Bishop Canevin, Carlynton found all-around sports success in trying year

Sunday, August 15, 2021 | 10:01 AM

A pair of local schools finished in the top 10 in their respective classifications in the 2020-21 HSSN Trib Cup Standings.

Bishop Canevin finished in fourth place in Class A while Carlynton placed in 10th place in Class 2A.

The HSSN Trib Cup is a yearlong competition to determine the top WPIAL sports program in each classification. It awards points for section or conference championships, district and state playoff berths and district and state championships and runner-up finishes.

“Looking back at this past year, I can honestly say that I could not be more proud of our student athletes, and our coaching and training staff,” Bishop Canevin athletic director Dale Checketts said. “Considering we were not sure how things would play out entering the school year, to then be able to participate in every sport, it is just remarkable. The dedication, hard work and attention to detail by everyone truly allowed us to make this year possible.

“Our student athletes were able to attend school every day in person and continue to play the various sports they loved, which I think is something we all now take a deeper appreciation for after the shutdown of sports and schools due to the pandemic.”

The Crusaders earned points in nine sports and finished with a total of 235 points, trailing only Greensburg Central Catholic, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and Sewickley Academy in the Class A standings.

The points total included a couple of district championship runs. The first came in the fall when the girls volleyball team won gold days after the death of legendary coach Kevin Walters. Then in the winter, the boys basketball team won its first WPIAL championship.

“Looking back, some of my favorite memories were the times I spent at various practices throughout the year, seeing the kids working hard and having fun again,” Checketts said.

Shenango was a first-time Cup winner in Class 2A. The chase for the top spot was the closest of any classification. Tenth-place Carlynton missed a top 5 finish by only 55 points.

“It was definitely a different season for sure and we never knew what each day would look like during the pandemic,” Carlynton athletic director Nate Milsom said. “Much credit goes to our kids, coaches and athletic trainer who followed our policy to a T to ensure that we did not have any hiccups along the way.

“We are so proud of the kids for doing the right thing each and every day so that we were able to have a season in all of our sports. That says a lot about our community in that they were able to have some success during a year like we had.”

While there were no championship banners being raised from this past school year for Carlynton, they did score points in eight sports, including section championship runs for the boys and girls swim teams and the girls track team.

“All of our teams we are proud of for sure, but our swim teams and girls track teams both went undefeated this year, which says a lot about their dedication to their sport as well as their safety as they all were able to run the table and complete their schedule,” Milsom said.

“These kids show up each and every day and all work hard for a common goal. We have so many unselfish athletes that have dedicated themselves to the team rather than individual success, and it has truly showed by their results. We are so proud of their accomplishments, and with such young teams, we are looking to continue this success for years to come.”

While it was a challenging season for all, Milsom does take away some special memories from the 2020-2021 high school sports year.

“Some of the favorite memories would have to be seeing the teams come together more than ever before and really becoming a family,” he said. “They all knew that if they wanted to get through a season, they would have to trust each other more than ever before. These kids knew that if they wanted to have a season, they would have to be there for each other and they truly did that.

“Additionally, being the head coach of the undefeated girls track team was a special moment in that we could see how much work the girls put in every day at practice, and to see it pay off in the end was a special moment.”

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