurel Highlands shut down Kiski Area in opening round
May 16, 2019
Andino Vecchiolla dealt with butterflies early in Laurel Highlands’ WPIAL playoff opener against Kiski Area. Then he just started dealing.

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Kiski Area’s Ethan Guercio (4) avoids a collision with Ryan Rametta at second base during a game against Burrell on March 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley baseball playoff previews: Games of May 16, 2019
WPIAL baseball playoffs

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Burrell’s Trent Valovchik breaks up the double play against McGuffey Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
Late surge lifts No. 7 Burrell past McGuffey in opening round of WPIAL playoffs
May 15, 2019
Burrell leaned on ace Luke Virag over the first handful of innings of its WPIAL playoff opener as the Bucs’ offense felt out an unfamiliar pitcher.

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Freeport softball coach Sam Ross had his team searching for alternative means to practice when the Yellowjackets’ first-round playoff game was postponed by bad weather.
Softball teams adjust after 1st-round playoff games get postponed
A familiar nemesis popped up as Springdale prepared to play its first WPIAL softball playoff game in nearly two decades: Mother Nature.

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Franklin Regional’s Angalee Beall pitches a throw against Penn-Traffrod during WPIAL softball Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Franklin Regional School District.
WPIAL postpones Tuesday softball games at Gateway, Hampton, North Allegheny, Shaler
May 14, 2019
The rainy weather that began over Mother’s Day weekend presented a curveball to the WPIAL softball playoffs.

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Deer Lakes starting pitcher Greg Geis throws against Freeport Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley baseball playoff preview capsules: Games for May 15
May 13, 2019
First round

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Apollo Ridges starting pitcher Mollie Charlton throws against Riverview Monday, May, 6, 2019 at Apollo Ridge High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley softball playoff preview capsules: Games for May 15
First round

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Deer Lakes’ Darrion DeMase during practice Monday, March 25, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Deer Lakes volleyball gets seeded 12th
Deer Lakes will face an uphill battle as it attempts to continue its recent WPIAL boys volleyball playoff success.

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Deer Lakes’ Makayla Blair is mobbed after hitting a walk-off home run to beat Freeport in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Softball playoff preview capsules: Games of Tuesday, May 14
May 12, 2019
Softball

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Freeport’s Taylor Davis makes a running catch on a ball hit by Deer Lakes’ Lydia Guthrie Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley HS lookahead: Week of May 13-18
Monday

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Knoch’s grass athletic field Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Knoch High School.
Knoch considering replacing grass with turf at stadium
Mother Nature rained plenty on Knoch’s parade last fall. More significantly, on its football and soccer games, too.

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Plum head basketball coach Hart Coleman calls in a play against Kiski Area Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 at Plum.
St. Joseph hires Plum’s Hart Coleman as new boys basketball coach
Hart Coleman first became familiar with St. Joseph’s boys basketball program when he brought his Plum team to the Spartans’ summer league in 2018.

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Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow competes in the girls’ 300 hurdles finals on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association Track and Field Championships at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Sharrow, Cutright to race in WPIAL hurdle prelims
May 11, 2019
At least one race at this week’s WPIAL track and field championships could come down to a pair of competitors from the Alle-Kiski Valley.

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Catcher Dom Fellowes helped the St. Joseph baseball team reach the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2000.
A-K Valley teams snap long playoff droughts, but will inexperience matter?
Kurt Krebs asked his St. Joseph baseball players for a show of hands recently, seeking those who were alive in 2001, and got a positve response from three.

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Freeport’s Jarrett Heilman hits a two-run walk off double to beat Deer Lakes in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Freeport baseball surprised with top seed in WPIAL Class 3A playoffs
May 10, 2019
A thrilling victory in Wednesday’s season finale gave Freeport more than just a section championship. Turns out it also provided quite a boost for the postseason.

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Burrell starting pitcher Caroline Dynka throws against Deer Lakes Monday, April 29, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Quartet of A-K Valley softball teams awarded 1st-round bye in playoffs
May 9, 2019
The release of the WPIAL softball playoff brackets Thursday brought some welcome news to Burrell.

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Kiski Area baseball uses dramatic win over Armstrong to qualify for playoffs
May 8, 2019
Ryne Wallace arrived to Kiski Area’s do-or-die section finale 15 minutes before first pitch because of advanced placement tests, but the senior got there in plenty of time to place the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise jumps during workout reps while attending an evening practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at Highlands Golden Ram Stadium in Natrona Heights.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise adds Robert Morris football offer to basketball offer
May 7, 2019
Johnny Crise doubled up on his Robert Morris scholarship opportunities.

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Pitcher Billy Perroz and the Kiski Area baseball team are fighting for the final playoff berth from Section 1-5A.
Alle-Kiski notebook: Playoff fates await Kiski Area, Knoch baseball
It might not be the most ideal situation, but it’s certainly the most dramatic.

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Freeport pitcher Jarrett Heilman delivers against Burrell Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Burrell.
From ‘Baby Shark’ to great white, Heilman develops into reliable ace, leader for Freeport
Jarrett Heilman first heard “Baby Shark” in ninth-grade social studies, when teacher Daniel Stell played the children’s song and its accompanying dance over the projector in the classroom. And when he threw a complete game later that afternoon in a junior varsity game against Knoch, a phenomenon was born.

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St.Joseph catcher Dom Fellowes, works out during a recent practice at Swartz Field in Freeport Tuesday. March 19, 2019.
Highlands, St. Joseph baseball teams end long WPIAL playoff droughts
May 6, 2019
Highlands and St. Joseph share the same stretch of road in Harrison Township, and until Monday they also had long WPIAL baseball playoff droughts in common.

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A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of May 6-12
May 5, 2019
Monday

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Burrell’s Charlie Confer doubled in the winning runs against Deer Lakes in the sixth inning Monday.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Burrell softball keeps rallying
May 4, 2019
Burrell is developing a penchant for softball comebacks.

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Norwin pitcher Billy Kerston (9), during the game at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon Township, on Friday, May 3, 2019.
Pitching, defense help Norwin avenge Section 2-6A loss to Plum
May 3, 2019
Norwin wanted a fast start against Plum given what happened in their first Section 2-6A meeting this season: six innings of scoreless ball, followed by a Plum walk-off in the seventh.

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Kiski Area’s Christa Palla plays during a scrimmage with Freeport Area girls Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 at Freeport High School.
Kiski Area’s Palla twins commit to play soccer at Morehead State
Kiski Area’s Palla twins will stick together at the Division I soccer level.

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Fox Chapel’s Sydney Kennedy works against Sewickley Academy’s Mia Delvecchio during their match Friday, April 26, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Motivated by last season’s playoff defeat, Fox Chapel girls lacrosse chasing WPIAL title
May 2, 2019
A regular-season victory can’t fully erase the sting of a playoff loss, but Fox Chapel’s girls lacrosse team still felt plenty of satisfaction after a two-goal win over Sewickley Academy last week.

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Indiana gets top seed in WPIAL Class AA boys tennis playoffs
May 1, 2019
A new team will win the WPIAL Class AA tennis championship this season after Sewickley Academy’s move up to Class AAA, and Indiana will slot in as the favorite to take the crown.

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Radvan, Freeport shut down Deer Lakes for Section 1-3A victory
Tori Radvan wanted another shot at Deer Lakes, given what happened the last time she threw a pitch against the Lancers. And Freeport’s ace took full advantage of her second chance.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel boys tennis sets sights on 4th straight WPIAL title
Fox Chapel’s senior class proved over the last three years it belonged in a different class than their Class AAA competitors. And with three WPIAL championships in hand, the Foxes can finish up a clean sweep.

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Obama Academy player wins City League singles title
April 30, 2019
Sachin Thiagarajan kept Obama Academy’s City League tennis dominance going.

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Kiski Area’s Zach Morrill catches a pop-up during a game against Burrell on March 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
A-K Valley baseball teams enter home stretch on playoff bubble
Aaron Albert used some recent indoor practice time to put Kiski Area’s baseball reality in writing.

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Four Quaker Valley tennis players competed in the WPIAL Class AA doubles tournament April 30, 2019, at Oxford Athletic Club. From left to right are silver medalists Will Sirianni and Potter Oliver and gold medalists Zach Albert and John Watters.
Shady Side Academy, Quaker Valley teams win WPIAL doubles titles
The WPIAL Class AA doubles final Tuesday turned into something of a Quaker Valley intrasquad scrimmage, pitting the Quakers’ tournament entrants against each other.

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Fox Chapel’s Milo Barron during a match against Hampton April 4, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Fox Chapel draws top seed in WPIAL tennis playoffs
Fox Chapel will go for a WPIAL tennis four-peat from the top line of the Class AAA tennis bracket.

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Defending champions Dua, Gramley advance to WPIAL doubles final
April 29, 2019
Nathan Dua and Colin Gramley can double up in WPIAL doubles.

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Burrell’s Charlie Confer double against Deer Lakes driving in the winning runs in the fifth inning Monday, April 29, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
No. 2 Burrell rallies again, defeats Deer Lakes for 8th straight victory
Charlie Confer put it succinctly: Even when Burrell is down, the Bucs are up.

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Springdale coach Anthony Pototo celebrates with Brianna Thompson after she scored during their game against St. Joseph Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Kotecki Memorial Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Surging Springdale softball weathers 18-day standstill
April 28, 2019
Springdale is attempting to find a silver lining in the storm clouds that are hampering its breakout softball season.

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Burrell’s Jack Henderson breaks up a double play under Freeport’s Bradyn Clark during their game Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Burrell.
A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of April 29-May 4
Monday

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie high-fives teammates during their game against Springdale Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Springdale High School.
Undefeated Leechburg on verge of clinching playoff berth for 33rd straight season
April 26, 2019
Debbie Young heard the murmuring around Leechburg begin recently: The Blue Devils are back at it.

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Deer Lakes’ Josh Yourish wins the boys 1600 meter run during the Section 7-AA meet on April 24, 2019 at Freeport Area High School.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Athletes win multiple titles at section track and field meet
The WPIAL individual track and field championships are looming next month at Slippery Rock, and some of the Alle-Kiski Valley’s top athletes are ramping up for the competition.

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Peters Twp.’s Makenna Marisa scores past Garnet Valley’s Madison McKee during the PIAA Class 6A girls state championship game Friday, Mar. 22, 2019, at Giant Center in Hershey.
Pa. Sportswriters name Peters Township’s Makenna Marisa Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Makenna Marisa and Bert Kendall helped Peters Township make history during a perfect girls basketball season, and Friday they received the ultimate capper.

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Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia talks with pitcher Brendan McKay after West Allegheny scored during the third inning of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Thursday, May 29, 2014, at Consol Energy Park.
Blackhawk baseball coach Bob Amalia wins 300th game
April 25, 2019
Blackhawk got coach Bob Amalia his 300th career victory in style.

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Deer Lakes’ Josh Yourish winces after running in the boys’ 2A race during the WPIAL cross country championships on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Roadman Park in California.
Deer Lakes runner Josh Yourish commits to George Mason
April 24, 2019
Wednesday was Patriots Day for Deer Lakes senior Josh Yourish, as the Lancers’ standout distance runner announced a commitment to the George Mason track and field program.

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Freeport pitcher Jarrett Heilman gave up two runs and struck out 12 against Burrell.
Jarrett Heilman leads Freeport baseball past Burrell in important section game
Jarrett Heilman didn’t require much offensive support, but his Freeport teammates gave him plenty — and made sure to do it early.

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A-K Valley H.S. notebook: Burrell’s 20-run inning ‘unreal’
Mark Spohn didn’t know how to explain the third inning of Burrell’s nonsection game last week against Highlands.

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Baldwin sophomore lineman Dorien Ford (30) competes during the 2018 season.
Baldwin’s Dorien Ford receives Syracuse, Nebraska offers
April 23, 2019
The recruiting process continues to pick up for Baldwin’s Dorien Ford.

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Senior pitcher Greg Geis is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 
27<sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> innings this season for Deer Lakes.
Deer Lakes baseball ‘learning how to win’ in turnaround
April 22, 2019
The same result kept happening to Deer Lakes during the early stages of baseball season.

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Deer Lakes’ Devin Reiher during practice Monday, March 25, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Young Deer Lakes volleyball gaining confidence with wins
April 21, 2019
Deer Lakes advanced to the playoffs of the Plum boys volleyball tournament in mid-April, the Lancers’ most recent weekend competition. And although the run ended quickly with a loss to Saegertown, Deer Lakes showed reasons for optimism.

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Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
                                Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of April 22-27
Monday

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Highland’s Johnny Crise scores over Belle Vernon’s Mitchell Pohlot during WPIAL playoff action Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at North Hills High School.
Highlands’ Crise is WPIAL’s latest multi-sport star to face big decision
April 20, 2019
Johnny Crise already carried a pair of Division I scholarship offers in basketball, coaches noting the Highlands standout’s athleticism and potential while playing on the AAU circuit.

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A-K Valley high school notebook: Section 1-3A softball race promises to be entertaining
April 19, 2019
If the second half of the Section 1-3A softball season resembles the first in any way, expect plenty of entertainment value in the coming weeks.

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Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Blair’s walk-off home run lifts Deer Lakes past Freeport in Section 1-3A
April 18, 2019
Makayla Blair felt frustrated, and her Deer Lakes teammates were angry after they saw a late lead slip away against a rival for the second time in just over a week.

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Knoch’s Chase Mullen plays against Freeport Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at Freeport Area High School.
Knoch boys lacrosse in search of 3rd straight playoff appearance
Knoch’s prospects appeared dim in the second half of its Section 1-AA boys lacrosse matchup with Freeport. A six-goal deficit makes rallies difficult under normal circumstances, but the Knights also faced a dwindling clock — and they weren’t exactly playing well, either.

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Highlands High School custodian and equipment manager Eddie Teorsky and Athletic Director Chuck Debor make their way to the school cafeteria on Dec. 7, 2018.The two have worked together for 24 years and are close friends.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Highlands’ Chuck Debor resigns as AD to focus on teaching
Chuck Debor spent the past handful of years working part-time as Highlands’ athletic director, but he soon will go back to doing what he loves full-time.

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Springdale girls soccer head coach Jerry Concannon goes over a drill with his team during practice at the high school on Tuesday August 28, 2012.
Springdale girls soccer coach Jerry Concannon resigns after 12 seasons
April 17, 2019
Jerry Concannon oversaw a consistently successful girls soccer program at Springdale. After a dozen years, the Dynamos are looking for a new coach.

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Leechburg’s Nathan Shinko dives safely back to first base next to Springdale pitcher Justin Botinovich during their game Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Springdale High School.
A-K Valley baseball teams earn key wins to rebound from slow starts
April 16, 2019
A seemingly comfortable six-run lead shrank to one for Valley in a handful of minutes during a Section 1-3A baseball game last week at East Allegheny.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel’s Shymansky, Indiana’s Palko win WPIAL singles titles
Zachary Palko made history. Robby Shymansky repeated it.

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Highlands High School custodian and equipment manager Eddie Teorsky and Athletic Director Chuck Debor make their way to the school cafeteria on Dec. 7, 2018.The two have worked together for 24 years and are close friends.
Highlands athletic director Chuck Debor resigns
April 15, 2019
Chuck Debor spent the past handful of years working part-time as Highlands’ athletic director, but he’ll soon go back to doing what he loves full-time.

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North Catholic’s Tess Myers leads the fast break against Central Valley during the 4A girls WPIAL Championship at Petersen Events Center.
North Catholic basketball star Tess Myers receives offer from Colorado
Tess Myers spent the weekend playing basketball in Colorado. She might get a chance to do so for a much longer time than that in the coming years.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Defending champion Shymansky leads field of WPIAL tennis singles finalists
Robby Shymansky has an opportunity to double his WPIAL singles success.

