Monday, July 28, 2014

C-M's Paulina ranked 11th best WPIAL prospect

Ringgold QB Nico Law
I'm not a big fan of preseason rankings for high school football, but Karlo Kovko of Pitt 24/7 Sports released his top 150 senior football prospects in the WPIAL.

Canon-McMillan senior offensive lineman Alex Paulina, a Pitt commit, leads area players as the 11th ranked prospect on the list. He is followed in the top-25 by South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh at 18, Peters Township quarterback Cory Owen at 19 and Ringgold quarterback Nico Law (22).

Other players include SF defensive back Roman Denson (26), Trinity quarterback Forrest Cullings (50), SF tight end Logan Sharp (61), McGuffey lineman Ryan Stienstraw (74), Wash High safety/running back Malik Wells (85), Wash High lineman Zach Blystone (90), McGuffey running back James Duchi (112), SF lineman Anthony Davidson (113).

You can find the complete rankings here.

Biggest suprise: North Catholic athlete PJ Fulmore at number one. Fulmore is a great player, but its tough to argue against Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, who has offers from Alabama, Penn State, Ohio State, Pitt and West Virginia.

  • Brumbaugh and Owen are receiving more interest than their ranking, but it's understandable. On the other hand, I think Blystone is the most underrated player on the list. He'll senior season will justify a much higher ranking

Law: Ringgold's Nico Law will pick up more interest after the season begins. I'm curious to see how he adjusts to a new offense, but he could be an exciting weapon for many college football programs. Incredibly fast and is a much better passer than people think.

MaxPreps: South Fayette 19th best football program in PA since 2004

Zach Walker
Two PIAA Class AA football championship appearances, including a state title in 2013, will go a long way to building the legacy of a high school football program.

South Fayette's trip to Shippensburg in 2010 & 2013 Class AA state title earned the Lions a spot in among the top-20 programs in the state since 2004, according to to

The team's 16-0 season in 2013 ended with a 41-0 state title win over Imhotep Charter and a No. 4 ranking according to MaxPreps. The performance made them the 19th best team in the state over the past decade.

The website has put out football computer rankings for each state for the past decade and awarded points to teams based on where they finished at the end of each season.

Other WPIAL teams that made the top-20, which you can find here, include top-ranked Central Catholic, Clairton (2), Thomas Jefferson (4), North Allegheny (8), Upper St. Clair (12), Woodland Hills (t-13), McKeesport (15) and Gateway (16).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Former Canon-McMillan soccer coach charged with inappropriately texting student

A Trinity graduate and former Canon-McMillan boys’ soccer coach was charged Friday with inappropriately texting a male student at Penn-Trafford.

Michael Garet, 31, who is now employed at Penn-Trafford High School as a Spanish teacher, was formally charged with misdemeanor counts of stalking, harassment and disorderly conduct. He has been on leave from the district since the investigation began in February.

WTAE broke the story and it can be found here.

Garet graduated from Trinity in 2001 before attending Washington & Jefferson College. He coached the Big Macs until 2010 when he was replaced by the program’s current head coach, Larry Fingers.

Police secured serach warrants and reviewed dozens of messages allegedly between Garet and a 17-year-old male student from Nov. 23, 2013 through early February.  The conversations ranged from meeting up during school hours to Garet inviting the boy to attend PITT basketball games.

Garet is awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Sept. 9.

At Trinity, Garet was the National Soccer Coaches Association Player of the Year as a senior when he recorded 22 shutouts in 56 career games as a goal keeperand finished with a goals-against average of 1.31 as a three-year starter.

A Section 5-AAA all-star and all-WPIAL performer, Garet was also selected as an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Peters Township native signs AHL contract

Add Rob Madore to the list of Washington County natives taking a big step toward playing in the NHL.

The Peters Township native signed a contract Monday with the Milwaukee Admirals, the Nashville Predators’ AHL affiliate. Madore led PT to two PIHL Penguins Cup victories in 2004 and 2005.

