Football

This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 06/04/2012
June 4, 2012
With the district high school baseball and softball postseason behind us, the focus switches to the diamond state playoffs starting this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have coverage of the First Round and the Quarterfinals from both the PIAA baseball and softball state playoffs along with pro baseball featuring the Class AA Eastern League's Altoona Curve and the Frontier League's Washington Wild Things, women's pro football featuring the Pittsburgh Passion and mens semi-pro football featuring the Tri-State Steel Storm, plus all of the news from the auto racing world with Rappin on Racin ALL here at MSAsports.netMonday, June 4th:

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 05/29/2012
May 29, 2012
Plenty of Diamond Gold will be up for grabs post holiday this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We have EXCLUSIVE coverage of all eight 2012 WPIAL Baseball and Softball Championship Games and all five WPIAL baseball and softball consolation games along with a pair of District 6 Softball Championship Games, plus news from the world of auto racing with Rappin on Racin, pro baseball featuring the Class AA Eastern League's Altoona Curve and the Frontier League's Washington Wild Things and women's pro football featuring the Pittsburgh Passion ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, May 28th:HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY FROM ALL OF US HERE AT THE MSA SPORTS NETWORK!

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/25/2012
May 25, 2012
Seven of the eight teams in the WPIAL baseball finals are quite familiar with this championship stuff. They all have won at least one title in the past nine seasons. As championship traditions go, the eighth team in the finals is like the odd man out. Belle Vernon has never won a WPIAL championship, and  the WPIAL has been staging championships since 1914. Belle Vernon will try to win its first title when it plays Blackhawk in the Class AAA championship Tuesday night at Consol Energy Field in Washington.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/19/2012
May 19, 2012
Aliquippa High School doesn’t have a track where athletes can practice. But the Quips always seem to have kids in the fast lane. On Thursday night at Baldwin, Aliquippa’s 400-meter relay won the WPIAL Class AA championship in grand fashion, setting a meet record and a school record with a time of 42.87 seconds. The team consisted of Hassan Thompson, Shaquere McBride, Dravon Henry and Kaylan Kenney. While this team’s run was impressive, having a group of top sprinters is nothing new for Aliquippa, despite the school not having a track. It was the seventh time in nine years that Aliquippa won the 400 relay title.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/11/2012
May 11, 2012
The way the WPIAL baseball playoffs are set up, a team that makes it to a championship game could use its No. 1 pitcher in three of four contests. That is extremely good news for Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson pitcher Greg Schneider hasn’t just been unbeatable this season. It has been almost impossible to score on him. Schneider had one of the most dominating regular seasons of any pitcher in recent WPIAL history. Schneider, a Thomas Jefferson senior and a Pitt recruit, led Thomas Jefferson to the Class AAA Section 3 title. His statistics were remarkable.

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Scholastic Notebook – 05/04/2012
May 4, 2012
Peters Township not in the WPIAL baseball playoffs? It will seem strange, but it could happen. And if Peters Township doesn’t make the postseason, you can almost be assured it will be a close call. Peters Township, one of the WPIAL’s top baseball programs, hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2002. But the Indians are in fourth place heading into today’s game against Mt. Lebanon. Peters Township is 6-4 in section and 7-10 overall. The top three teams make the playoffs, and Bethel Park (8-2), Upper St. Clair (8-3) and Mt. Lebanon (7-3) are all ahead of Peters Township. If Peters Township loses to Mount Lebanon Friday night on MSA, Peters Township is out of the playoffs.

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PSFCA High School Football All-Star Game Sunday on MSA Sports
May 3, 2012
The annual all-star football game that highlights some of the top scholastic talent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is back and will be played at Gateway High School on Sunday, May 6th at 2:00pm right here on the MSA Sports Network.MSA Sports Rick Smith and Josh Rowntree will have the call from Monroeville as some of the top talent from Eastern Pennsylvania takes on some of the best seniors here in Western Pennsylvania.

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 04/29/2012
April 29, 2012
As the mercury keeps rising and the calender changes from April to May, we have stretch run regular season softball and baseball action this week here on the MSA Sports Net

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/27/2012
April 27, 2012
It took four years for Serra Catholic pitcher Alain Girman to finally lose a game. Then it happened in consecutive days.

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/24/2012
April 24, 2012
The Ellwood City baseball team fell from the ranks of the unbeatens last week when it dropped a 1-0 decision to Riverside. But Ellwood City still might be having the most impressive season of any team in the WPIAL – at least in terms of statistics. Ellwood City is now 12-1 on the season. In 12 of those 13 games, Ellwood City has given up two runs or fewer. Five of the wins have come by shutouts. Christian Kerns has been the main stopper for Ellwood City this season. He had been 13-0 over the past two seasons until taking the loss against Riverside. Anthony Carusone also has been stellar on the mound. Ellwood City and Riverside are now tied for the Section 5 lead. Maybe Ellwood City is smarting a little after going 15-5 last season, but missing the WPIAL playoffs. The Undefeateds:

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WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2012
April 13, 2012
Neil Walker is known for his baseball talent. The current Pirates second baseman had an unforgettable baseball career at Pine-Richland High School and was a first-round draft pick. But it is what Walker also did in other sports that helped earn him a spot in the WPIAL Hall of Fame. The WPIAL Hall of Fame class for 2012 was announced Thursday at a news conference, and Walker was one of the selections. Walker was in Los Angeles with the Pirates, but his father was at the news conference at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District. Walker had a terrific baseball career at Pine-Richland, starting four seasons and batting .504 for his career. He hit .657 as a senior with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and a 1.403 slugging percentage for a WPIAL championship team.