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St. Joseph’s head coach Kelly Robinson reacts after a foul was called late in the fourth quarter of a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal against West Allegheny High School.
St. Joseph boys basketball coach Kelly Robinson steps down after 21 seasons
Kelly Robinson believed he was ending his St. Joseph basketball coaching career on a nice, round number of 20 seasons.

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Freeport’s Allison DeJidas makes a running catch on a ball hit by Burrell’s Rikki WybleWednesday, April 3, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Perfect start for Freeport softball
April 14, 2019
Freeport finished the 2018 regular season as one of only two undefeated softball teams in the WPIAL, and the Yellowjackets are picking up where they left off.

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Kiski Area’s Ryan Rametta hits during practice at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of April 15, 2019
Monday

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A-K Valley notebook: No rest for No. 3 Leechburg softball
April 13, 2019
What’s a softball team to do after an 18-run victory that requires just three innings to complete?

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Highlands looking into restarting girls volleyball program
April 12, 2019
Highlands is setting itself up for a return to the WPIAL in girls volleyball after three seasons away.

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Deer Lakes’ Jenna Bisegna beats the tag attempt by Valley’s Auveonna Perkins Monday, April 8, 2019 at Valley High School.
Young Deer Lakes softball team not taking anything for granted
Katrina Taliani batted in the final inning of a PIAA quarterfinal game two seasons ago, one of the youngest players on a veteran-laden Deer Lakes softball team.

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Freeport’s Carter Dougherty plays against Greensburg Central Catholic Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Carbon.
Freeport boys focused on improving their ‘lacrosse IQ’
April 11, 2019
Freeport has the brawn to contend with some of the top teams in WPIAL boys lacrosse. But Dave Riley would prefer to see the brain.

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Highland’s Noah Gillette during fielding practice Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Highlands High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Pitchers finding early-season success
There’s been a call to arms in the Alle-Kiski Valley. Whether it’s from a mound or a circle, local pitchers are dealing.

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie high-fives teammates during their game against Springdale Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Springdale High School.
No. 3 Leechburg rallies past No. 4 Springdale in Section 3-A slugfest
April 10, 2019
The numbers Leechburg and Springdale put up through the first two weeks of the softball season created some extra anticipation for their first meeting of the season, and they created some more eye-popping statistics Wednesday.

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From left, Mckenna Pierce, Cassie Shoupe, Tim Toy (sponsor), Kelsey Bonk (coach) and Makayla Jackson pose for a photo on July 16, 2018, at Plum High School. Louis Raggiunti l For the Tribune-Review
We Serve First Foundation sponsoring 12 WPIAL players’ attendance at national volleyball camp
April 9, 2019
The We Serve First Foundation sponsored three WPIAL players’ attendance at last summer’s Give It Back Foundation national girls volleyball camp in Anaheim, Calif. With the camp coming to Western Pennsylvania this summer, that number will quadruple.

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Fox Chapel’s Jacob Gruden during batting practice April 4, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
With arm surgeries behind him, Fox Chapel’s Gruden again playing at high level
A year ago at this time, every one of Jacob Gruden’s throws ended the same way: with the ball going straight down to the ground. He wondered if the same was happening to his once-promising baseball career.

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A-K Valley campus clippings: PS Behrend’s Gozzard on a hitting tear
Katie Gozzard is hitting just about everything in sight these days.

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Springdale coach Anthony Pototo celebrates with Brianna Thompson after she scored during their game against St. Joseph Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Kotecki Memorial Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of April 8., 2019
April 7, 2019
Monday

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Freeport’s Maya Borghol rounds the bases past head coach Sam Ross after hitting a home run during a game against Deer Lakes Friday, April 13, 2018, at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Freeport’s Borghol out indefinitely
Already without key pieces because of graduation, Freeport’s softball team is dealing with the loss of one of its most productive returners.

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Junior Mike Odrey, during tennis practice at Valley High School in New Kensington, on Friday, April 5, 2019.
FC’s Shymansky, Valley’s Odrey prep for section tennis tourneys
Robby Shymansky has a PIAA silver and bronze medal at his home, souvenirs from past appearances at the state Class AAA singles tournament.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise jumps during workout reps while attending an evening practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at Highlands Golden Ram Stadium in Natrona Heights.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise picks up football scholarship offer from Fordham
April 6, 2019
Already a potential Division I basketball player, Johnny Crise now can add football to the mix.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski drives to the basket past Knoch’s Abbey Shearer during their game Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at Knoch High School.
Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski named Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise dunks during the fourth quarter of a WPIAL Class 4A boys semifinal against New Castle Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise named Valley News Dispatch Boys Basketball Player of the Year
Valley News Dispatch Boys Basketball Player of the Year

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Apollo Ridge’s Mollie Charlton works out on the first day of softball practice at Apollo Ridge High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Crazy early-season comebacks plentiful
April 4, 2019
John Kinnamon gathered the Apollo-Ridge softball team for a pep talk after the fourth inning of its Section 2-2A game Tuesday at Shady Side Academy.

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Freeport’s Zachary Allen celebrates his double against Burrell scoring the winning run in the sixth inning Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
No. 2 Freeport edges No. 3 Burrell baseball in early showdown
April 3, 2019
Freeport coach Ed Carr tried to downplay the significance of Wednesday’s Section 1-3A opener against Burrell to his baseball team, but the message didn’t exactly sink in. Not with both teams eyeing a section championship, and not with the emotions that ran high in both dugouts for much of the afternoon.

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Apollo-Ridge girls basketball coach Callipare won’t return
April 2, 2019
Apollo-Ridge’s next mission is finding a new girls basketball coach. The Vikings are searching for a replacement for Jim Callipare, who won’t return after six seasons and five WPIAL playoff appearances.

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Burrell’s Luke Virag pitches against Kiski Area on Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Aces on the hill: A-K Valley baseball teams lean on deep, experienced pitching staffs
Kiski Area faced a five-run hole as the fourth inning of its nonsection baseball game against Plum began last week, but the Cavaliers didn’t worry. After all, they had their ace — or one of them, at least — in the hole.

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Kiski Area’s Enzo Morlacci works to pin Plum’s Evan Stinson at 145 pounds during their match Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at Plum High School.
Kiski Area wrestler Morlacci captures title at National High School Coaches Association tournament
April 1, 2019
Enzo Morlacci experienced wrestling at the national level during his youth days, and he spent plenty of time on the mat against high-level high school competition during his freshman season at Kiski Area.

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Burrell goaltender Drew Burkett watches the puck during a game against Central Valley Monday, Nov.12, 2018, at Pittsburgh Ice Arena.
Burrell falls in USA Hockey national championship game
Burrell’s run at a high school hockey national championship ended one win short.

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Burrell’s Dylan Zelonka scores on Connellsville goaltender Sebastian Skarzenski during the second period of their Penguins Cup Division 2 semifinal Monday, Mar. 11, 2019, at RMU Island Sports Center.
Burrell advances to USA Hockey national championship game
March 31, 2019
Burrell stands one win from a national high school hockey championship.

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Fox Chapel’s Kaya Akinci (11) goes for a block during a North Allegheny tournament March 23, 2019 at North Allegheny.
Fox Chapel volleyball hopes growth can snap playoff drought
Phil O’Keeffe is well into his second decade of coaching boys volleyball at Fox Chapel. So his calling the current group of Foxes the youngest team of his tenure is a significant statement.

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Shelby Gogal and the St. Joseph softball team will face Springdale in a section matchup Tuesday.
A-K Valley look-ahead: Week of April 1, 2019
Monday

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Kiski’s Darren Miller howls in victory after defeating Franklin Regional’s Colton Camacho in the 126-pound Class AAA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Darren Miller named Valley News Dispatch Wrestler of the Year
March 30, 2019
Darren Miller grew up admiring Matt McCutcheon’s wrestling accomplishments at Kiski Area. He’ll graduate after matching and breaking some of those achievements.

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Oakmont’s Alyssa Cappa, playing for her Nitro club team this summer, will take part in an international softball tournament from Friday to Sunday in the Netherlands.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Cappa throws her way into Riverview record book
March 29, 2019
Alyssa Cappa went after Riverview’s strikeout record during one of her handful of pitching appearances last season.

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Pine Richland’s Ian Voit and Nick Monaco celebrate with Jared Eggert after Eggert’s goal against Upper St. Clair during the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AA Monday, March 18, 2019 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Pine-Richland, Burrell win at USA Hockey national championships
A pair of Western Pennsylvania hockey teams are shining on the national stage.

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Oakmont’s Alyssa Cappa, playing for her Nitro club team this summer, will take part in an international softball tournament from Friday to Sunday in the Netherlands.
Riverview’s Alyssa Cappa ties school record with 17 strikeouts
Alyssa Cappa was in the zone Thursday: the strike zone.

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Knoch’s Eli Sutton hits a two-run double against Deer Lakes Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019, at Kelly Automotive Park in Butler.
Knoch scores walk-off win over Deer Lakes
March 28, 2019
Knoch and Deer Lakes no longer share a section, but the longtime baseball rivals proved their meetings still can produce plenty of drama.

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Burrell catcher Tyler Mock tags out Kiski Area’s Zach Morrill during their game Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Sunny starts for A-K Valley baseball, softball teams
March 27, 2019
Freeport waited a few extra days to finally hit the field for real this baseball season, the weather relenting enough for the Yellowjackets to play a nonsection game Tuesday against Washington.

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Burrell’s Tyler Stewart celebrates his second goal with Gio Palombo during the second period of their Penguins Cup Division 2 semifinal against Connellsville Monday, Mar. 11, 2019, at RMU Island Sports Center.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Burrell hockey gets shot at nation’s best
Burrell didn’t get the PIHL championship it sought, but the Bucs are turning their attention from competing against Western Pennsylvania to playing some of the top teams in the country.

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Burrell’s Dylan Zelonka celebrates his goal against Ringgold during the PIHL Division 2 Final Monday, March 18, 2019 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Burrell set for USA Hockey nationals
March 26, 2019
Burrell didn’t get the PIHL championship it sought all season, but the Bucs are now turning their attention from competing against Western Pennsylvania to playing some of the top teams in the country.

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Plum’s Evan Sante works out at first base during practice Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019, at Plum High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of March 25, 2019
March 24, 2019
MONDAY

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Iowa’s Spencer Lee beats Virginia’s Jack Mueller Saturday, March 23, 2019 in the 125 final 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship action at PPG Paints Arena.
Franklin Regional’s Spencer Lee, Penn State win gold at NCAA wrestling championships
March 23, 2019
Jason Nolf cracked a bit of a joke upon taking the podium after winning his latest NCAA championship.

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St. Joseph’s Ava Swanson works out with the varsity team during practice March 19, 2019, at Kotecki Park in Lower Burrell.
St. Joseph softball seeking 3rd straight WPIAL playoff appearance
March 21, 2019
St. Joseph is coming off the two most successful softball seasons in school history, campaigns that established the Spartans as a high-caliber playoff team in WPIAL Class A, and they come into the spring with an important goal.

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St.Joseph pitcher Hayden Mallin works out during a recent practice March 19, 2019, at Swartz Field in Freeport.
St. Joseph baseball team motivated to reach postseason
The smallest margin possible kept St. Joseph from reaching the WPIAL baseball playoffs last season, an excruciating result for a program that last reached the postseason at the turn of the millennium.

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Deer Lakes’ Julia Hollibaugh fights for a rebound with Carlynton’s Haley Williams Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at Deer Lakes’ High School.
Cager Classic All-Star Basketball Game offers final chance for teammates to share court
March 20, 2019
Deer Lakes’ Julia Hollibaugh walked off the floor a few weeks ago after the Lancers’ WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal loss to South Park with her high school basketball career in limbo.

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A-K Valley high school notes: Walker to build Leechburg boys soccer team
March 18, 2019
Brad Walker knows about rebuilding. Now he will just be building.

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Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of March 18, 2019
March 17, 2019
Monday

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Deer Lakes’ Zac Herbinko (2) reacts to officials next to Colin Kadlick and Jack Hollibaugh late in the fourth quarter of their PIAA Class 3A quarterfinal against Sharon Saturday, Mar. 16, 2019, at Slippery Rock University.
Deer Lakes’ historic PIAA run ends vs. Sharon
March 16, 2019
During its school-record run through the PIAA postseason, Deer Lakes found the right answer at the right time: a big shot, a key stop, a significant scoring run.

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Deer Lakes coach Terence Parham calls out a play against North Catholic during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
Deer Lakes coach Parham continues to instill principles
March 15, 2019
Terence Parham never played in the PIAA basketball playoffs during his standout career at Shady Side Academy, his lone chance getting sunk during his 1993-94 senior season when the Indians bowed out of the postseason after Farrell beat them on a buzzer-beater.

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WPIAL basketball coverage by TribHSSN.
PIAA boys basketball playoff capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Sharon
PIAA basketball playoffs

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Deer Lakes’ Jared Colton scores past Forest Hills’ Quinn Spangler during PIAA boys 3A action Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Armstrong Jr. Sr. High School.
Clutch performances fuel Deer Lakes’ run to PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals
March 14, 2019
The fourth quarter began poorly for Jared Colton in Deer Lakes’ PIAA Class 3A playoff game Wednesday against Forest Hills. Two quick turnovers, followed by two out-of-rhythm missed shots, spurred a quick meeting between the Lancers’ senior guard and coach Terence Parham.

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Kiski Area’s Cassandra Cessna fields during practice at Kiski Area High School.
Kiski Area softball reaps benefits of building foundation
Maggie Nicholas jokes that her win-loss record as Kiski Area’s softball coach doesn’t look impressive on paper. But in a “What have you done for me lately?” world, the Cavaliers’ recent track record jumps off the page.

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Kiski Area’s Ryan Rametta hits during practice at Kiski Area High School.
New coach, new goals for playoff-minded Kiski Area baseball
Kiski Area’s baseball players got a bit of a history lesson in one of their winter workouts with first-year coach Aaron Albert. A former Knoch baseball player, Albert pointed out a banner for the Cavaliers’ 2002 section title, which they won after beating Albert’s team by one game in the standings.

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Deer Lakes boys basketball hopes to extend state playoff run
March 12, 2019
The playoffs tend to present adverse situations, and finding the right response can prove to be the difference in the outcome.

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis
Wrestler of the week: Gerrit Nijenhuis, jr., Canon-McMillan

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Franklin Regional
Team of the week: Franklin Regional

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PIAA basketball preview capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Forest Hills
PIAA basketball playoffs

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Leechburg’s Eli rich (l) and John Miskinis defend on Saint Joseph’s Grant Bendis Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 at Leechburg Area High School.
Rosters released for 23rd annual Cager Classic
March 11, 2019
Organizers for the Cager Classic All-Star basketball game released the rosters for the 23rd annual event, which will take place March 22-23 at Highlands High School.

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Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy reacts after defeating Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser in the 138-pound Class AA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Hopewell’s Ealy, Kiski Area’s Miller picked for PA All-Stars at Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic
Fresh off winning their first PIAA championships over the weekend, Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy and Kiski Area’s Darren Miller were picked to represent the PA All-Star team at the upcoming Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic.

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Saint Joseph’s Grant Bendis scores past Springdale’s Isaac Kern Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 at Walter Dlubak Athletic Center.
A-K Valley athletes dot rosters for Roundball Classic
March 10, 2019
The Alle-Kiski Valley will be well-represented at the Roundball Classic.

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A-K Valley high school lookahead: Week of March 11, 2019
Monday

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Burrell, Valley wrestlers end season on high note
March 9, 2019
HERSHEY — When their Friday night didn’t go as planned, Burrell sophomores A.J. Corrado and Ian Oswalt and Valley senior Noah Hutcherson awoke Saturday with one goal: win their final wrestling match of the season.

