Author: Mike Kovak


Defense, size could help Mt. Pleasant boys basketball overcome lack of experience
December 2, 2021
Mt. Pleasant led WPIAL Class 4A in scoring defense last season. The Vikings allowed a paltry 47.6 points per game. Among the district’s three largest classifications, only two teams posted a better defensive scoring average.

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Mt. Pleasant’s Tiffany Zelmore averaged 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds last season.
Behind Zelmore, Mt. Pleasant sets sights on WPIAL playoff run
The Mt. Pleasant girls basketball team won seven of its final nine games last season. Among the victories was a first-round defeat of Freeport in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

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Monessen’s Kinsey Wilson will be the starting point guard this season. The senior will be joined by leading scorer Mercedes Major in the Greyhounds’ backcourt.
Hard-working Monessen girls basketball wants return to Class A prominence
December 1, 2021
The players on the Monessen girls basketball team know about the tradition, from the 2004 state championship to a pair of the WPIAL’s all-time leading scorers in Charel Allen and Gina Naccarato, the school’s athletic director.

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Dan Bosnic is beginning his fourth season as Monessen boys basketball coach.
Monessen boys basketball coach Bosnic finally gets building block
Surprisingly, it has taken four years, but Monessen boys basketball coach Dan Bosnic is experiencing a first this season.

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Monessen’s Jamar Bethea (23) and Omarion Rainey (28) take the field for a game last season.
First-year coach Wade Brown tackles Monessen rebuild
August 26, 2021
When Monessen got together for preseason workouts, first-year coach Wade Brown typically had 15 or 16 players attend.

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Belle Vernon’s Cole Weightman works out Aug. 11, 2021, at James Weir Stadium.
Belle Vernon putting pieces in place for another postseason run
August 24, 2021
In senior quarterback Devin Whitlock and sophomore running back Quinton Martin, Belle Vernon boasts two of the better skill-position players in WPIAL Class 4A and beyond.

Read More...

Sophomore running back Jamar Bethea is a key piece for Monessen this season.
Building trust key to rebuilding Monessen football
August 21, 2021
It was a fair question, albeit a brutally honest one.

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Senior center Tommy Kovatch is one of two returning starters on Belle Vernon’s offensive line.
Belle Vernon’s success on football field starts with linemen Kovatch, McGrew
August 12, 2021
Belle Vernon football hasn’t had a direct tie to the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry since Scott McClintock played for the Wolverines in early 2000s, but that hasn’t stopped the current group from adopting a tradition from one of college football’s most anticipated get-togethers.

Read More...

Loni Scott will play catcher for Monessen this season.
With 7 starters back from 2019, Monessen softball poised for success
March 28, 2021
Count Monessen softball among the teams left wondering what might have been had the covid-19 pandemic not wiped out the 2020 season.

Read More...

Monessen’s Kody Kuhns returns for the 2021 season.
Patience key for inexperienced Monessen baseball team
Bill Matush took over the Monessen baseball program 18 years ago, not long after the Greyhounds went through a 38-game losing streak, but the veteran coach still likes to keep things fun for his players.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Sophie Godzak delivers to the plate against Norwin during scrimmage on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at Norwin High School.
Back to reality, Belle Vernon softball hopes for WPIAL playoff return
March 18, 2021
Like every other softball team in the PIAA, Belle Vernon did not play a game last season.

Read More...

Andrew Sokol is a left-handed pitcher for the 2021 Belle Vernon baseball team.
Belle Vernon baseball has plenty left for 2021 season
When it comes to pitching, the Belle Vernon baseball team definitely leans left.

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Belle Vernon third baseman Vanessa Porter tags out McKeesport’s Elisabeth Dansak on a stolen base attempt April 4, 2019.
Belle Vernon softball hopes following formula results in WPIAL playoffs return
March 5, 2020
The formula to success for the Belle Vernon softball team is simple.

Read More...

New look, attitude for Belle Vernon baseball
Belle Vernon is a fixture in the WPIAL baseball playoffs, missing the postseason once (2014) the past nine years. Regularly qualifying for the playoffs is a source of pride for the program.

Read More...

