Fox Chapel, Shady Side Academy celebrate successful athletics seasons in 2021-22

Sunday, July 31, 2022 | 8:47 PM

The gold was flowing along Fox Chapel and Field Club roads during the 2021-22 scholastic sports year.

And some silver, too.

Fox Chapel Area High School and Shady Side Academy each had outstanding seasons on the fields of play.

Fox Chapel

The Foxes, in the school’s 60th anniversary year, copped WPIAL titles in boys and girls golf, boys tennis and, for the first time since 1977, boys basketball.

“We had a tremendous year,” said Mike O’Brien, Fox Chapel athletic director. “Certainly one of the best of my 17-year tenure. It was a lot of fun and it was unbelievable to have this sort of success.”

The boys golf team defeated Central Catholic by a stroke — 376 to 377. Seniors Eli Yofan, John Walsh, Zach Paper, Max Johnson and Owen Delaney, along with sophomore Davey Fuhrer, led the way.

In girls golf, it was seniors Nina Busch, Erin Drahnak, Grace Rygelski and Baylin Bitar, along with freshman Baustin Bitar, who defeated Peters Township, 327 to 332.

The boys tennis team defeated Shady Side, 5-0.

In basketball at Petersen Events Center, coach Zach Skrinjar’s Foxes knocked off North Hills, 43-36. Fox Chapel defeated rival Central Catholic three times and won a third straight section title for the first time.

The boys soccer team, in the WPIAL playoffs for the 21st consecutive season, made it to the semifinal round before losing to Seneca Valley, 1-0.

The football team made the WPIAL playoffs and emerged with a 13-10 opening round victory at Upper St. Clair, the first playoff win since 1997.

The boys cross country team finished third in the WPIAL and the swim team fifth.

It was a spectacular comeback season for Fox Chapel hockey, a club team not sponsored directly by the school district. The Foxes won only five games in 2020-21, but finished 19-0 in the regular season, losing in the semifinals to Norwin to finish 20-1 this past winter.

In girls sports, the No. 9-seeded soccer team knocked off No. 1 North Allegheny after defeating Bethel Park in the Class 4A playoff opener. A late goal resulted in a 1-0 lost to Seneca Valley in the semifinals.

The field hockey team reached the WPIAL Class 2A finals, defeating third-seeded Upper St. Clair, 2-0, in the semifinals before falling to six-time champ Penn-Trafford, 1-0, in the championship game.

The lacrosse team lost to Upper St. Clair in the quarterfinals and the swim team was a section champ and the WPIAL runner-up to North Allegheny.

The tennis team lost a semifinal match to Latrobe.

The baseball and softball teams both had solid regular seasons, only to fall in the first round of the playoffs.

“It’ll be a tall order to repeat this in the coming (school) year, but good things have been happening that last 10 to 15 years,” O’ Brien said.

Shady Side Academy

In its initial year with the Bulldogs nickname, Shady Side Academy won WPIAL titles in boys basketball, boys and girls lacrosse, field hockey and the tennis doubles team of David Mnuskin and Sam Bitzer was victorious over Franklin Regional, 6-3, 6-3.

The boys basketball team defeated Avonworth, 66-54, at Petersen Events Center to win its second title and the first since 1999.

The boys lacrosse team edged Mt. Lebanon, 11-10, while the girls prevailed over Mt. Lebanon, 15-7.

The field hockey team had a 1-0 win over Aquinas Academy.

The football ball team ended its 128th season with a WPIAL Class 2A playoff berth, losing the opener to Sto-Rox.

The cross country team finished fifth in the WPIAL, and the baseball team dropped a first-round playoff decision to Laurel.

The boys soccer team lost in the quarterfinals to Ambridge, 2-1, in overtime while the track team was second in its grouping to Shenango.

The boys tennis team was WPIAL runner-up to Fox Chapel.

The girls basketball team lost its playoff opener to Mohawk and the cross country team was eighth at the WPIAL meet.

The girls soccer team dropped a semifinal match to North Catholic and the PIAA qualifier game to Southmoreland.

The girls tennis team was beaten by Upper St. Clair in a second-round contest.

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