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Kiski’s Darren Miller howls in victory after defeating Franklin Regional’s Colton Camacho in the 126-pound Class AAA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Miller finishes decorated career with state wrestling title
HERSHEY — Darren Miller brought a companion to the top of the podium Saturday night: a 5-pound Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.

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Burrell’s Lea Coffman works out in the gym Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019, at Burrell High School.
Burrell softball motivated for final run under coach Brian Eshbaugh
Evidence of the Burrell softball team’s motivation — and its persistent practice — lies in some beyond-battered equipment.

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Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy celebrates with coaches after defeating Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser in the 138-pound Class AA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Hopewell’s Ealy among 3 WPIAL wrestlers to capture PIAA Class AA championships
HERSHEY — Jacob Ealy was hunting history in Hershey, and he didn’t let the opportunity pass him by.

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Deep, experienced pitching staff has Burrell baseball optimistic
Success in high school baseball can become an arms race, and Burrell believes it has plenty of firepower.

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Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera celebrates defeating Karl Shindledecker of Chambersburg in the 113-pound Class AAA semifinals during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Herrera, the returning PIAA champion, will face Franklin Regional’s Finn Solomon in the final.
PIAA Class AAA wrestling finals to feature 3 all-WPIAL matchups
HERSHEY — The state wrestling finals will feature some WPIAL tournament reprisals.

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Valley’s Noah Hutcherson battles Chestnut Ridge’s Jared McGill in the 170-pound class AA semifinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Hutcherson lost 17-2 by technical fall to McGill.
Burrell, Valley wrestlers to compete in Saturday’s PIAA Class AA medal rounds
March 8, 2019
HERSHEY — There won’t be a golden ticket in Chocolate Town for Burrell or Valley wrestlers, but they will come home from Pennsylvania’s biggest high school wrestling tournament with a consolation prize.

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller wrestles Matt Sarbo of Altoona in the 126-pound class AAA quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Miller, Connor earn spots in PIAA Class AAA semifinals
HERSHEY — Darren Miller didn’t make it to the Giant Center last March, the victim of an upset in the WPIAL Class AAA tournament. So the Kiski Area senior appreciates the value of even wrestling in the state wrestling championship, let alone earning a medal.

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North Hills’ Sam Hillegas removes his gear after beating St. Mary’s Tyler Diley in the 132-pound class AAA quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
WPIAL sends 17 wrestlers to PIAA Class AAA semifinals
HERSHEY — The WPIAL is proving itself a heavyweight in the state’s lighter weights.

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Derry’s Ty Cymmerman hugs head coach Mike Weinell after defeating Greenville’s Bryce Knauf in the 126-pound quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Cymmerman won the match and advances onward to the semi-finals on Friday night.
15 WPIAL wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA semifinals
HERSHEY — Even as the fate of his state wrestling quarterfinal match hung in the balance, Joey Fischer felt confident. And eventually the South Park sophomore was proven correct.

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Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger attempts to adjust his headgear while wrestling Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy in the 132-pound first round bout in class AA during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
16 WPIAL wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA quarterfinals
March 7, 2019
HERSHEY — It was a sweet first day for WPIAL wrestlers at the PIAA Class AA championships.

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Kiski Area’s Cam Connor pins Seneca Valley’s Nick Montalbano at 152 pounds, as the Cavaliers bench erupts during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Norwin High School.
A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Burrell’s Oswalt, Kiski Area’s Connor have targets on their backs
March 6, 2019
Burrell’s Ian Oswalt and Kiski Area’s Cam Connor didn’t have to look far to find their names in their respective brackets for the PIAA wrestling championships: They were right there, smack-dab at the top.

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Kiski’s Cam Connor shares a word with opponent Waynesburg’s Luca Augustine after the 152-pound first round class AAA match during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area quartet advances to PIAA Class AAA wrestling quarterfinals
HERSHEY — No victory at the PIAA wrestling championships comes easily, and Cam Connor’s face bore the evidence of that Thursday.

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Deer Lakes’ Brad Perrotte (13) celebrates after a basket during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game against North Catholic on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at North Allegheny.
Alle-Kiski Valley PIAA basketball capsules: Games for March 8-9, 2019
Boys basketball

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Valley’s Noah Hutcherson is declared winner after defeating Tri Valley’s Kolt Schaeffer in the 170-pound preliminary bout during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Valley’s Hutcherson advances to PIAA Class AA quarterfinals with overtime decision
HERSHEY — Noah Hutcherson needed some extra effort on his first day at the PIAA wrestling championships.

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Burrell’s Austin Mele pins Derry Area’s Eric Catone in the 160lbs bout during the section 3 2AA team championship Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at Burrell High School.
Wrestlers are creatures of habit when preparing for PIAA tournament
March 5, 2019
Like many people, Austin Mele looks at his phone almost immediately upon waking up in the morning. The Burrell senior checks his texts and SnapChat account before plugging it back in, making sure it’s got a full charge. Then it’s time to brush his teeth, followed by checking his weight and drinking a glass of apple juice.

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Kiski’s Darren Miller wrestles atop Hampton’s Zach Wright in the 126-pound quarterfinal at the WPIAL wrestling class 3A individual tournament on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Kiski Area wrestlers to rely on experience at PIAA tournament
With top-three finishes at the PIAA Class AAA team championships each of the past three seasons, Kiski Area knows the feeling of wrestling in Hershey’s Giant Center.

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: North Hills’ Sam Hillegas
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Sam Hillegas, jr., North Hills

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Kiski Area
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Kiski Area

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Burrell’s Ian Oswalt wrestles Amonn Ohl of St. Joseph’s Academy in the 120-pound championship final in the PIAA class 2A southwest regional wrestling tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at the Kovalchik Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
A-K Valley wrestlers took different paths to PIAA Class AA tournament
March 4, 2019
Ian Oswalt noticed the lights of the Giant Center when he stepped in to the arena as a first-time competitor at the PIAA Class AA wrestling tournament last year.

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Kiski’s Cam Connor brings down Thomas Jefferson’s Alex Weber in the 152-pound championship bout at the WPIAL class AAA individual tournament finals on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Kiski Area’s Connor, Blumer defend WPIAL wrestling titles
March 2, 2019
Cam Connor flashed what in most scenarios constitutes the peace sign to the crowd at Canon-McMillan, but the gesture held a different meaning for the Kiski Area senior.

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Deer Lakes coach Terence Parham calls out a play against North Catholic during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
A-K Valley notebook: Deer Lakes boys basketball coach Parham sees progress
Terence Parham saw a different feeling in the Deer Lakes locker room after the Lancers’ loss to North Catholic in the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals.

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Kiski’s Nick Delp brings down Penn-Trafford’s John Bachar in the 170-pound quarterfinal bout at the WPIAL class 3A individual tournament on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Connor, Kiski Area roll through WPIAL wrestling Day 1
March 1, 2019
Cam Connor critiqued his minimal mat time Friday. Then again, that proved a pretty optimal outcome for the Kiski Area senior.

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Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera wrestles atop Moon’s Khyvon Grace in the 113-pound quarterfinal bout at the WPIAL wrestling class 3A quarterfinals on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Seneca Valley, Hempfield send five wrestlers to WPIAL semifinals
Seneca Valley and Hempfield shared a high five Friday on the opening day of the WPIAL Class AAA individual wrestling championships.

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A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Harmon finds home with Armstrong
February 28, 2019
Logan Harmon had no wrestling home last season, but he is finding a comfortable spot this season and is seeking a vacation in Hershey.

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New Castle’s Drew Cox scores over Highlands’ Antoine McDaniel during their WPIAL Class 4A boys semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
2-time defending champion New Castle holds off Highlands in WPIAL Class 4A semifinals
February 27, 2019
Even as his team created what looked like an insurmountable lead, New Castle’s Ralph Blundo expected a Highlands run.

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Freeport goalie Sean Fennell makes a pad save during a game against Montour Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Belmont Ice Complex.
A-K Valley PIHL playoff capsule: Game for Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
PIHL Penguins Cup playoff preview

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller works to a 14-4 major decision over Hempfield’s Jared Brean at 132 pounds during their Class AAA Section 1 championship match Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Miller’s time: Kiski Area senior aims for WPIAL Class AAA wrestling title
Darren Miller knows the challenges that await him at the WPIAL Class AAA wrestling championships. Little can surprise him after three prior trips to the tournament.

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Charitable camp featuring USA Volleyball players coming to Moon in August
The top women’s college volleyball teams in the country are coming to Pittsburgh in December, and a few months before that, past and present members of the U.S. Olympic team will bring their charitable camp to the area as well.

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Highlands’ Luke Cochran scores past Uniontown’s Bryant Grady during quarterfinal WPIAL action Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at Norwin High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley area basketball playoff capsule for Feb. 27, 2019
February 26, 2019
Boys

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Freedom
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Freedom

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Dayton Pitzer, Mt. Pleasant, fr.

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Leechburg’s Connor McDermott drives past Bishop Canevin’s Nevan Crossey Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
6 Alle-Kiski Valley basketball teams play waiting game for PIAA playoff spots
February 24, 2019
A rubber match of sorts between Section 3-A rivals Leechburg and St. Joseph takes place in Monday’s WPIAL Class A boys basketball semifinals. One team will advance, the other will see its season end.

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North Catholic’s Ryan Feczko (11) goes up for a shot during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game against Deer Lakes Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
DeGregorio, Paschall combine for 64 points to lead North Catholic past Deer Lakes
February 21, 2019
North Catholic knew it needed to adjust to the physicality of Deer Lakes after getting hit hard early by the Lancers’ offensive rebounding.

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Alle-Kiski Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Friday, Feb. 23, 2019
Girls

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller works to a 14-4 major decision over Hempfield’s Jared Brean at 132 pounds during their Class AAA Section 1 championship match Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley wrestling notebook: Class AAA steps into spotlight
The WPIAL’s top Class AA wrestlers took the stage last weekend. Now the Class AAA competitors will join them.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise had 29 points and 16 rebounds in the Golden Rams’ victory Wednesday.
Highlands holds off Belle Vernon in Class 4A 1st-round victory
February 20, 2019
Highlands saw its playoff life flashing before its eyes against an unafraid underdog Belle Vernon.

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Burrell’s Nick Salerno picks up back points in his technical fall win at 113 during a match against Newport at the PIAA Class AA tournament Feb. 7, 2019, in Hershey.
‘Squirrelly’ Burrell wrestler Salerno reaps benefits of joining Bucs
Nick Salerno earned his nickname in his earliest days as a wrestler, when he drove a hard bargain with his mother before going to a camp.

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Southmoreland playoffs preview
No. 6 Southmoreland (18-5) vs. No. 3 Blackhawk (18-4)

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Burrell’s Austin Mele battles Freedom’s Travis Kalamasz in the 160 pound bout during the WPIAL class AA team wrestling championship match on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at Chartiers-Houston High School.
Burrell’s Mele to wrestle at PIAA Southwest Regionals despite injury
Austin Mele ran into the dreaded “Mr. Murphy” at the WPIAL Class AA championships, but the Burrell senior believes he’ll get the best of the opponent beginning this weekend.

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019
February 19, 2019
Boys

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Derry Trojans
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Derry

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK

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Southmoreland’s Bailey Kuhns (left) and Apollo-Ridge’s Maddy Moore battle for a loose ball during their WPIAL Class 4A playoff game. Southmoreland won 40-37.
Southmoreland girls lean on defense to hold off Apollo-Ridge
February 18, 2019
All conscious thought left Bailey Kuhns’ mind as she saw Apollo-Ridge’s Rylee Eaton break into the clear for a potential go-ahead layup in the final minute of Southmoreland’s first playoff game in more than a decade.

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules for games of Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019
Boys

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Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis is announced winner against South Western’s Ethan Baney in the 160 pound quarterfinal bout in class 3A during the PIAA championship wrestling tournament Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Canon-McMillan wrestler Gerrit Nijenhuis commits to Purdue
Gerrit Nijenhuis is ramping up for the upcoming individual wrestling postseason, but first he made his college decision.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski (left) grabs a loose ball from Knoch’s Nevaeh Ewing Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2019 at Freeport Middle School.
A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Feb. 18, 2019
February 17, 2019
MONDAY

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, Feb. 18, 2019
Class 4A

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Deer Lakes players from left Brad Perotte, Aris Hasley and Jared Colton celebrate a play against Charleroi during a WPIAL playoff game Feb. 16, 2019, at Keystone Oaks.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Deer Lakes boys basketball eager to continue run
Deer Lakes is no longer preoccupied with 1985.

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Deer Lakes head boys basketball coach Terence Parham during practice Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes basketball coach awaits baby, WPIAL quarterfinal game on same day
Maybe there’s something in the water when it comes to basketball coaches, babies and big games.

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Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (right) defeated Beth-Center’s Jimmy Gwyer in the 120-pound final Saturday.
Burrell sophomore Oswalt claims 2nd WPIAL wrestling championship
February 16, 2019
Ian Oswalt didn’t think he wrestled his best in his final match at the WPIAL Class AA championships, but even a “B” performance earned him an “A” result.

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Burrell’s A.J. Corrado scores back points against Southmoreland’s Nick Yessick in the 138-pound final of the Section 3-AA tournament Friday at Canon-McMillan.
Valley’s Hutcherson, Schuffert secure Section 3-AA wrestling titles
February 14, 2019
Noah Hutcherson has a pretty simple goal for the individual wrestling postseason.

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Burrell’s Austin Mele works to pin Laurel’s Reed Kissick in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling championships Friday.
Fatigue worth it for A-K Valley wrestlers during sectionals, WPIAL 1st round
Austin Mele sported a split lip and a sore elbow late Friday night at Canon-McMillan. He also had a smile.