Madore won the ECHL Playoff MVP last season as the goalie for the Cincinnati Cyclones, which lost the Kelly Cup championship series in six games to the Alaska Aces. He had a 17-12 record during the 
2013-14 regular season with a 0.908 save percentage.

The former Indians net minder led the University of Vermont to the 2009 Frozen Four as a freshman and has spent time between the AHL and ECHL since 2011.

The 26-year-old was invited to the Penguins Development Camp in the fall of 2009 before spending three more seasons at Vermont. Madore is also ranked second all-time at UVM in saves.

Madore spent time with two ECHL teams in 2012 and appeared in nine games with the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), collecting a 5-3-0 mark with a 1.83 goals against average.

He signed with the Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of the Predators and Florida Panthers, last August.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Peters Township grad excels in NYCBL

Zach Verner
Peters Township graduate Zach Verner, who is currently a sophomore at John Carroll University, is playing in the New York Collegiate Baseball League this summer.

Verner has made 16 appearances for the Niagra Power. He has tossed 17.2 innings for the Power with a stellar 1.01 ERA, nine saves and a 21-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The right-hander recently played for the Western Team in the NYCBL All-Star game where he earned the save.

Verner, who is a relief pitcher for John Carroll's baseball team, is not the first PT grad to play in the league. Mike Bittel pitched in the league last year and like Verner, was selected the all-star game.

As a sophomore this spring, he only appeared in three games while recording a 0-1 record in six innings pitched, but he was the Blue Streak’s closer in 2013.

As a freshman, Verner appeared in 15 games and led the team with three saves, posted the second-lowest ERA on the team at 2.14 and did not allow an earned run in 12 of 15 appearances.

At Peters Township, he was a three-year letter winner and captain of the 2012 Indians. Verner was a junior on Joe Maize's team that was a WPIAL runner up in 2011.

Friday, July 11, 2014

2014 High School Football Schedules

8/29 7 pm            at Frazier *         
9/5 7 pm              California *        
9/12 7 pm            Jefferson-Morgan *      
9/19 7 pm            at Bentworth *                     
9/26 7 pm            Mapletown *    
10/4 1 pm            at Wilkinsburg    
10/10 7 pm          at Beth-Center *             
10/17 7 pm          Carmichaels *   
10/24 7 pm          West Greene *

8/29 7 pm            at Carmichaels *                   
9/5 7 pm              West Greene *                     
9/12 7 pm            at Frazier *         
9/19 7 pm            Avella *                    
9/26 7 pm            Jefferson-Morgan *                           
10/3 7 pm            at California *        
10/10 7 pm          at Mapletown *                    
10/17 7 pm          Jeannette                                
10/24 7 pm          Beth-Center *

8/29 7 pm            at Mapletown *               
9/5 7 pm              Greensburg Central Catholic                            
9/12 7 pm            at California *        
9/19 7 pm            Carmichaels *                        
9/26 7 pm            West Greene *                     
10/3 7 pm            at Frazier *         
10/10 7 pm          Avella *                    
10/17 7 pm          Jefferson-Morgan *      
10/24 7 pm          at Bentworth *

8/29 7 pm            at Waynesburg Central *             
9/5 7 pm              Washington *   
9/12 7 pm            at Mount Pleasant *      
9/19 7 pm            Charleroi *              
9/26 7 pm            at Ellwood City                      
10/3 7 pm            at Southmoreland *       
10/11 1:30 pm    McGuffey *       
10/17 7 pm          at Derry Area *
10/24 7 pm          Brownsville *

8/29 7 pm            Clairton                                     
9/5 7 pm              at Avella *          
9/12 7 pm            Beth-Center *                       
9/19 7 pm            at Jefferson-Morgan *                      
9/26 7 pm            at Carmichaels *                                   
10/3 7 pm            Bentworth *          
10/10 7 pm          at West Greene *           
10/17 7 pm          at Mapletown *               
10/24 7 pm          Frazier *

