Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some fall sports season memories

Guess it's that time of the year, the time when your blog goes dead, your byline disappears and you're spending all your time researching, calling, etc. for season wrap-up and season preview stuff. Thanks, in a word, for actually stopping by. Been a little quiet here lately.

I did want to take a minute to reflect on the top 10 stories, in my opinion, to come out of the fall sports season. Would love to hear what y'all think, and please weight in with your thoughts by leaving a comment or e-mailing me at jmackey@observer-reporter.com.

So, without further delay. Here we go, counting backwards:

10. South Fayette boys soccer: No titles, I know. But the Lions scored what was perhaps the biggest upset of the fall playoffs by knocking off No. 1 seed South Park on penalty kicks in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals. In PKs, Lions coach Rob Eldridge pulled goalkeeper Alex Gedrys in favor of Andrew Pine ... sort of like Gordan Bombay pulling Goldberg in favor of Julie "The Cat" Gafney to beat Iceland at the end of D2. (Always up for a good Mighty Ducks reference)

9. So close ... yet again: Tom Nettles, a senior on the Peters Township golf team, finished second at the PIAA Class AAA championships for a second consecutive year. He did improve three strokes to shoot a 74-70-144 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, but he missed out on PIAA gold by one stroke ... yet again. Hard to not root for Nettles. Easily one of the most polite kids I've dealt with, and I'm sure he'll be just fine at D-I Campbell University in North Carolina.

8. Hello, Yvon: Canon-McMillan junior tennis player Yvon Martinez moved to Washington County from Columbia, South America this past summer and proceeded to win the Section 5-AAA singles title. She also reached the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals. Just a hunch, but I'm guessing I'll be writing about Martinez a lot come next season.

7. Avella football: The good side was a 5-0 start and a New York Times story detailing the town's love affair with its winning football team. The bad was a three-game losing streak that knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs. Avella does, however, bring back almost every one of its skill players. Maybe next year will be the year Avella can snap its postseason drought, which dates back to 1976.

6. Take that, Mom: Ringgold cross country runner Kirsten McMichael had a busy couple of weeks. After winning a Mingo Classic title, McMichael set the Mingo course record, which was previously held by her Mom, Jennifer Lejeune-McMichael, en route to claiming the county championship. Jennifer, who's Ringgold's cross country coach, was there to see it ... and obviously became emotional.

Check back tomorrow for the top five.

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