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Greensburg Central Catholic boys hold off Leechburg in key Section 3-A game
January 29, 2019
Greensburg Central Catholic heard Leechburg's crowd, loud and clear. And then the Centurions quieted it down. Visiting GCC took the air out of Leechburg's rowdy andquot;Devils' Denandquot; with a dominant second quarter, then weathered a second-half rally from the home team, holding on for a 68-57 win in a crucial

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A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Valley aims to dethrone Burrell for section title
January 15, 2019
Part of Burrell's enormous WPIAL success over the past decade-plus includes a dominance of its section opponents. To wit: The Bucs have won 107 consecutive section matches since the 2002-03 season, claiming the regular-season championship every year since 2004. Although a long line of teams would enjoy the opportunity to

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A-K Valley notebook: Fox Chapel boys flash early potential
December 9, 2018
Zach Skrinjar said Saturday night he pays more attention to the numbers directly after a team's name than the ones directly in front. By that criteria and more, the Fox Chapel boys basketball coach came away pretty pleased with his team's showing at the season-opening Plum tournament. Fox Chapel upended

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PIAA boys soccer preview capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Fleetwood
November 16, 2018
PIAA soccer playoffs Class AA Championship Deer Lakes (21-1-1) vs. Fleetwood (19-6-1) 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Hersheypark Stadium Coaches: Jordan Wiegand, Deer Lakes; Keith Schlegel, Fleetwood Players to watch: Michael Sullivan, Deer Lakes; Haydyn Zagorski, Fleetwood Corner kicks: Deer Lakes makes its first PIAA championship game appearance, looking to become the

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Deer Lakes claws to double-OT win in school’s 1st PIAA playoff game
November 6, 2018
ERIE -- A.J. Dorman saw his shot, and he took it. Deer Lakes still is dancing as a result. Dorman scored with 10 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in double overtime, giving Deer Lakes a 1-0 victory over District 10 champion Fairview in a PIAA Class AA first-round thriller at Erie's

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A-K Valley WPIAL soccer playoff preview capsules for Nov. 1, 2018
October 31, 2018
Class AA Consolation game No. 2 Deer Lakes (17-1-1) vs. No. 4 Charleroi (18-1) 6 p.m. Thursday at Moon Coaches: Jordan Wiegand, Deer Lakes; Jon Ducoli, Charleroi Players to watch: A.J. Dorman, Deer Lakes; Cullin Woytovich, Charleroi Corner kicks: The winner advances to the PIAA Class AA playoffs, which begin

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No. 8-seeded Freeport quite familiar with opening-round opponent, No. 1 Aliquippa
Austin Romanchak remembers the first time he started a game against Aliquippa. It came three weeks into his sophomore year, at the brand-new Freeport Area Athletic Stadium, with an almost entirely brand-new Freeport starting lineup. Still, the green Yellowjackets more than held their own against the perennially powerful Quips, even

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A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Oct. 29, 2018
October 28, 2018
Monday Boys soccer: Deer Lakes will attempt to make it to Highmark Stadium for the first time as it takes on Section 2-AA rival Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL semifinals. The Lancers went 1-0-1 against the defending WPIAL champions during the regular season, but the 11th-seeded Indians upset North

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A-K valley soccer teams take respective styles to postseason
October 18, 2018
Springdale made a run in the 2017 WPIAL boys soccer playoffs thanks in large part to the Dynamos' ability to make runs. With talented scorers like Jared Demore and Nick Taliani, Springdale knew it could count on its offense to win games, and the Dynamos won plenty, advancing to the

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings for week of Oct. 16, 2018
October 16, 2018
Here's a look at the latest WPIAL girls soccer rankings for the week of Oct. 15, 2018: Class 4A Team, record, previous 1. Norwin, 14-2, 1 2. Peters Township, 13-3, 3 3. Seneca Valley, 13-2, 2 4. Upper St. Clair, 12-3, 4 5. Pine-Richland, 13-3, 5 Out: None Class 3A

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Springdale soccer leans on defense as playoffs approach
October 15, 2018
Springdale started slowly in its Section 1-A boys soccer finale over the weekend, a not-uncommon occurrence and one rendered moot by a dominant second half in a 4-0 victory over Vincentian. What made the game unique was the location: the artificial surface at Valley's Memorial Stadium. And once the Dynamos

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A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Oct. 15, 2018
October 14, 2018
Monday Boys golf Burrell's Tiger Hubbard will aim for a top-22 finish and a trip to the state finals when he tees off at the PIAA Class AA Western Regional at Toms Run Golf Course. Hubbard, a senior, competed at the regionals as a sophomore and is coming off an

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Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Burrell’s Hubbard eyes PIAAs
October 13, 2018
Tiger Hubbard's first trip to the PIAA Western Regional boys golf championship ended with the Burrell golfer two shots shy of a trip to the state finals, and the senior thinks he can pinpoint the holes where it happened. andquot;The main issue I had was with my driver where the

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North Allegheny, three others advance to WPIAL Class AAA girls golf finals
October 8, 2018
Three-time defending champion North Allegheny led a quartet of teams that advanced to Thursday's WPIAL Class AAA girls golf championships at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon. The Tigers topped the field of 10 teams at Monday's team semifinals at Rolling Hills Golf Course. Caroline Wrigley's 3-under 70 and Bella

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Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Race to playoffs gets interesting
September 30, 2018
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

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Kevin Stevens to speak to WPIAL players at summit on dangers of addiction
September 24, 2018
Former Pittsburgh Penguins player Kevin Stevens will be the featured speaker at a leadership summit for WPIAL athletes, coaches, athletic directors and principals that will

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A-K Valley football notebook: Riverview, Leechburg keep positive attitude amid rough start
September 20, 2018
Todd Massack knows what the record says next to Riverview's name in the Class A Eastern Conference standings, but it doesn't match what he sees

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Alle-Kiski high school lookahead: Week of Aug. 27-Sept. 1
August 26, 2018
MondayFreeport has won at least a share of the Section 1-AA championship for three consecutive seasons, and the Yellowjackets are on a six-year run of

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Deer Lakes Coach Tim Burk
WPIAL football coaches know the value of a good training camp meal
August 13, 2018
Tim Burk has been through a training camp or 10 during his time as an assistant at Carlynton, Deer Lakes and Springdale, so he knows

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Burk hopes to guide alma mater Deer Lakes back to WPIAL playoffs
August 1, 2018
It took one year of coaching at Carlynton, miles away from his hometown and alma mater, before Tim Burk realized he wanted to work closer

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Deer Lakes to hold special meeting to hire new football coach
July 23, 2018
Deer Lakes should have a new football coach by the end of the month. The district called a special board meeting for 7 p.m. July

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Valley's Nyjewel Carter shoots the ball while playing against Latrobe during the WCCA Hoopfest on Friday, July, 6, 2018, at Hempfield Area High School.
Burrell, Valley boys basketball teams try to work out kinks in summer
July 8, 2018
Burrell and Valley played in Friday's Westmoreland County Coaches Association boys basketball showcase without their normal coaches, giving the neighboring rivals at least one thing

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Springdale goalkeeper Mike Zolnierczyk makes a save between Seton LaSalle's Gabe Rosario (30) and Kaleb Krebs during their WPIAL Class A semifinal Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at North Allegheny High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Springdale’s Zolnierczyk trains at D.C. United Academy
June 14, 2018
Mike Zolnierczyk's last name isn't andquot;Smith,andquot; but he went to Washington just the same. Zolnierczyk, a rising senior goalkeeper at Springdale, received an opportunity to

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Ringgold Area'sDylan Wujcik and Koby Bubash celebrates with Chase Angotti after Angotti scored in the first inning during the WPIAL4-A Baseball championship Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Wild Things Park.
PIAA moves Monday’s baseball semifinal games from Slippery Rock to Neshannock
June 10, 2018
A pair of WPIAL baseball teams will play their PIAA semifinal games at a different site Monday because of rain over the weekend. The PIAA

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Southmoreland rallies past Central for program’s 1st PIAA victory
June 4, 2018
Southmoreland worked hard enough to earn a spot in the state softball playoffs for the first time. The Scotties weren't about to let their run

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No. 1 Mars routs Freeport to reach lacrosse semifinals
May 18, 2018
Freeport's school history-making lacrosse season ended against a familiar opponent. No. 1 Mars jumped out to a seven-goal lead after the first quarter and never

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Kiski Valley rugby back to state playoffs
April 29, 2018
Kiski Valley is heading back to the state rugby playoffs. The Titans claimed their division title, beating Blair United/Hollidaysburg Rugby Club, 29-12, on Sunday afternoon

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Kiski Area wrestlers dominate at opening day at Southwest Regionals
March 2, 2018
Darren Miller's headgear popped off in the early seconds of his match against Connellsville's Dylan Keefer on Friday, crashing to the mat as the Kiski

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A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules for Friday
February 23, 2018
WPIAL basketball playoff capsules Boys Class 5A quarterfinals No. 2 Highlands (17-4) vs. No. 7 West Allegheny (11-11) 8 p.m. Friday at Fox Chapel Winner

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Leechburg's Mikayla Lovelace (21) drives to the net during their game against Brentwood on Thurs. Feb. 8, 2018. Leechburg won 80-56.
A-K Valley WPIAL basketball preview playoff capsule for Thursday’s game
February 21, 2018
Girls Class 2A Quarterfinals No. 6 Leechburg (19-4) vs. No. 3 Chartiers-Houston (17-5) 6:30 p.m. Thursday at West Allegheny On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com Winner plays:

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Leechburg's Tyler Leech (42) goes to the net during their game against Springdale on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 at Leechburg. Leechburg won 61-44.
A-K Valley WPIAL basketball playoff preview capsules for Tuesday’s games
February 19, 2018
Boys basketball Class 2A First round No. 8 Leechburg (14-7) vs. No. 9 Fort Cherry (9-13) 8 p.m. Tuesday at North Hills On air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

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Apollo-Ridge's (32) Megan Ost fights for a rebound against Leechburg's (21) Mikayla Lovelace during the second half of the basketball game at Apollo-Ridge High School on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead: Feb. 19-24, 2018
February 18, 2018
Monday • Deer Lakes hosts Kiski Area in a PIHL Class A game with major postseason implications. Kiski Area (9-10) entered the week holding on

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Norwin's Patrick Edwards and Plum's Ian Dryburgh chase down a loose ball Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at Norwin.
Norwin boys weather Plum as leaky roof moves game to auxiliary gym
January 12, 2018
Norwin's game against Plum on Friday featured elements seemingly out of the theater of the absurd: A changed time because of the weather. A different

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Valley's Nyjewel Carter drives to the basket past Burrell's Logan Bitar during the second quarter of their game Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, at Valley High School. Valley won, 70-61.
Valley boys overcome late lapses to defeat rival Burrell
December 18, 2017
Mark Faulx saw some of the tell-tale fourth-quarter problems that cost Valley games in previous seasons crop up again Monday night. Forced, missed shots. Turnovers.

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Freeport's Ben Beale poses for a portrait during practice on Thursday, Dec. 14 2017.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school lookahead: Week of Dec. 18, 2017
December 17, 2017
MONDAY • Kiski Area's girls basketball team is seeking an end to its 26-game section losing streak, which dates to the 2014-15 season, and the

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Gateway survives McKeesport, advances to WPIAL final
November 10, 2017
Don Holl said he suffered no flashbacks to last season's WPIAL semifinal against McKeesport as the Tigers converted a hook-and-lateral on a last-gasp drive. His

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VIDEO: Playoff-bound Springdale wears down Greensburg Central Catholic
October 28, 2017
Springdale seniors Josh Harmon and Parker Kline discuss the Dynamos' playoff-clinching victory over Greensburg Central Catholic.

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Yough's Justine Appolonia (3) charges toward the Burrell goal in overtime on Thursday Oct. 26, 2017 at Norwin.
Video: Reactions from Yough’s overtime girls soccer win against Burrell in the WPIAL playoffs
October 27, 2017
The Yough girls soccer team topped Burrell in the WPIAL playoffs Friday. Justine Appolonia scored twice, including the winner in overtime; here she discusses the

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Riverview's Alex Wilson (13) reacts after Seton LaSalle's lone goal next to goalkeeper Jordan Zatawski during their WPIAL quarterfinal playoff game Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, at Seneca Valley High School. Riverview lost, 1-0.
Second straight upset bid falls short for Riverview boys against Seton LaSalle
October 25, 2017
Riverview's chances came frequently in the first half, but none of them found the back of the net. Neither did the shot that ultimately ended

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Freeport's Carli Giori gets a shot past Burrell keeper Ally Klems in the first half of the soccer game on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 at Burrell High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley week ahead: Oct. 23-29
October 22, 2017
Monday • Burrell and Charleroi's 2016 WPIAL Class AA first-round girls soccer playoff game came down to the wire, with Charleroi scoring the winning goal

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Springdale's Justin McClafferty carries the ball past Serra Catholic's Nick Almeter during their WPIAL first round playoff game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at North Allegheny High School.
Springdale boys shake off early injury to shut out Serra Catholic
October 21, 2017
Springdale's boys soccer playoff opener began ominously, with leading scorer Jared Demore suffering a leg injury less than two minutes into the game. The Dynamos,

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Alle-Kiski Valley week ahead: Oct. 16-22
October 15, 2017
MONDAY Freeport and Deer Lakes played an entertaining game in their first meeting, with Deer Lakes rallying from a three-goal deficit before Freeport scored late

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Fox Chapel's Sarah Sinnott (right) is mobbed by teammates after her winning goal in double overtime against Plum Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel girls hunting for elusive WPIAL title
October 10, 2017
Katie Livingston made no bones about Fox Chapel's intentions for some of the highest-seeded teams in the upcoming WPIAL Class AAAA girls soccer playoffs. Fittingly

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Jacob Leri and Austin Romanchak celebrate Freeport's second touchdown against Yough Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Freeport.
After bye week, Freeport ready to face rival Deer Lakes
September 6, 2017
As Freeport went through an unusual bye week in Week 1, one nagging worry cropped up in the back of coach John Gaillot's mind. andquot;I'm

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Plum's Corey Thomas reaches out to stiff-arm Kiski Area's Tracey Moore in the first quarter Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Plum Senior High School.
Plum kicker Jackson Gildea boots winning field goal in waning seconds to beat Kiski Area
September 1, 2017
Jackson Gildea faced some self-doubt before attempting the biggest kick of his high school football career, and Kiski Area tried to get in his head

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Burrell quarterback Seth Tatrn avoids Springdale's Joey Gedraitis and Dylan Hargenrader in the first quarter Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Burrell High School.
Converted tailback Tatrn stars in debut at QB in Burrell victory
August 26, 2017
Burrell welcomed home an old quarterback named Seth on Friday night, and a first-year signal-caller by the same name announced his arrival. Senior Seth Tatrn,

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Mark Redman (65) joins Springdale High School head coach Chuck Wagner in celebrating the Dynamos' 2003 WPIAL championship game victory at Heinz Field.
A-K Valley football teams looking to snap WPIAL title drought
August 12, 2017
One game from Springdale's 2003 WPIAL football championship season sticks out for Don andquot;Pappyandquot; Boulton, and it's not the Dynamos' Class A title-game win over

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Leechburg’s McKenna Pierce drives in a run against Jeannette during a WPIAL Class A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Leechburg softball hopes to overcome semifinal hurdle against Union
May 21, 2019
Leechburg scored runs seemingly at will as it tore through the regular season and won a third consecutive Section 3-A championship, but the Blue Devils saw quickly the difference the playoffs can bring.

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Freeport starting pitcher Jarrett Heilman throws against Deer Lakes Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Freeport’s Heilman nears perfect game
Jarrett Heilman strung together plenty of dominant pitching performances during the regular season, but the junior reached another level in his first postseason start.

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Freeport first baseman Matt Mitchell makes a diving catch against Deer Lakes Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Freeport baseball set to face Steel Valley in semifinals
BASEBALL

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Knoch shortstop Monica Gourley fields a ball hit by Greensburg Salem’s Kayla Gaughan during quarterfinal Monday, May 20, 2019 at Hampton Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley softball preview capsules for games of Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Wednesday’s games

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Blackhawk’s Hunter Woodward scores past Mt. Pleasant catcher Pete Billey during their WPIAL Class 4A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
WPIAL releases baseball semifinal sites
Greensburg Salem and New Castle still need to decide their WPIAL baseball quarterfinal, but the victor already knows its destination.

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Leechburg’s McKenna Pierce drives in a run against Jeannette during a WPIAL Class A playoff game Monday, May 20, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Leechburg softball tops Jeannette for 3rd time, moves to semifinals
May 20, 2019
Leechburg expected a tougher game from Jeannette in the WPIAL playoffs than what the Blue Devils saw from their section rival during the regular season.

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Highlands’ Michael Magdinec tags out Thomas Jefferson’s Andy Kalup Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
A-K Valley WPIAL baseball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, May 20
May 19, 2019
WPIAL baseball quarterfinals

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Freeport celebrates with Jarrett Heilman after Heilman hit a two-run walk off double to beat Deer Lakes in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for week of May 20, 2019
MONDAY

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Plum’s Mackenzie Lake prepares to take some batting after a cancelled a game April 23, 2019.
WPIAL softball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, May 20
May 18, 2019
Monday’s games

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise scores hehind Thomas Jefferson catcher Josh Reynolds in the first inning Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
Highlands baseball uses mix of older, younger players to continue playoff run
As the stress began to build in Highlands’ first postseason appearance in more than a decade and a half, one of the Golden Rams’ most experienced players gave way to one of their youngest.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise scores hehind Thomas Jefferson catcher Josh Reynolds in the first inning Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Highlands, St. Joseph, Springdale have lofty postseason goals
May 17, 2019
As pleased as Highlands and St. Joseph baseball felt to end years-long WPIAL baseball playoff droughts, and as excited as it made Springdale to make the softball postseason for the first time in nearly two decades, all three teams had loftier goals than that.