Franklin Regional junior Aly Kindelberger (9) competes against Hampton during a scrimmage game August 27, 2019 at Franklin Regional.
Aly Kindelberger leads charge for Franklin Regional girls volleyball team
September 20, 2019
Every match seems like a new first for the Franklin Regional girls volleyball team.

Read More...

Ligonier Valley’s Katie Lawson navigates centerfield during an inter-squad scrimmage game at girls’ soccer practice Thursday night, Aug. 22, 2019 at Ligonier Valley High School.
Ligonier Valley girls soccer kicks off new era as ‘underdogs’
August 23, 2019
With only two starters and two other letterwinners back from last season, the Ligonier Valley girls soccer team could have cause for concern.

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Derry’s Nathaniel Gray (23), chases down the ball during the scrimmage against Ligonier Valley, at Derry Area High School, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
2 goals for Ligonier Valley boys soccer: make playoffs, have fun
In his quarter century of coaching the Ligonier Valley boys soccer team, Kip Crumrine has gained valuable perspective.

Read More...

Washington returns eight starters from a high-powered offense.
High-powered Washington sets sights on another WPIAL championship
August 19, 2019
Washington’s quest for an eighth WPIAL football championship figures to get off to a better start than the defense of its seventh title.

Read More...

Burrell’s Danica Stone (8) competes for control of the ball against Greensburg Salem’s Maddie Gall (13) during a scrimmage at Offutt Field in Greensburg, on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.
Consistency could key season for Greensburg Salem girls soccer
When Greensburg Salem girls soccer coach Michael Rhea surveys his team, he sees a hard-working group with the potential for a couple of explosive scorers.

Read More...

Greensburg Salem’s Sean Galvin collides with Belle Vernon’s Markello Apodiakos during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Greensburg.
Talent-infused Greensburg Salem boys soccer team eyes 1st for program
A whitewashing against eventual state champion West Allegheny in the opening round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs meant Greensburg Salem finished with a losing record.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Nolan Labuda (left) and Hunter Ruokonen celebrate during a 7-on-7 tournament July 20, 2019, at Belle Vernon.
Belle Vernon football team knows keys to playoff drive
August 17, 2019
Coaches and players at Belle Vernon agree. A few key factors kept the Leopards from becoming an elite team in WPIAL Class 4A the past couple of seasons.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Jared Hartman competes during a 7-on-7 tournament July 20, 2019, at Belle Vernon.
Healthy Hartman ‘keeps everything solidified’ for Belle Vernon offense
August 8, 2019
It’s third-and-long. Belle Vernon breaks the offensive huddle and heads to the line of scrimmage.

Read More...

Mt. Pleasant softball pitcher Carolyn Alincic throws while at practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Mt. Pleasant High School.
Pitchers Alincic, Smithnosky help Mt. Pleasant softball build another WPIAL contender
April 15, 2019
Mary Smithnosky hasn’t compiled a checklist, but she said there is a litany of reasons why the Mt. Pleasant softball team once again has positioned itself as the team to beat in WPIAL Class 4A.

Read More...

Robert Morris commit Garver set to lead Ligonier Valley softball
March 21, 2019
She throws a wicked curveball, a high-speed fastball and a rise that leaves batters swinging at air.

Read More...

Senior Sullivan Schueltz, during baseball practice at Ligonier Valley High School in Ligonier, on Monday, March 18, 2019.
Pieces in place for Ligonier Valley baseball
There are batters at the top of the order with speed who regularly get on base and cause problems.

Read More...

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Tom Voelker scores against Homer-Center during a PIAA Class A quarterfinal Thursday, June 7, 2018, at North Allegheny High School.
Greensburg Central Catholic baseball on fast track to success
March 10, 2019
If the 2019 baseball season if a journey, Greensburg Central Catholic expects to spend the trip in the passing lane.

Read More...

Greensburg Central Catholic softball hopes to return to the WPIAL playoffs after missing out on the postseason last year.
Numbers, hopes up for Greensburg Central Catholic softball
Two things were missing from Greensburg Central Catholic softball last season: players and possibilities.

Read More...