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Scholastic Notebook – 04/08/2012
April 8, 2012
It is most certainly one of the oddest sports combinations you will see in the WPIAL. You’ll be scratching your head trying to figure out how many times you have seen a championships golfer who also is one of the best shot putters and discus throwers in the district. As odd as it sounds, Katerina Luttner is living out the combination at Fox Chapel High School. She won the WPIAL girls golf championship in 2010 and was the runner-up in 2011. She also has been a medalist at the PIAA level and has a golf scholarship to the University of Mississippi. But in the spring, she throws the discus and shot put for Fox Chapel. This spring, Luttner is the No. 1 discus thrower in the entire WPIAL with a mark of 111 feet, 8 inches. She also has the fourth-best shot put at 34-10.

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Scholastic Notebook – 03/30/2012
March 30, 2012
The high school baseball season is young and maybe it still isn’t clear as to who are all the best teams are in each classification. But it is quite clear a team worth watching is in Class AAAA. Mount Lebanon. Through the first week of the season, Mount Lebanon just might be the biggest surprise. After all, the Blue Devils weren’t in the MSA Sports preseason top 10. They weren’t in the Post-Gazette top five, either. But heading into Friday, Mount Lebanon had a 3-1 record and had knocked off some of the big boys, namely three teams in the MSA top 10. Mount Lebanon started the season last Friday with a 7-4 victory against No. 5 Pine-Richland. The Blue Devils beat No. 8 North Allegheny, 9-6, on Tuesday. Yesterday, they knocked off No. 1-ranked and defending WPIAL champion Seneca Valley, 10-9.

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Scholastic Notebook – 03/16/2012
March 16, 2012
It was Problems at Palumbo for two WPIAL boys basketball champions this week. On consecutive nights, New Castle and Gateway – two WPIAL champions – lost games in the second round of the PIAA playoffs. Some might have been surprised at the two losses because New Castle was undefeated and Gateway is a talented team. But history says the two teams losses were not unusual at all. In fact, history says the two losses should have been expected. For years, WPIAL champions have had trouble going on to win state championships. But a look at the past decade of PIAA championship games suggests WPIAL champions have a less than 1 in 3 chance of even making it to the PIAA title game.

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WPIAL Coaching Changes: New Castle Football and Shenango Girls Volleyball
March 14, 2012
Embattled New Castle football coach Frank Bongivengo has stepped down from his position, effective immediately. Bongivengo is facing criminal theft charges related to funds taken from a youth football program. Those charges were filed after a 17-month investigation from the Pennsylvania State Police, the coach and his wife Karen, were both charged with theft, conspiracy and forgery charges, relating to over 36 hundred dollars taken from the youth football program’s account. Investigators looked at transactions between that account and the Bongivengo’s personal account. Bogivengo served as head coach from 2005 thru last season, he went 39-32 over that time, playing in the Parkway Conference and took the Red Hurricanes to three playoff appearances and a winning overall record in each of the last five season.

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Scholastic Notebook – 03/09/2012
March 9, 2012
Derry Area wrestler Jimmy Gulibon is in Hershey this weekend, trying to make history. The Derry senior is trying to become only the 10th wrestler in Pennsylvania to win four state titles. If Gulibon wins, this one would probably mean the most, simply because of what he overcame this season. Flash back to late December, when Gulibon was wrestling in the finals of the Powerade Tournament. He won, but sustained a left knee injury. Gulibon, and some others, thought the injury might be serious. They thought it might be an ACL tear. “He was very scared because he never even really had an injury before,” said Derry coach Mike Weinell. “We didn’t know at the time how serious it was. Jimmy just knew he couldn’t do what he does. He couldn’t push off his foot or his leg.”

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/24/2012
February 24, 2012
This next statement seems awfully strange: Either Beaver or Trinity will be in the WPIAL Class AAA boys basketball Semifinals. As strange as that sounds, it is true. Beaver and Trinity play in a Quarterfinals game Friday night, and one of them will move on to next Tuesday’s Semifinals. History says how Beaver and Trinity playing in a Semifinals game is unheard of. Trinity has never been to a Semifinals game before, and the Hillers won a grand total of six playoff games in school history. Two of those were this year. The others came last year, one in 2010 and two in 1984. Beaver, meanwhile, has made it to the Semifinals only once in school history. That was in 1987. The Bobcats have only six playoff wins in school history – two this year, two in 1987, one in 1982 and one in 1977.

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/17/2012
February 17, 2012
The coaching wheels are turning – not only in football, but already in basketball. There were some noteworthy coaching changes in both sports this week. 

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/10/2012
February 10, 2012
The WPIAL boys basketball playoffs will seem a little strange this year without Upper St. Clair. The Panthers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and their 10-year streak was the longest current streak in Class AAAA.

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Scholastic Notebook – 02/03/2012
February 3, 2012
When the WPIAL announces playoff brackets at a meeting every February, the league also hands out plaques to section champions. For the first time ever, Bentworth might double team the WPIAL for the championship plaques. Things have been good for Bentworth basketball this season. Twice as good, actually.

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