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Mt. Pleasant pitcher Carolyn Alincic celebrates a strike-out with her infielders during their game against Yough Monday, April 29, 2019, at Mt. Pleasant Area High School.
WPIAL releases schedule for softball quarterfinals
The WPIAL on Friday revealed the sites for its softball quarterfinals, which will take place Monday.

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Penn Trafford’s Tyler Horvat celebrates with Luke Fabac after scoring during the sixth inning against Norwin Thursday, April 18, 2019, at Norwin High School.
WPIAL releases baseball quarterfinal schedule
The WPIAL on Friday released the sites and times for its baseball quarterfinal games, which will take place Monday and Tuesday.

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Kiski Area’s Garret Polka charges for second base as Laurel Highlands pitcher Andino Vecchiolla throws to first base. Polka was out on the play.
Vecchiolla, Laurel Highlands shut down Kiski Area in opening round
May 16, 2019
Andino Vecchiolla dealt with butterflies early in Laurel Highlands’ WPIAL playoff opener against Kiski Area. Then he just started dealing.

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Kiski Area’s Ethan Guercio (4) avoids a collision with Ryan Rametta at second base during a game against Burrell on March 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley baseball playoff previews: Games of May 16, 2019
WPIAL baseball playoffs

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Burrell’s Trent Valovchik breaks up the double play against McGuffey Wednesday, May 15, 2019 during first round AA WPIAL playoff action at West Mifflin High School.
Late surge lifts No. 7 Burrell past McGuffey in opening round of WPIAL playoffs
May 15, 2019
Burrell leaned on ace Luke Virag over the first handful of innings of its WPIAL playoff opener as the Bucs’ offense felt out an unfamiliar pitcher.

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Freeport softball coach Sam Ross had his team searching for alternative means to practice when the Yellowjackets’ first-round playoff game was postponed by bad weather.
Softball teams adjust after 1st-round playoff games get postponed
A familiar nemesis popped up as Springdale prepared to play its first WPIAL softball playoff game in nearly two decades: Mother Nature.

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Franklin Regional’s Angalee Beall pitches a throw against Penn-Traffrod during WPIAL softball Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Franklin Regional School District.
WPIAL postpones Tuesday softball games at Gateway, Hampton, North Allegheny, Shaler
May 14, 2019
The rainy weather that began over Mother’s Day weekend presented a curveball to the WPIAL softball playoffs.

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Deer Lakes starting pitcher Greg Geis throws against Freeport Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley baseball playoff preview capsules: Games for May 15
May 13, 2019
First round

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Apollo Ridges starting pitcher Mollie Charlton throws against Riverview Monday, May, 6, 2019 at Apollo Ridge High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley softball playoff preview capsules: Games for May 15
First round

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Deer Lakes’ Darrion DeMase during practice Monday, March 25, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Deer Lakes volleyball gets seeded 12th
Deer Lakes will face an uphill battle as it attempts to continue its recent WPIAL boys volleyball playoff success.

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Deer Lakes’ Makayla Blair is mobbed after hitting a walk-off home run to beat Freeport in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Softball playoff preview capsules: Games of Tuesday, May 14
May 12, 2019
Softball

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Freeport’s Taylor Davis makes a running catch on a ball hit by Deer Lakes’ Lydia Guthrie Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley HS lookahead: Week of May 13-18
Monday

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Knoch’s grass athletic field Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Knoch High School.
Knoch considering replacing grass with turf at stadium
Mother Nature rained plenty on Knoch’s parade last fall. More significantly, on its football and soccer games, too.

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Plum head basketball coach Hart Coleman calls in a play against Kiski Area Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 at Plum.
St. Joseph hires Plum’s Hart Coleman as new boys basketball coach
Hart Coleman first became familiar with St. Joseph’s boys basketball program when he brought his Plum team to the Spartans’ summer league in 2018.

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Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow competes in the girls’ 300 hurdles finals on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association Track and Field Championships at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Sharrow, Cutright to race in WPIAL hurdle prelims
May 11, 2019
At least one race at this week’s WPIAL track and field championships could come down to a pair of competitors from the Alle-Kiski Valley.

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Catcher Dom Fellowes helped the St. Joseph baseball team reach the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2000.
A-K Valley teams snap long playoff droughts, but will inexperience matter?
Kurt Krebs asked his St. Joseph baseball players for a show of hands recently, seeking those who were alive in 2001, and got a positve response from three.

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Freeport’s Jarrett Heilman hits a two-run walk off double to beat Deer Lakes in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday May 8, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
Freeport baseball surprised with top seed in WPIAL Class 3A playoffs
May 10, 2019
A thrilling victory in Wednesday’s season finale gave Freeport more than just a section championship. Turns out it also provided quite a boost for the postseason.

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Burrell starting pitcher Caroline Dynka throws against Deer Lakes Monday, April 29, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Quartet of A-K Valley softball teams awarded 1st-round bye in playoffs
May 9, 2019
The release of the WPIAL softball playoff brackets Thursday brought some welcome news to Burrell.

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Kiski Area baseball uses dramatic win over Armstrong to qualify for playoffs
May 8, 2019
Ryne Wallace arrived to Kiski Area’s do-or-die section finale 15 minutes before first pitch because of advanced placement tests, but the senior got there in plenty of time to place the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise jumps during workout reps while attending an evening practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at Highlands Golden Ram Stadium in Natrona Heights.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise adds Robert Morris football offer to basketball offer
May 7, 2019
Johnny Crise doubled up on his Robert Morris scholarship opportunities.

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Pitcher Billy Perroz and the Kiski Area baseball team are fighting for the final playoff berth from Section 1-5A.
Alle-Kiski notebook: Playoff fates await Kiski Area, Knoch baseball
It might not be the most ideal situation, but it’s certainly the most dramatic.

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Freeport pitcher Jarrett Heilman delivers against Burrell Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Burrell.
From ‘Baby Shark’ to great white, Heilman develops into reliable ace, leader for Freeport
Jarrett Heilman first heard “Baby Shark” in ninth-grade social studies, when teacher Daniel Stell played the children’s song and its accompanying dance over the projector in the classroom. And when he threw a complete game later that afternoon in a junior varsity game against Knoch, a phenomenon was born.

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St.Joseph catcher Dom Fellowes, works out during a recent practice at Swartz Field in Freeport Tuesday. March 19, 2019.
Highlands, St. Joseph baseball teams end long WPIAL playoff droughts
May 6, 2019
Highlands and St. Joseph share the same stretch of road in Harrison Township, and until Monday they also had long WPIAL baseball playoff droughts in common.

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A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of May 6-12
May 5, 2019
Monday

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Burrell’s Charlie Confer doubled in the winning runs against Deer Lakes in the sixth inning Monday.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Burrell softball keeps rallying
May 4, 2019
Burrell is developing a penchant for softball comebacks.

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Norwin pitcher Billy Kerston (9), during the game at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon Township, on Friday, May 3, 2019.
Pitching, defense help Norwin avenge Section 2-6A loss to Plum
May 3, 2019
Norwin wanted a fast start against Plum given what happened in their first Section 2-6A meeting this season: six innings of scoreless ball, followed by a Plum walk-off in the seventh.

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Kiski Area’s Christa Palla plays during a scrimmage with Freeport Area girls Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 at Freeport High School.
Kiski Area’s Palla twins commit to play soccer at Morehead State
Kiski Area’s Palla twins will stick together at the Division I soccer level.

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Fox Chapel’s Sydney Kennedy works against Sewickley Academy’s Mia Delvecchio during their match Friday, April 26, 2019, at Fox Chapel High School.
Motivated by last season’s playoff defeat, Fox Chapel girls lacrosse chasing WPIAL title
May 2, 2019
A regular-season victory can’t fully erase the sting of a playoff loss, but Fox Chapel’s girls lacrosse team still felt plenty of satisfaction after a two-goal win over Sewickley Academy last week.

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Indiana gets top seed in WPIAL Class AA boys tennis playoffs
May 1, 2019
A new team will win the WPIAL Class AA tennis championship this season after Sewickley Academy’s move up to Class AAA, and Indiana will slot in as the favorite to take the crown.

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Radvan, Freeport shut down Deer Lakes for Section 1-3A victory
Tori Radvan wanted another shot at Deer Lakes, given what happened the last time she threw a pitch against the Lancers. And Freeport’s ace took full advantage of her second chance.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel boys tennis sets sights on 4th straight WPIAL title
Fox Chapel’s senior class proved over the last three years it belonged in a different class than their Class AAA competitors. And with three WPIAL championships in hand, the Foxes can finish up a clean sweep.

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Obama Academy player wins City League singles title
April 30, 2019
Sachin Thiagarajan kept Obama Academy’s City League tennis dominance going.

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Kiski Area’s Zach Morrill catches a pop-up during a game against Burrell on March 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
A-K Valley baseball teams enter home stretch on playoff bubble
Aaron Albert used some recent indoor practice time to put Kiski Area’s baseball reality in writing.

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Four Quaker Valley tennis players competed in the WPIAL Class AA doubles tournament April 30, 2019, at Oxford Athletic Club. From left to right are silver medalists Will Sirianni and Potter Oliver and gold medalists Zach Albert and John Watters.
Shady Side Academy, Quaker Valley teams win WPIAL doubles titles
The WPIAL Class AA doubles final Tuesday turned into something of a Quaker Valley intrasquad scrimmage, pitting the Quakers’ tournament entrants against each other.

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Fox Chapel’s Milo Barron during a match against Hampton April 4, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Fox Chapel draws top seed in WPIAL tennis playoffs
Fox Chapel will go for a WPIAL tennis four-peat from the top line of the Class AAA tennis bracket.

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Defending champions Dua, Gramley advance to WPIAL doubles final
April 29, 2019
Nathan Dua and Colin Gramley can double up in WPIAL doubles.

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Burrell’s Charlie Confer double against Deer Lakes driving in the winning runs in the fifth inning Monday, April 29, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
No. 2 Burrell rallies again, defeats Deer Lakes for 8th straight victory
Charlie Confer put it succinctly: Even when Burrell is down, the Bucs are up.

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Springdale coach Anthony Pototo celebrates with Brianna Thompson after she scored during their game against St. Joseph Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Kotecki Memorial Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Surging Springdale softball weathers 18-day standstill
April 28, 2019
Springdale is attempting to find a silver lining in the storm clouds that are hampering its breakout softball season.

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Burrell’s Jack Henderson breaks up a double play under Freeport’s Bradyn Clark during their game Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Burrell.
A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of April 29-May 4
Monday

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie high-fives teammates during their game against Springdale Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Springdale High School.
Undefeated Leechburg on verge of clinching playoff berth for 33rd straight season
April 26, 2019
Debbie Young heard the murmuring around Leechburg begin recently: The Blue Devils are back at it.

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Deer Lakes’ Josh Yourish wins the boys 1600 meter run during the Section 7-AA meet on April 24, 2019 at Freeport Area High School.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Athletes win multiple titles at section track and field meet
The WPIAL individual track and field championships are looming next month at Slippery Rock, and some of the Alle-Kiski Valley’s top athletes are ramping up for the competition.

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Peters Twp.’s Makenna Marisa scores past Garnet Valley’s Madison McKee during the PIAA Class 6A girls state championship game Friday, Mar. 22, 2019, at Giant Center in Hershey.
Pa. Sportswriters name Peters Township’s Makenna Marisa Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Makenna Marisa and Bert Kendall helped Peters Township make history during a perfect girls basketball season, and Friday they received the ultimate capper.

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Blackhawk coach Bob Amalia talks with pitcher Brendan McKay after West Allegheny scored during the third inning of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game Thursday, May 29, 2014, at Consol Energy Park.
Blackhawk baseball coach Bob Amalia wins 300th game
April 25, 2019
Blackhawk got coach Bob Amalia his 300th career victory in style.

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Deer Lakes’ Josh Yourish winces after running in the boys’ 2A race during the WPIAL cross country championships on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at Roadman Park in California.
Deer Lakes runner Josh Yourish commits to George Mason
April 24, 2019
Wednesday was Patriots Day for Deer Lakes senior Josh Yourish, as the Lancers’ standout distance runner announced a commitment to the George Mason track and field program.

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Freeport pitcher Jarrett Heilman gave up two runs and struck out 12 against Burrell.
Jarrett Heilman leads Freeport baseball past Burrell in important section game
Jarrett Heilman didn’t require much offensive support, but his Freeport teammates gave him plenty — and made sure to do it early.

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A-K Valley H.S. notebook: Burrell’s 20-run inning ‘unreal’
Mark Spohn didn’t know how to explain the third inning of Burrell’s nonsection game last week against Highlands.

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Baldwin sophomore lineman Dorien Ford (30) competes during the 2018 season.
Baldwin’s Dorien Ford receives Syracuse, Nebraska offers
April 23, 2019
The recruiting process continues to pick up for Baldwin’s Dorien Ford.

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Senior pitcher Greg Geis is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 
27<sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>3</sub> innings this season for Deer Lakes.
Deer Lakes baseball ‘learning how to win’ in turnaround
April 22, 2019
The same result kept happening to Deer Lakes during the early stages of baseball season.

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Deer Lakes’ Devin Reiher during practice Monday, March 25, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Young Deer Lakes volleyball gaining confidence with wins
April 21, 2019
Deer Lakes advanced to the playoffs of the Plum boys volleyball tournament in mid-April, the Lancers’ most recent weekend competition. And although the run ended quickly with a loss to Saegertown, Deer Lakes showed reasons for optimism.

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Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
                                Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
A-K Valley H.S. lookahead: Week of April 22-27
Monday

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Highland’s Johnny Crise scores over Belle Vernon’s Mitchell Pohlot during WPIAL playoff action Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at North Hills High School.
Highlands’ Crise is WPIAL’s latest multi-sport star to face big decision
April 20, 2019
Johnny Crise already carried a pair of Division I scholarship offers in basketball, coaches noting the Highlands standout’s athleticism and potential while playing on the AAU circuit.

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A-K Valley high school notebook: Section 1-3A softball race promises to be entertaining
April 19, 2019
If the second half of the Section 1-3A softball season resembles the first in any way, expect plenty of entertainment value in the coming weeks.

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Deer Lakes’ Marlene Mayer throws against Freeport Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Deer Lakes High School.
Blair’s walk-off home run lifts Deer Lakes past Freeport in Section 1-3A
April 18, 2019
Makayla Blair felt frustrated, and her Deer Lakes teammates were angry after they saw a late lead slip away against a rival for the second time in just over a week.

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Knoch’s Chase Mullen plays against Freeport Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at Freeport Area High School.
Knoch boys lacrosse in search of 3rd straight playoff appearance
Knoch’s prospects appeared dim in the second half of its Section 1-AA boys lacrosse matchup with Freeport. A six-goal deficit makes rallies difficult under normal circumstances, but the Knights also faced a dwindling clock — and they weren’t exactly playing well, either.

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Highlands High School custodian and equipment manager Eddie Teorsky and Athletic Director Chuck Debor make their way to the school cafeteria on Dec. 7, 2018.The two have worked together for 24 years and are close friends.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Highlands’ Chuck Debor resigns as AD to focus on teaching
Chuck Debor spent the past handful of years working part-time as Highlands’ athletic director, but he soon will go back to doing what he loves full-time.

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Springdale girls soccer head coach Jerry Concannon goes over a drill with his team during practice at the high school on Tuesday August 28, 2012.
Springdale girls soccer coach Jerry Concannon resigns after 12 seasons
April 17, 2019
Jerry Concannon oversaw a consistently successful girls soccer program at Springdale. After a dozen years, the Dynamos are looking for a new coach.