Defense, size could help Mt. Pleasant boys basketball overcome lack of experience
December 2, 2021
Mt. Pleasant led WPIAL Class 4A in scoring defense last season. The Vikings allowed a paltry 47.6 points per game. Among the district’s three largest classifications, only two teams posted a better defensive scoring average.

Read More...

Mt. Pleasant’s Tiffany Zelmore averaged 19.6 points and 8.1 rebounds last season.
Behind Zelmore, Mt. Pleasant sets sights on WPIAL playoff run
The Mt. Pleasant girls basketball team won seven of its final nine games last season. Among the victories was a first-round defeat of Freeport in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

Read More...

Monessen’s Kinsey Wilson will be the starting point guard this season. The senior will be joined by leading scorer Mercedes Major in the Greyhounds’ backcourt.
Hard-working Monessen girls basketball wants return to Class A prominence
December 1, 2021
The players on the Monessen girls basketball team know about the tradition, from the 2004 state championship to a pair of the WPIAL’s all-time leading scorers in Charel Allen and Gina Naccarato, the school’s athletic director.

Read More...

Dan Bosnic is beginning his fourth season as Monessen boys basketball coach.
Monessen boys basketball coach Bosnic finally gets building block
Surprisingly, it has taken four years, but Monessen boys basketball coach Dan Bosnic is experiencing a first this season.

Read More...

Monessen’s Jamar Bethea (23) and Omarion Rainey (28) take the field for a game last season.
First-year coach Wade Brown tackles Monessen rebuild
August 26, 2021
When Monessen got together for preseason workouts, first-year coach Wade Brown typically had 15 or 16 players attend.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Cole Weightman works out Aug. 11, 2021, at James Weir Stadium.
Belle Vernon putting pieces in place for another postseason run
August 24, 2021
In senior quarterback Devin Whitlock and sophomore running back Quinton Martin, Belle Vernon boasts two of the better skill-position players in WPIAL Class 4A and beyond.

Read More...

Sophomore running back Jamar Bethea is a key piece for Monessen this season.
Building trust key to rebuilding Monessen football
August 21, 2021
It was a fair question, albeit a brutally honest one.

Read More...

Senior center Tommy Kovatch is one of two returning starters on Belle Vernon’s offensive line.
Belle Vernon’s success on football field starts with linemen Kovatch, McGrew
August 12, 2021
Belle Vernon football hasn’t had a direct tie to the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry since Scott McClintock played for the Wolverines in early 2000s, but that hasn’t stopped the current group from adopting a tradition from one of college football’s most anticipated get-togethers.

Read More...

Loni Scott will play catcher for Monessen this season.
With 7 starters back from 2019, Monessen softball poised for success
March 28, 2021
Count Monessen softball among the teams left wondering what might have been had the covid-19 pandemic not wiped out the 2020 season.

Read More...

Monessen’s Kody Kuhns returns for the 2021 season.
Patience key for inexperienced Monessen baseball team
Bill Matush took over the Monessen baseball program 18 years ago, not long after the Greyhounds went through a 38-game losing streak, but the veteran coach still likes to keep things fun for his players.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Sophie Godzak delivers to the plate against Norwin during scrimmage on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at Norwin High School.
Back to reality, Belle Vernon softball hopes for WPIAL playoff return
March 18, 2021
Like every other softball team in the PIAA, Belle Vernon did not play a game last season.

Read More...

Andrew Sokol is a left-handed pitcher for the 2021 Belle Vernon baseball team.
Belle Vernon baseball has plenty left for 2021 season
When it comes to pitching, the Belle Vernon baseball team definitely leans left.

Read More...

Belle Vernon third baseman Vanessa Porter tags out McKeesport’s Elisabeth Dansak on a stolen base attempt April 4, 2019.
Belle Vernon softball hopes following formula results in WPIAL playoffs return
March 5, 2020
The formula to success for the Belle Vernon softball team is simple.

Read More...

New look, attitude for Belle Vernon baseball
Belle Vernon is a fixture in the WPIAL baseball playoffs, missing the postseason once (2014) the past nine years. Regularly qualifying for the playoffs is a source of pride for the program.

Read More...