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Leechburg’s Nathan Shinko dives safely back to first base next to Springdale pitcher Justin Botinovich during their game Thursday, April 11, 2019, at Springdale High School.
A-K Valley baseball teams earn key wins to rebound from slow starts
April 16, 2019
A seemingly comfortable six-run lead shrank to one for Valley in a handful of minutes during a Section 1-3A baseball game last week at East Allegheny.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel’s Shymansky, Indiana’s Palko win WPIAL singles titles
Zachary Palko made history. Robby Shymansky repeated it.

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Highlands High School custodian and equipment manager Eddie Teorsky and Athletic Director Chuck Debor make their way to the school cafeteria on Dec. 7, 2018.The two have worked together for 24 years and are close friends.
Highlands athletic director Chuck Debor resigns
April 15, 2019
Chuck Debor spent the past handful of years working part-time as Highlands’ athletic director, but he’ll soon go back to doing what he loves full-time.

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North Catholic’s Tess Myers leads the fast break against Central Valley during the 4A girls WPIAL Championship at Petersen Events Center.
North Catholic basketball star Tess Myers receives offer from Colorado
Tess Myers spent the weekend playing basketball in Colorado. She might get a chance to do so for a much longer time than that in the coming years.

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Fox Chapel’s Robby Shymansky plays against Franklin Regional Monday, April 23, 2018 at Fox Chapel High School.
Defending champion Shymansky leads field of WPIAL tennis singles finalists
Robby Shymansky has an opportunity to double his WPIAL singles success.

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St. Joseph’s head coach Kelly Robinson reacts after a foul was called late in the fourth quarter of a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal against West Allegheny High School.
St. Joseph boys basketball coach Kelly Robinson steps down after 21 seasons
Kelly Robinson believed he was ending his St. Joseph basketball coaching career on a nice, round number of 20 seasons.

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Freeport’s Allison DeJidas makes a running catch on a ball hit by Burrell’s Rikki WybleWednesday, April 3, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
A-K Valley notebook: Perfect start for Freeport softball
April 14, 2019
Freeport finished the 2018 regular season as one of only two undefeated softball teams in the WPIAL, and the Yellowjackets are picking up where they left off.

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Kiski Area’s Ryan Rametta hits during practice at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of April 15, 2019
Monday

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A-K Valley notebook: No rest for No. 3 Leechburg softball
April 13, 2019
What’s a softball team to do after an 18-run victory that requires just three innings to complete?

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Highlands looking into restarting girls volleyball program
April 12, 2019
Highlands is setting itself up for a return to the WPIAL in girls volleyball after three seasons away.

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Deer Lakes’ Jenna Bisegna beats the tag attempt by Valley’s Auveonna Perkins Monday, April 8, 2019 at Valley High School.
Young Deer Lakes softball team not taking anything for granted
Katrina Taliani batted in the final inning of a PIAA quarterfinal game two seasons ago, one of the youngest players on a veteran-laden Deer Lakes softball team.

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Freeport’s Carter Dougherty plays against Greensburg Central Catholic Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Carbon.
Freeport boys focused on improving their ‘lacrosse IQ’
April 11, 2019
Freeport has the brawn to contend with some of the top teams in WPIAL boys lacrosse. But Dave Riley would prefer to see the brain.

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Highland’s Noah Gillette during fielding practice Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Highlands High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Pitchers finding early-season success
There’s been a call to arms in the Alle-Kiski Valley. Whether it’s from a mound or a circle, local pitchers are dealing.

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Leechburg pitcher Emma Ritchie high-fives teammates during their game against Springdale Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Springdale High School.
No. 3 Leechburg rallies past No. 4 Springdale in Section 3-A slugfest
April 10, 2019
The numbers Leechburg and Springdale put up through the first two weeks of the softball season created some extra anticipation for their first meeting of the season, and they created some more eye-popping statistics Wednesday.

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From left, Mckenna Pierce, Cassie Shoupe, Tim Toy (sponsor), Kelsey Bonk (coach) and Makayla Jackson pose for a photo on July 16, 2018, at Plum High School. Louis Raggiunti l For the Tribune-Review
We Serve First Foundation sponsoring 12 WPIAL players’ attendance at national volleyball camp
April 9, 2019
The We Serve First Foundation sponsored three WPIAL players’ attendance at last summer’s Give It Back Foundation national girls volleyball camp in Anaheim, Calif. With the camp coming to Western Pennsylvania this summer, that number will quadruple.

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Fox Chapel’s Jacob Gruden during batting practice April 4, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
With arm surgeries behind him, Fox Chapel’s Gruden again playing at high level
A year ago at this time, every one of Jacob Gruden’s throws ended the same way: with the ball going straight down to the ground. He wondered if the same was happening to his once-promising baseball career.

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A-K Valley campus clippings: PS Behrend’s Gozzard on a hitting tear
Katie Gozzard is hitting just about everything in sight these days.

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Springdale coach Anthony Pototo celebrates with Brianna Thompson after she scored during their game against St. Joseph Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Kotecki Memorial Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of April 8., 2019
April 7, 2019
Monday

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Freeport’s Maya Borghol rounds the bases past head coach Sam Ross after hitting a home run during a game against Deer Lakes Friday, April 13, 2018, at Freeport Community Park.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Freeport’s Borghol out indefinitely
Already without key pieces because of graduation, Freeport’s softball team is dealing with the loss of one of its most productive returners.

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Junior Mike Odrey, during tennis practice at Valley High School in New Kensington, on Friday, April 5, 2019.
FC’s Shymansky, Valley’s Odrey prep for section tennis tourneys
Robby Shymansky has a PIAA silver and bronze medal at his home, souvenirs from past appearances at the state Class AAA singles tournament.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise jumps during workout reps while attending an evening practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018 at Highlands Golden Ram Stadium in Natrona Heights.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise picks up football scholarship offer from Fordham
April 6, 2019
Already a potential Division I basketball player, Johnny Crise now can add football to the mix.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski drives to the basket past Knoch’s Abbey Shearer during their game Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at Knoch High School.
Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski named Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise dunks during the fourth quarter of a WPIAL Class 4A boys semifinal against New Castle Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
Highlands’ Johnny Crise named Valley News Dispatch Boys Basketball Player of the Year
Valley News Dispatch Boys Basketball Player of the Year

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Apollo Ridge’s Mollie Charlton works out on the first day of softball practice at Apollo Ridge High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Crazy early-season comebacks plentiful
April 4, 2019
John Kinnamon gathered the Apollo-Ridge softball team for a pep talk after the fourth inning of its Section 2-2A game Tuesday at Shady Side Academy.

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Freeport’s Zachary Allen celebrates his double against Burrell scoring the winning run in the sixth inning Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at Freeport Community Park.
No. 2 Freeport edges No. 3 Burrell baseball in early showdown
April 3, 2019
Freeport coach Ed Carr tried to downplay the significance of Wednesday’s Section 1-3A opener against Burrell to his baseball team, but the message didn’t exactly sink in. Not with both teams eyeing a section championship, and not with the emotions that ran high in both dugouts for much of the afternoon.

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Apollo-Ridge girls basketball coach Callipare won’t return
April 2, 2019
Apollo-Ridge’s next mission is finding a new girls basketball coach. The Vikings are searching for a replacement for Jim Callipare, who won’t return after six seasons and five WPIAL playoff appearances.

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Burrell’s Luke Virag pitches against Kiski Area on Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Aces on the hill: A-K Valley baseball teams lean on deep, experienced pitching staffs
Kiski Area faced a five-run hole as the fourth inning of its nonsection baseball game against Plum began last week, but the Cavaliers didn’t worry. After all, they had their ace — or one of them, at least — in the hole.

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Kiski Area’s Enzo Morlacci works to pin Plum’s Evan Stinson at 145 pounds during their match Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at Plum High School.
Kiski Area wrestler Morlacci captures title at National High School Coaches Association tournament
April 1, 2019
Enzo Morlacci experienced wrestling at the national level during his youth days, and he spent plenty of time on the mat against high-level high school competition during his freshman season at Kiski Area.

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Burrell goaltender Drew Burkett watches the puck during a game against Central Valley Monday, Nov.12, 2018, at Pittsburgh Ice Arena.
Burrell falls in USA Hockey national championship game
Burrell’s run at a high school hockey national championship ended one win short.

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Burrell’s Dylan Zelonka scores on Connellsville goaltender Sebastian Skarzenski during the second period of their Penguins Cup Division 2 semifinal Monday, Mar. 11, 2019, at RMU Island Sports Center.
Burrell advances to USA Hockey national championship game
March 31, 2019
Burrell stands one win from a national high school hockey championship.

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Fox Chapel’s Kaya Akinci (11) goes for a block during a North Allegheny tournament March 23, 2019 at North Allegheny.
Fox Chapel volleyball hopes growth can snap playoff drought
Phil O’Keeffe is well into his second decade of coaching boys volleyball at Fox Chapel. So his calling the current group of Foxes the youngest team of his tenure is a significant statement.

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Shelby Gogal and the St. Joseph softball team will face Springdale in a section matchup Tuesday.
A-K Valley look-ahead: Week of April 1, 2019
Monday

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Kiski’s Darren Miller howls in victory after defeating Franklin Regional’s Colton Camacho in the 126-pound Class AAA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Darren Miller named Valley News Dispatch Wrestler of the Year
March 30, 2019
Darren Miller grew up admiring Matt McCutcheon’s wrestling accomplishments at Kiski Area. He’ll graduate after matching and breaking some of those achievements.

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Oakmont’s Alyssa Cappa, playing for her Nitro club team this summer, will take part in an international softball tournament from Friday to Sunday in the Netherlands.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Cappa throws her way into Riverview record book
March 29, 2019
Alyssa Cappa went after Riverview’s strikeout record during one of her handful of pitching appearances last season.

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Pine Richland’s Ian Voit and Nick Monaco celebrate with Jared Eggert after Eggert’s goal against Upper St. Clair during the PIHL Penguins Cup Class AA Monday, March 18, 2019 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Pine-Richland, Burrell win at USA Hockey national championships
A pair of Western Pennsylvania hockey teams are shining on the national stage.

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Oakmont’s Alyssa Cappa, playing for her Nitro club team this summer, will take part in an international softball tournament from Friday to Sunday in the Netherlands.
Riverview’s Alyssa Cappa ties school record with 17 strikeouts
Alyssa Cappa was in the zone Thursday: the strike zone.

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Knoch’s Eli Sutton hits a two-run double against Deer Lakes Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019, at Kelly Automotive Park in Butler.
Knoch scores walk-off win over Deer Lakes
March 28, 2019
Knoch and Deer Lakes no longer share a section, but the longtime baseball rivals proved their meetings still can produce plenty of drama.

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Burrell catcher Tyler Mock tags out Kiski Area’s Zach Morrill during their game Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Sunny starts for A-K Valley baseball, softball teams
March 27, 2019
Freeport waited a few extra days to finally hit the field for real this baseball season, the weather relenting enough for the Yellowjackets to play a nonsection game Tuesday against Washington.

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Burrell’s Tyler Stewart celebrates his second goal with Gio Palombo during the second period of their Penguins Cup Division 2 semifinal against Connellsville Monday, Mar. 11, 2019, at RMU Island Sports Center.
Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Burrell hockey gets shot at nation’s best
Burrell didn’t get the PIHL championship it sought, but the Bucs are turning their attention from competing against Western Pennsylvania to playing some of the top teams in the country.

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Burrell’s Dylan Zelonka celebrates his goal against Ringgold during the PIHL Division 2 Final Monday, March 18, 2019 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Burrell set for USA Hockey nationals
March 26, 2019
Burrell didn’t get the PIHL championship it sought all season, but the Bucs are now turning their attention from competing against Western Pennsylvania to playing some of the top teams in the country.

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Plum’s Evan Sante works out at first base during practice Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019, at Plum High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of March 25, 2019
March 24, 2019
MONDAY

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Iowa’s Spencer Lee beats Virginia’s Jack Mueller Saturday, March 23, 2019 in the 125 final 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship action at PPG Paints Arena.
Franklin Regional’s Spencer Lee, Penn State win gold at NCAA wrestling championships
March 23, 2019
Jason Nolf cracked a bit of a joke upon taking the podium after winning his latest NCAA championship.

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St. Joseph’s Ava Swanson works out with the varsity team during practice March 19, 2019, at Kotecki Park in Lower Burrell.
St. Joseph softball seeking 3rd straight WPIAL playoff appearance
March 21, 2019
St. Joseph is coming off the two most successful softball seasons in school history, campaigns that established the Spartans as a high-caliber playoff team in WPIAL Class A, and they come into the spring with an important goal.

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St.Joseph pitcher Hayden Mallin works out during a recent practice March 19, 2019, at Swartz Field in Freeport.
St. Joseph baseball team motivated to reach postseason
The smallest margin possible kept St. Joseph from reaching the WPIAL baseball playoffs last season, an excruciating result for a program that last reached the postseason at the turn of the millennium.

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Deer Lakes’ Julia Hollibaugh fights for a rebound with Carlynton’s Haley Williams Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at Deer Lakes’ High School.
Cager Classic All-Star Basketball Game offers final chance for teammates to share court
March 20, 2019
Deer Lakes’ Julia Hollibaugh walked off the floor a few weeks ago after the Lancers’ WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal loss to South Park with her high school basketball career in limbo.

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A-K Valley high school notes: Walker to build Leechburg boys soccer team
March 18, 2019
Brad Walker knows about rebuilding. Now he will just be building.

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Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead for Week of March 18, 2019
March 17, 2019
Monday

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Deer Lakes’ Zac Herbinko (2) reacts to officials next to Colin Kadlick and Jack Hollibaugh late in the fourth quarter of their PIAA Class 3A quarterfinal against Sharon Saturday, Mar. 16, 2019, at Slippery Rock University.
Deer Lakes’ historic PIAA run ends vs. Sharon
March 16, 2019
During its school-record run through the PIAA postseason, Deer Lakes found the right answer at the right time: a big shot, a key stop, a significant scoring run.

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Deer Lakes coach Terence Parham calls out a play against North Catholic during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
Deer Lakes coach Parham continues to instill principles
March 15, 2019
Terence Parham never played in the PIAA basketball playoffs during his standout career at Shady Side Academy, his lone chance getting sunk during his 1993-94 senior season when the Indians bowed out of the postseason after Farrell beat them on a buzzer-beater.

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WPIAL basketball coverage by TribHSSN.
PIAA boys basketball playoff capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Sharon
PIAA basketball playoffs

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Deer Lakes’ Jared Colton scores past Forest Hills’ Quinn Spangler during PIAA boys 3A action Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Armstrong Jr. Sr. High School.
Clutch performances fuel Deer Lakes’ run to PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals
March 14, 2019
The fourth quarter began poorly for Jared Colton in Deer Lakes’ PIAA Class 3A playoff game Wednesday against Forest Hills. Two quick turnovers, followed by two out-of-rhythm missed shots, spurred a quick meeting between the Lancers’ senior guard and coach Terence Parham.

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Kiski Area’s Cassandra Cessna fields during practice at Kiski Area High School.
Kiski Area softball reaps benefits of building foundation
Maggie Nicholas jokes that her win-loss record as Kiski Area’s softball coach doesn’t look impressive on paper. But in a “What have you done for me lately?” world, the Cavaliers’ recent track record jumps off the page.

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Kiski Area’s Ryan Rametta hits during practice at Kiski Area High School.
New coach, new goals for playoff-minded Kiski Area baseball
Kiski Area’s baseball players got a bit of a history lesson in one of their winter workouts with first-year coach Aaron Albert. A former Knoch baseball player, Albert pointed out a banner for the Cavaliers’ 2002 section title, which they won after beating Albert’s team by one game in the standings.

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Deer Lakes boys basketball hopes to extend state playoff run
March 12, 2019
The playoffs tend to present adverse situations, and finding the right response can prove to be the difference in the outcome.

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis
Wrestler of the week: Gerrit Nijenhuis, jr., Canon-McMillan

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Franklin Regional
Team of the week: Franklin Regional

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PIAA basketball preview capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Forest Hills
PIAA basketball playoffs

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Leechburg’s Eli rich (l) and John Miskinis defend on Saint Joseph’s Grant Bendis Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 at Leechburg Area High School.
Rosters released for 23rd annual Cager Classic
March 11, 2019
Organizers for the Cager Classic All-Star basketball game released the rosters for the 23rd annual event, which will take place March 22-23 at Highlands High School.

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Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy reacts after defeating Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser in the 138-pound Class AA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Hopewell’s Ealy, Kiski Area’s Miller picked for PA All-Stars at Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic
Fresh off winning their first PIAA championships over the weekend, Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy and Kiski Area’s Darren Miller were picked to represent the PA All-Star team at the upcoming Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic.

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Saint Joseph’s Grant Bendis scores past Springdale’s Isaac Kern Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 at Walter Dlubak Athletic Center.
A-K Valley athletes dot rosters for Roundball Classic
March 10, 2019
The Alle-Kiski Valley will be well-represented at the Roundball Classic.

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A-K Valley high school lookahead: Week of March 11, 2019
Monday

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Burrell, Valley wrestlers end season on high note
March 9, 2019
HERSHEY — When their Friday night didn’t go as planned, Burrell sophomores A.J. Corrado and Ian Oswalt and Valley senior Noah Hutcherson awoke Saturday with one goal: win their final wrestling match of the season.

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Kiski’s Darren Miller howls in victory after defeating Franklin Regional’s Colton Camacho in the 126-pound Class AAA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Miller finishes decorated career with state wrestling title
HERSHEY — Darren Miller brought a companion to the top of the podium Saturday night: a 5-pound Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.

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Burrell’s Lea Coffman works out in the gym Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019, at Burrell High School.
Burrell softball motivated for final run under coach Brian Eshbaugh
Evidence of the Burrell softball team’s motivation — and its persistent practice — lies in some beyond-battered equipment.

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Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy celebrates with coaches after defeating Saegertown’s Kenny Kiser in the 138-pound Class AA championship final during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Hopewell’s Ealy among 3 WPIAL wrestlers to capture PIAA Class AA championships
HERSHEY — Jacob Ealy was hunting history in Hershey, and he didn’t let the opportunity pass him by.

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Deep, experienced pitching staff has Burrell baseball optimistic
Success in high school baseball can become an arms race, and Burrell believes it has plenty of firepower.

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Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera celebrates defeating Karl Shindledecker of Chambersburg in the 113-pound Class AAA semifinals during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Herrera, the returning PIAA champion, will face Franklin Regional’s Finn Solomon in the final.
PIAA Class AAA wrestling finals to feature 3 all-WPIAL matchups
HERSHEY — The state wrestling finals will feature some WPIAL tournament reprisals.

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Valley’s Noah Hutcherson battles Chestnut Ridge’s Jared McGill in the 170-pound class AA semifinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Hutcherson lost 17-2 by technical fall to McGill.
Burrell, Valley wrestlers to compete in Saturday’s PIAA Class AA medal rounds
March 8, 2019
HERSHEY — There won’t be a golden ticket in Chocolate Town for Burrell or Valley wrestlers, but they will come home from Pennsylvania’s biggest high school wrestling tournament with a consolation prize.

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller wrestles Matt Sarbo of Altoona in the 126-pound class AAA quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area’s Miller, Connor earn spots in PIAA Class AAA semifinals
HERSHEY — Darren Miller didn’t make it to the Giant Center last March, the victim of an upset in the WPIAL Class AAA tournament. So the Kiski Area senior appreciates the value of even wrestling in the state wrestling championship, let alone earning a medal.

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North Hills’ Sam Hillegas removes his gear after beating St. Mary’s Tyler Diley in the 132-pound class AAA quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
WPIAL sends 17 wrestlers to PIAA Class AAA semifinals
HERSHEY — The WPIAL is proving itself a heavyweight in the state’s lighter weights.

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Derry’s Ty Cymmerman hugs head coach Mike Weinell after defeating Greenville’s Bryce Knauf in the 126-pound quarterfinal during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey. Cymmerman won the match and advances onward to the semi-finals on Friday night.
15 WPIAL wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA semifinals
HERSHEY — Even as the fate of his state wrestling quarterfinal match hung in the balance, Joey Fischer felt confident. And eventually the South Park sophomore was proven correct.

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Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger attempts to adjust his headgear while wrestling Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy in the 132-pound first round bout in class AA during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
16 WPIAL wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA quarterfinals
March 7, 2019
HERSHEY — It was a sweet first day for WPIAL wrestlers at the PIAA Class AA championships.

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Kiski Area’s Cam Connor pins Seneca Valley’s Nick Montalbano at 152 pounds, as the Cavaliers bench erupts during the WPIAL Class AAA team championship Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Norwin High School.
A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Burrell’s Oswalt, Kiski Area’s Connor have targets on their backs
March 6, 2019
Burrell’s Ian Oswalt and Kiski Area’s Cam Connor didn’t have to look far to find their names in their respective brackets for the PIAA wrestling championships: They were right there, smack-dab at the top.

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Kiski’s Cam Connor shares a word with opponent Waynesburg’s Luca Augustine after the 152-pound first round class AAA match during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Kiski Area quartet advances to PIAA Class AAA wrestling quarterfinals
HERSHEY — No victory at the PIAA wrestling championships comes easily, and Cam Connor’s face bore the evidence of that Thursday.

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Deer Lakes’ Brad Perrotte (13) celebrates after a basket during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game against North Catholic on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, at North Allegheny.
Alle-Kiski Valley PIAA basketball capsules: Games for March 8-9, 2019
Boys basketball

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Valley’s Noah Hutcherson is declared winner after defeating Tri Valley’s Kolt Schaeffer in the 170-pound preliminary bout during the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Valley’s Hutcherson advances to PIAA Class AA quarterfinals with overtime decision
HERSHEY — Noah Hutcherson needed some extra effort on his first day at the PIAA wrestling championships.

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Burrell’s Austin Mele pins Derry Area’s Eric Catone in the 160lbs bout during the section 3 2AA team championship Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 at Burrell High School.
Wrestlers are creatures of habit when preparing for PIAA tournament
March 5, 2019
Like many people, Austin Mele looks at his phone almost immediately upon waking up in the morning. The Burrell senior checks his texts and SnapChat account before plugging it back in, making sure it’s got a full charge. Then it’s time to brush his teeth, followed by checking his weight and drinking a glass of apple juice.

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Kiski’s Darren Miller wrestles atop Hampton’s Zach Wright in the 126-pound quarterfinal at the WPIAL wrestling class 3A individual tournament on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Kiski Area wrestlers to rely on experience at PIAA tournament
With top-three finishes at the PIAA Class AAA team championships each of the past three seasons, Kiski Area knows the feeling of wrestling in Hershey’s Giant Center.

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: North Hills’ Sam Hillegas
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Sam Hillegas, jr., North Hills

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Kiski Area
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Kiski Area

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Burrell’s Ian Oswalt wrestles Amonn Ohl of St. Joseph’s Academy in the 120-pound championship final in the PIAA class 2A southwest regional wrestling tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at the Kovalchik Complex at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
A-K Valley wrestlers took different paths to PIAA Class AA tournament
March 4, 2019
Ian Oswalt noticed the lights of the Giant Center when he stepped in to the arena as a first-time competitor at the PIAA Class AA wrestling tournament last year.

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Kiski’s Cam Connor brings down Thomas Jefferson’s Alex Weber in the 152-pound championship bout at the WPIAL class AAA individual tournament finals on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Kiski Area’s Connor, Blumer defend WPIAL wrestling titles
March 2, 2019
Cam Connor flashed what in most scenarios constitutes the peace sign to the crowd at Canon-McMillan, but the gesture held a different meaning for the Kiski Area senior.

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Deer Lakes coach Terence Parham calls out a play against North Catholic during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
A-K Valley notebook: Deer Lakes boys basketball coach Parham sees progress
Terence Parham saw a different feeling in the Deer Lakes locker room after the Lancers’ loss to North Catholic in the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals.

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Kiski’s Nick Delp brings down Penn-Trafford’s John Bachar in the 170-pound quarterfinal bout at the WPIAL class 3A individual tournament on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Connor, Kiski Area roll through WPIAL wrestling Day 1
March 1, 2019
Cam Connor critiqued his minimal mat time Friday. Then again, that proved a pretty optimal outcome for the Kiski Area senior.

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Seneca Valley’s Alejandro Herrera wrestles atop Moon’s Khyvon Grace in the 113-pound quarterfinal bout at the WPIAL wrestling class 3A quarterfinals on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Canon-McMillan High School.
Seneca Valley, Hempfield send five wrestlers to WPIAL semifinals
Seneca Valley and Hempfield shared a high five Friday on the opening day of the WPIAL Class AAA individual wrestling championships.

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A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Harmon finds home with Armstrong
February 28, 2019
Logan Harmon had no wrestling home last season, but he is finding a comfortable spot this season and is seeking a vacation in Hershey.

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New Castle’s Drew Cox scores over Highlands’ Antoine McDaniel during their WPIAL Class 4A boys semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at North Allegheny High School.
2-time defending champion New Castle holds off Highlands in WPIAL Class 4A semifinals
February 27, 2019
Even as his team created what looked like an insurmountable lead, New Castle’s Ralph Blundo expected a Highlands run.

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Freeport goalie Sean Fennell makes a pad save during a game against Montour Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Belmont Ice Complex.
A-K Valley PIHL playoff capsule: Game for Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019
PIHL Penguins Cup playoff preview

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller works to a 14-4 major decision over Hempfield’s Jared Brean at 132 pounds during their Class AAA Section 1 championship match Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Miller’s time: Kiski Area senior aims for WPIAL Class AAA wrestling title
Darren Miller knows the challenges that await him at the WPIAL Class AAA wrestling championships. Little can surprise him after three prior trips to the tournament.

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Charitable camp featuring USA Volleyball players coming to Moon in August
The top women’s college volleyball teams in the country are coming to Pittsburgh in December, and a few months before that, past and present members of the U.S. Olympic team will bring their charitable camp to the area as well.

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Highlands’ Luke Cochran scores past Uniontown’s Bryant Grady during quarterfinal WPIAL action Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at Norwin High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley area basketball playoff capsule for Feb. 27, 2019
February 26, 2019
Boys

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Freedom
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Freedom

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK: Dayton Pitzer, Mt. Pleasant, fr.

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Leechburg’s Connor McDermott drives past Bishop Canevin’s Nevan Crossey Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 at Fox Chapel Area High School.
6 Alle-Kiski Valley basketball teams play waiting game for PIAA playoff spots
February 24, 2019
A rubber match of sorts between Section 3-A rivals Leechburg and St. Joseph takes place in Monday’s WPIAL Class A boys basketball semifinals. One team will advance, the other will see its season end.

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North Catholic’s Ryan Feczko (11) goes up for a shot during a WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinal game against Deer Lakes Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 at North Allegheny.
DeGregorio, Paschall combine for 64 points to lead North Catholic past Deer Lakes
February 21, 2019
North Catholic knew it needed to adjust to the physicality of Deer Lakes after getting hit hard early by the Lancers’ offensive rebounding.

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Alle-Kiski Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Friday, Feb. 23, 2019
Girls

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Kiski Area’s Darren Miller works to a 14-4 major decision over Hempfield’s Jared Brean at 132 pounds during their Class AAA Section 1 championship match Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Kiski Area High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley wrestling notebook: Class AAA steps into spotlight
The WPIAL’s top Class AA wrestlers took the stage last weekend. Now the Class AAA competitors will join them.

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Highlands’ Johnny Crise had 29 points and 16 rebounds in the Golden Rams’ victory Wednesday.
Highlands holds off Belle Vernon in Class 4A 1st-round victory
February 20, 2019
Highlands saw its playoff life flashing before its eyes against an unafraid underdog Belle Vernon.

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Burrell’s Nick Salerno picks up back points in his technical fall win at 113 during a match against Newport at the PIAA Class AA tournament Feb. 7, 2019, in Hershey.
‘Squirrelly’ Burrell wrestler Salerno reaps benefits of joining Bucs
Nick Salerno earned his nickname in his earliest days as a wrestler, when he drove a hard bargain with his mother before going to a camp.

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Southmoreland playoffs preview
No. 6 Southmoreland (18-5) vs. No. 3 Blackhawk (18-4)

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Burrell’s Austin Mele battles Freedom’s Travis Kalamasz in the 160 pound bout during the WPIAL class AA team wrestling championship match on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at Chartiers-Houston High School.
Burrell’s Mele to wrestle at PIAA Southwest Regionals despite injury
Austin Mele ran into the dreaded “Mr. Murphy” at the WPIAL Class AA championships, but the Burrell senior believes he’ll get the best of the opponent beginning this weekend.

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019
February 19, 2019
Boys

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Trib HSSN Wrestling Team of the Week: Derry Trojans
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Derry

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Trib HSSN Wrestler of the Week: Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK

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Southmoreland’s Bailey Kuhns (left) and Apollo-Ridge’s Maddy Moore battle for a loose ball during their WPIAL Class 4A playoff game. Southmoreland won 40-37.
Southmoreland girls lean on defense to hold off Apollo-Ridge
February 18, 2019
All conscious thought left Bailey Kuhns’ mind as she saw Apollo-Ridge’s Rylee Eaton break into the clear for a potential go-ahead layup in the final minute of Southmoreland’s first playoff game in more than a decade.

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules for games of Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019
Boys

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Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis is announced winner against South Western’s Ethan Baney in the 160 pound quarterfinal bout in class 3A during the PIAA championship wrestling tournament Friday, March 9, 2018 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Canon-McMillan wrestler Gerrit Nijenhuis commits to Purdue
Gerrit Nijenhuis is ramping up for the upcoming individual wrestling postseason, but first he made his college decision.

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Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski (left) grabs a loose ball from Knoch’s Nevaeh Ewing Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2019 at Freeport Middle School.
A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Feb. 18, 2019
February 17, 2019
MONDAY

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A-K Valley basketball playoff capsules: Games of Monday, Feb. 18, 2019
Class 4A

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Deer Lakes players from left Brad Perotte, Aris Hasley and Jared Colton celebrate a play against Charleroi during a WPIAL playoff game Feb. 16, 2019, at Keystone Oaks.
A-K Valley high school notebook: Deer Lakes boys basketball eager to continue run
Deer Lakes is no longer preoccupied with 1985.

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Deer Lakes head boys basketball coach Terence Parham during practice Monday, Nov. 19, 2018 at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes basketball coach awaits baby, WPIAL quarterfinal game on same day
Maybe there’s something in the water when it comes to basketball coaches, babies and big games.

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Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (right) defeated Beth-Center’s Jimmy Gwyer in the 120-pound final Saturday.
Burrell sophomore Oswalt claims 2nd WPIAL wrestling championship
February 16, 2019
Ian Oswalt didn’t think he wrestled his best in his final match at the WPIAL Class AA championships, but even a “B” performance earned him an “A” result.

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Burrell’s A.J. Corrado scores back points against Southmoreland’s Nick Yessick in the 138-pound final of the Section 3-AA tournament Friday at Canon-McMillan.
Valley’s Hutcherson, Schuffert secure Section 3-AA wrestling titles
February 14, 2019
Noah Hutcherson has a pretty simple goal for the individual wrestling postseason.