Franklin Regional junior Aly Kindelberger (9) competes against Hampton during a scrimmage game August 27, 2019 at Franklin Regional.
Aly Kindelberger leads charge for Franklin Regional girls volleyball team
September 20, 2019
Every match seems like a new first for the Franklin Regional girls volleyball team.

Read More...

Ligonier Valley’s Katie Lawson navigates centerfield during an inter-squad scrimmage game at girls’ soccer practice Thursday night, Aug. 22, 2019 at Ligonier Valley High School.
Ligonier Valley girls soccer kicks off new era as ‘underdogs’
August 23, 2019
With only two starters and two other letterwinners back from last season, the Ligonier Valley girls soccer team could have cause for concern.

Read More...

Derry’s Nathaniel Gray (23), chases down the ball during the scrimmage against Ligonier Valley, at Derry Area High School, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
2 goals for Ligonier Valley boys soccer: make playoffs, have fun
In his quarter century of coaching the Ligonier Valley boys soccer team, Kip Crumrine has gained valuable perspective.

Read More...

Washington returns eight starters from a high-powered offense.
High-powered Washington sets sights on another WPIAL championship
August 19, 2019
Washington’s quest for an eighth WPIAL football championship figures to get off to a better start than the defense of its seventh title.

Read More...

Burrell’s Danica Stone (8) competes for control of the ball against Greensburg Salem’s Maddie Gall (13) during a scrimmage at Offutt Field in Greensburg, on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.
Consistency could key season for Greensburg Salem girls soccer
When Greensburg Salem girls soccer coach Michael Rhea surveys his team, he sees a hard-working group with the potential for a couple of explosive scorers.

Read More...

Greensburg Salem’s Sean Galvin collides with Belle Vernon’s Markello Apodiakos during their game on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Greensburg.
Talent-infused Greensburg Salem boys soccer team eyes 1st for program
A whitewashing against eventual state champion West Allegheny in the opening round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs meant Greensburg Salem finished with a losing record.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Nolan Labuda (left) and Hunter Ruokonen celebrate during a 7-on-7 tournament July 20, 2019, at Belle Vernon.
Belle Vernon football team knows keys to playoff drive
August 17, 2019
Coaches and players at Belle Vernon agree. A few key factors kept the Leopards from becoming an elite team in WPIAL Class 4A the past couple of seasons.

Read More...

Belle Vernon’s Jared Hartman competes during a 7-on-7 tournament July 20, 2019, at Belle Vernon.
Healthy Hartman ‘keeps everything solidified’ for Belle Vernon offense
August 8, 2019
It’s third-and-long. Belle Vernon breaks the offensive huddle and heads to the line of scrimmage.

Read More...

Mt. Pleasant softball pitcher Carolyn Alincic throws while at practice on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at Mt. Pleasant High School.
Pitchers Alincic, Smithnosky help Mt. Pleasant softball build another WPIAL contender
April 15, 2019
Mary Smithnosky hasn’t compiled a checklist, but she said there is a litany of reasons why the Mt. Pleasant softball team once again has positioned itself as the team to beat in WPIAL Class 4A.

Read More...

Robert Morris commit Garver set to lead Ligonier Valley softball
March 21, 2019
She throws a wicked curveball, a high-speed fastball and a rise that leaves batters swinging at air.

Read More...

Senior Sullivan Schueltz, during baseball practice at Ligonier Valley High School in Ligonier, on Monday, March 18, 2019.
Pieces in place for Ligonier Valley baseball
There are batters at the top of the order with speed who regularly get on base and cause problems.

Read More...

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Tom Voelker scores against Homer-Center during a PIAA Class A quarterfinal Thursday, June 7, 2018, at North Allegheny High School.
Greensburg Central Catholic baseball on fast track to success
March 10, 2019
If the 2019 baseball season if a journey, Greensburg Central Catholic expects to spend the trip in the passing lane.

Read More...

Greensburg Central Catholic softball hopes to return to the WPIAL playoffs after missing out on the postseason last year.
Numbers, hopes up for Greensburg Central Catholic softball
Two things were missing from Greensburg Central Catholic softball last season: players and possibilities.

Read More...

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