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Burrell’s Austin Mele works to pin Laurel’s Reed Kissick in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA individual wrestling championships Friday.
Fatigue worth it for A-K Valley wrestlers during sectionals, WPIAL 1st round
Austin Mele sported a split lip and a sore elbow late Friday night at Canon-McMillan. He also had a smile.

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Greensburg Central Catholic boys hold off Leechburg in key Section 3-A game
January 29, 2019
Greensburg Central Catholic heard Leechburg's crowd, loud and clear. And then the Centurions quieted it down. Visiting GCC took the air out of Leechburg's rowdy andquot;Devils' Denandquot; with a dominant second quarter, then weathered a second-half rally from the home team, holding on for a 68-57 win in a crucial

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A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Valley aims to dethrone Burrell for section title
January 15, 2019
Part of Burrell's enormous WPIAL success over the past decade-plus includes a dominance of its section opponents. To wit: The Bucs have won 107 consecutive section matches since the 2002-03 season, claiming the regular-season championship every year since 2004. Although a long line of teams would enjoy the opportunity to

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A-K Valley notebook: Fox Chapel boys flash early potential
December 9, 2018
Zach Skrinjar said Saturday night he pays more attention to the numbers directly after a team's name than the ones directly in front. By that criteria and more, the Fox Chapel boys basketball coach came away pretty pleased with his team's showing at the season-opening Plum tournament. Fox Chapel upended

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PIAA boys soccer preview capsule: Deer Lakes vs. Fleetwood
November 16, 2018
PIAA soccer playoffs Class AA Championship Deer Lakes (21-1-1) vs. Fleetwood (19-6-1) 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Hersheypark Stadium Coaches: Jordan Wiegand, Deer Lakes; Keith Schlegel, Fleetwood Players to watch: Michael Sullivan, Deer Lakes; Haydyn Zagorski, Fleetwood Corner kicks: Deer Lakes makes its first PIAA championship game appearance, looking to become the

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Deer Lakes claws to double-OT win in school’s 1st PIAA playoff game
November 6, 2018
ERIE -- A.J. Dorman saw his shot, and he took it. Deer Lakes still is dancing as a result. Dorman scored with 10 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in double overtime, giving Deer Lakes a 1-0 victory over District 10 champion Fairview in a PIAA Class AA first-round thriller at Erie's

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A-K Valley WPIAL soccer playoff preview capsules for Nov. 1, 2018
October 31, 2018
Class AA Consolation game No. 2 Deer Lakes (17-1-1) vs. No. 4 Charleroi (18-1) 6 p.m. Thursday at Moon Coaches: Jordan Wiegand, Deer Lakes; Jon Ducoli, Charleroi Players to watch: A.J. Dorman, Deer Lakes; Cullin Woytovich, Charleroi Corner kicks: The winner advances to the PIAA Class AA playoffs, which begin

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No. 8-seeded Freeport quite familiar with opening-round opponent, No. 1 Aliquippa
Austin Romanchak remembers the first time he started a game against Aliquippa. It came three weeks into his sophomore year, at the brand-new Freeport Area Athletic Stadium, with an almost entirely brand-new Freeport starting lineup. Still, the green Yellowjackets more than held their own against the perennially powerful Quips, even

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A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Oct. 29, 2018
October 28, 2018
Monday Boys soccer: Deer Lakes will attempt to make it to Highmark Stadium for the first time as it takes on Section 2-AA rival Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL semifinals. The Lancers went 1-0-1 against the defending WPIAL champions during the regular season, but the 11th-seeded Indians upset North

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A-K valley soccer teams take respective styles to postseason
October 18, 2018
Springdale made a run in the 2017 WPIAL boys soccer playoffs thanks in large part to the Dynamos' ability to make runs. With talented scorers like Jared Demore and Nick Taliani, Springdale knew it could count on its offense to win games, and the Dynamos won plenty, advancing to the

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WPIAL girls soccer rankings for week of Oct. 16, 2018
October 16, 2018
Here's a look at the latest WPIAL girls soccer rankings for the week of Oct. 15, 2018: Class 4A Team, record, previous 1. Norwin, 14-2, 1 2. Peters Township, 13-3, 3 3. Seneca Valley, 13-2, 2 4. Upper St. Clair, 12-3, 4 5. Pine-Richland, 13-3, 5 Out: None Class 3A

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Springdale soccer leans on defense as playoffs approach
October 15, 2018
Springdale started slowly in its Section 1-A boys soccer finale over the weekend, a not-uncommon occurrence and one rendered moot by a dominant second half in a 4-0 victory over Vincentian. What made the game unique was the location: the artificial surface at Valley's Memorial Stadium. And once the Dynamos

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A-K Valley lookahead for Week of Oct. 15, 2018
October 14, 2018
Monday Boys golf Burrell's Tiger Hubbard will aim for a top-22 finish and a trip to the state finals when he tees off at the PIAA Class AA Western Regional at Toms Run Golf Course. Hubbard, a senior, competed at the regionals as a sophomore and is coming off an

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Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Burrell’s Hubbard eyes PIAAs
October 13, 2018
Tiger Hubbard's first trip to the PIAA Western Regional boys golf championship ended with the Burrell golfer two shots shy of a trip to the state finals, and the senior thinks he can pinpoint the holes where it happened. andquot;The main issue I had was with my driver where the

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North Allegheny, three others advance to WPIAL Class AAA girls golf finals
October 8, 2018
Three-time defending champion North Allegheny led a quartet of teams that advanced to Thursday's WPIAL Class AAA girls golf championships at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon. The Tigers topped the field of 10 teams at Monday's team semifinals at Rolling Hills Golf Course. Caroline Wrigley's 3-under 70 and Bella

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Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Race to playoffs gets interesting
September 30, 2018
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

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Kevin Stevens to speak to WPIAL players at summit on dangers of addiction
September 24, 2018
Former Pittsburgh Penguins player Kevin Stevens will be the featured speaker at a leadership summit for WPIAL athletes, coaches, athletic directors and principals that will

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A-K Valley football notebook: Riverview, Leechburg keep positive attitude amid rough start
September 20, 2018
Todd Massack knows what the record says next to Riverview's name in the Class A Eastern Conference standings, but it doesn't match what he sees

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Alle-Kiski high school lookahead: Week of Aug. 27-Sept. 1
August 26, 2018
MondayFreeport has won at least a share of the Section 1-AA championship for three consecutive seasons, and the Yellowjackets are on a six-year run of

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Deer Lakes Coach Tim Burk
WPIAL football coaches know the value of a good training camp meal
August 13, 2018
Tim Burk has been through a training camp or 10 during his time as an assistant at Carlynton, Deer Lakes and Springdale, so he knows

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Burk hopes to guide alma mater Deer Lakes back to WPIAL playoffs
August 1, 2018
It took one year of coaching at Carlynton, miles away from his hometown and alma mater, before Tim Burk realized he wanted to work closer

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Deer Lakes to hold special meeting to hire new football coach
July 23, 2018
Deer Lakes should have a new football coach by the end of the month. The district called a special board meeting for 7 p.m. July

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Valley's Nyjewel Carter shoots the ball while playing against Latrobe during the WCCA Hoopfest on Friday, July, 6, 2018, at Hempfield Area High School.
Burrell, Valley boys basketball teams try to work out kinks in summer
July 8, 2018
Burrell and Valley played in Friday's Westmoreland County Coaches Association boys basketball showcase without their normal coaches, giving the neighboring rivals at least one thing

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Springdale goalkeeper Mike Zolnierczyk makes a save between Seton LaSalle's Gabe Rosario (30) and Kaleb Krebs during their WPIAL Class A semifinal Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, at North Allegheny High School.
A-K Valley notebook: Springdale’s Zolnierczyk trains at D.C. United Academy
June 14, 2018
Mike Zolnierczyk's last name isn't andquot;Smith,andquot; but he went to Washington just the same. Zolnierczyk, a rising senior goalkeeper at Springdale, received an opportunity to

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Ringgold Area'sDylan Wujcik and Koby Bubash celebrates with Chase Angotti after Angotti scored in the first inning during the WPIAL4-A Baseball championship Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Wild Things Park.
PIAA moves Monday’s baseball semifinal games from Slippery Rock to Neshannock
June 10, 2018
A pair of WPIAL baseball teams will play their PIAA semifinal games at a different site Monday because of rain over the weekend. The PIAA

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Southmoreland rallies past Central for program’s 1st PIAA victory
June 4, 2018
Southmoreland worked hard enough to earn a spot in the state softball playoffs for the first time. The Scotties weren't about to let their run

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No. 1 Mars routs Freeport to reach lacrosse semifinals
May 18, 2018
Freeport's school history-making lacrosse season ended against a familiar opponent. No. 1 Mars jumped out to a seven-goal lead after the first quarter and never

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Kiski Valley rugby back to state playoffs
April 29, 2018
Kiski Valley is heading back to the state rugby playoffs. The Titans claimed their division title, beating Blair United/Hollidaysburg Rugby Club, 29-12, on Sunday afternoon

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Kiski Area wrestlers dominate at opening day at Southwest Regionals
March 2, 2018
Darren Miller's headgear popped off in the early seconds of his match against Connellsville's Dylan Keefer on Friday, crashing to the mat as the Kiski

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A-K Valley basketball playoff preview capsules for Friday
February 23, 2018
WPIAL basketball playoff capsules Boys Class 5A quarterfinals No. 2 Highlands (17-4) vs. No. 7 West Allegheny (11-11) 8 p.m. Friday at Fox Chapel Winner

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Leechburg's Mikayla Lovelace (21) drives to the net during their game against Brentwood on Thurs. Feb. 8, 2018. Leechburg won 80-56.
A-K Valley WPIAL basketball preview playoff capsule for Thursday’s game
February 21, 2018
Girls Class 2A Quarterfinals No. 6 Leechburg (19-4) vs. No. 3 Chartiers-Houston (17-5) 6:30 p.m. Thursday at West Allegheny On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com Winner plays:

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Leechburg's Tyler Leech (42) goes to the net during their game against Springdale on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 at Leechburg. Leechburg won 61-44.
A-K Valley WPIAL basketball playoff preview capsules for Tuesday’s games
February 19, 2018
Boys basketball Class 2A First round No. 8 Leechburg (14-7) vs. No. 9 Fort Cherry (9-13) 8 p.m. Tuesday at North Hills On air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

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Apollo-Ridge's (32) Megan Ost fights for a rebound against Leechburg's (21) Mikayla Lovelace during the second half of the basketball game at Apollo-Ridge High School on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014.
Alle-Kiski Valley lookahead: Feb. 19-24, 2018
February 18, 2018
Monday • Deer Lakes hosts Kiski Area in a PIHL Class A game with major postseason implications. Kiski Area (9-10) entered the week holding on

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Norwin's Patrick Edwards and Plum's Ian Dryburgh chase down a loose ball Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at Norwin.
Norwin boys weather Plum as leaky roof moves game to auxiliary gym
January 12, 2018
Norwin's game against Plum on Friday featured elements seemingly out of the theater of the absurd: A changed time because of the weather. A different

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Valley's Nyjewel Carter drives to the basket past Burrell's Logan Bitar during the second quarter of their game Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, at Valley High School. Valley won, 70-61.
Valley boys overcome late lapses to defeat rival Burrell
December 18, 2017
Mark Faulx saw some of the tell-tale fourth-quarter problems that cost Valley games in previous seasons crop up again Monday night. Forced, missed shots. Turnovers.

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Freeport's Ben Beale poses for a portrait during practice on Thursday, Dec. 14 2017.
Alle-Kiski Valley high school lookahead: Week of Dec. 18, 2017
December 17, 2017
MONDAY • Kiski Area's girls basketball team is seeking an end to its 26-game section losing streak, which dates to the 2014-15 season, and the

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Gateway survives McKeesport, advances to WPIAL final
November 10, 2017
Don Holl said he suffered no flashbacks to last season's WPIAL semifinal against McKeesport as the Tigers converted a hook-and-lateral on a last-gasp drive. His

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VIDEO: Playoff-bound Springdale wears down Greensburg Central Catholic
October 28, 2017
Springdale seniors Josh Harmon and Parker Kline discuss the Dynamos' playoff-clinching victory over Greensburg Central Catholic.

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Yough's Justine Appolonia (3) charges toward the Burrell goal in overtime on Thursday Oct. 26, 2017 at Norwin.
Video: Reactions from Yough’s overtime girls soccer win against Burrell in the WPIAL playoffs
October 27, 2017
The Yough girls soccer team topped Burrell in the WPIAL playoffs Friday. Justine Appolonia scored twice, including the winner in overtime; here she discusses the

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Riverview's Alex Wilson (13) reacts after Seton LaSalle's lone goal next to goalkeeper Jordan Zatawski during their WPIAL quarterfinal playoff game Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, at Seneca Valley High School. Riverview lost, 1-0.
Second straight upset bid falls short for Riverview boys against Seton LaSalle
October 25, 2017
Riverview's chances came frequently in the first half, but none of them found the back of the net. Neither did the shot that ultimately ended

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Freeport's Carli Giori gets a shot past Burrell keeper Ally Klems in the first half of the soccer game on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 at Burrell High School.
Alle-Kiski Valley week ahead: Oct. 23-29
October 22, 2017
Monday • Burrell and Charleroi's 2016 WPIAL Class AA first-round girls soccer playoff game came down to the wire, with Charleroi scoring the winning goal

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Springdale's Justin McClafferty carries the ball past Serra Catholic's Nick Almeter during their WPIAL first round playoff game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at North Allegheny High School.
Springdale boys shake off early injury to shut out Serra Catholic
October 21, 2017
Springdale's boys soccer playoff opener began ominously, with leading scorer Jared Demore suffering a leg injury less than two minutes into the game. The Dynamos,

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Alle-Kiski Valley week ahead: Oct. 16-22
October 15, 2017
MONDAY Freeport and Deer Lakes played an entertaining game in their first meeting, with Deer Lakes rallying from a three-goal deficit before Freeport scored late

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Fox Chapel's Sarah Sinnott (right) is mobbed by teammates after her winning goal in double overtime against Plum Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at Fox Chapel High School.
Fox Chapel girls hunting for elusive WPIAL title
October 10, 2017
Katie Livingston made no bones about Fox Chapel's intentions for some of the highest-seeded teams in the upcoming WPIAL Class AAAA girls soccer playoffs. Fittingly

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Jacob Leri and Austin Romanchak celebrate Freeport's second touchdown against Yough Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Freeport.
After bye week, Freeport ready to face rival Deer Lakes
September 6, 2017
As Freeport went through an unusual bye week in Week 1, one nagging worry cropped up in the back of coach John Gaillot's mind. andquot;I'm

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Plum's Corey Thomas reaches out to stiff-arm Kiski Area's Tracey Moore in the first quarter Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Plum Senior High School.
Plum kicker Jackson Gildea boots winning field goal in waning seconds to beat Kiski Area
September 1, 2017
Jackson Gildea faced some self-doubt before attempting the biggest kick of his high school football career, and Kiski Area tried to get in his head

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Burrell quarterback Seth Tatrn avoids Springdale's Joey Gedraitis and Dylan Hargenrader in the first quarter Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, at Burrell High School.
Converted tailback Tatrn stars in debut at QB in Burrell victory
August 26, 2017
Burrell welcomed home an old quarterback named Seth on Friday night, and a first-year signal-caller by the same name announced his arrival. Senior Seth Tatrn,

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Mark Redman (65) joins Springdale High School head coach Chuck Wagner in celebrating the Dynamos' 2003 WPIAL championship game victory at Heinz Field.
A-K Valley football teams looking to snap WPIAL title drought
August 12, 2017
One game from Springdale's 2003 WPIAL football championship season sticks out for Don andquot;Pappyandquot; Boulton, and it's not the Dynamos' Class A title-game win over

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