8/29 7:30 pm      at Mt. Lebanon *            
9/5 7:30 pm        Penn Hills *                             
9/12 7:30 pm      at Peters Township *                         
9/19 7:30 pm      Bethel Park *         
9/26 7 pm            at Fox Chapel                          
10/3 7:30 pm      at Woodland Hills *             
10/10 7:30 pm    Upper St. Clair *                                   
10/17 7:30 pm    at Baldwin *      
10/24 7:30 pm    Blackhawk

8/29 7 pm            Bentworth *     
9/5 7 pm              Mapletown *    
9/13 12 pm          at Riverview                            
9/19 7 pm            at Beth-Center *                                  
9/26 7 pm            California *             
10/3 7 pm            West Greene *
10/10 7 pm          at Frazier *         
10/17 7 pm          at Avella *          
10/24 7 pm          Jefferson-Morgan *

8/29 7 pm            at Southmoreland *       
9/5 7 pm              McGuffey *                            
9/12 7 pm            at Derry Area *     
9/19 7 pm            at Burgettstown *          
9/26 7 pm            Waynesburg Central *  
10/3 7 pm            Washington *                        
10/10 7 pm          at Mount Pleasant *      
10/17 7 pm          Brownsville *         
10/24 7 pm          Freedom

8/29 7 pm            Avonworth *    
9/5 7 pm              at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic *           
9/12 7 pm            Western Beaver                
9/19 7 pm            Northgate *      
9/27 7 pm            at Bishop Canevin *            
10/3 7 pm            Our Lady of Sacred Heart *         
10/10 7:30 pm    at Brentwood *                                    
10/17 7 pm          at Neshannock      
10/24 7 pm          Fort Cherry *

Fort Cherry
8/29 7 pm            at Our Lady of Sacred Heart *    
9/5 7:30 pm        Brentwood *                         
9/12 7 pm            at South Side Beaver           
9/19 7:30 pm      Bishop Canevin *                                 
9/26 7 pm            at Avonworth *               
10/3 7:30 pm      Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic *    
10/10 7:30 pm    Union                         
10/17 7 pm          at Northgate * 
10/24 7 pm          at Chartiers-Houston *

8/29 7 pm            at West Greene *           
9/5 7 pm              Frazier *                                   
9/12 7 pm            at Avella *                               
9/19 7 pm            California *                             
9/26 7 pm            at Bentworth *                     
10/3 7 pm            Mapletown *    
10/10 7 pm          Springdale                
10/17 7 pm          at Beth-Center *             
10/24 7 pm          at Carmichaels *              

8/29 7 pm            Beth-Center *                       
9/5 7 pm              at Carmichaels *                                   
9/12 7 pm            West Greene *                     
9/19 7 pm            Frazier *                                   
9/26 7 pm            at Avella *                               
10/3 7 pm            at Jefferson-Morgan *                      
10/10 7 pm          Bentworth *                          
10/17 7 pm          California *        
10/24 7 pm          at Monessen

8/29 7 pm            at Mount Pleasant *      
9/5 7 pm              at Charleroi *                         
9/12 7 pm            Mohawk               
9/19 7 pm            at Southmoreland *                            
9/26 7 pm            at Brownsville *                                    
10/3 7 pm            Derry Area *     
10/11 1:30 pm    at Burgettstown *          
10/17 7 pm          Waynesburg Central *  
10/24 7 pm          Washington *   

8/29 7 pm            at Greensburg Central Catholic *                  
9/6 12 pm            at Riverview *                       
9/12 7 pm            Serra Catholic *
9/19 7 pm            at Leechburg * 
9/26 7 pm            Wilkinsburg *    
10/3 7 pm            at Springdale *                      
10/10 7 pm          at Jeannette *       
10/17 7 pm          Clairton *            
10/24 7 pm          Mapletown

Peters Township
8/29 7:30 pm      Woodland Hills *                  
9/5 7:30 pm        at Upper St. Clair *              
9/12 7:30 pm      Canon-McMillan *               
9/19 7:30 pm      New Castle                              
9/26 7:30 pm      at Mt. Lebanon *                                 
10/3 7:30 pm      Penn Hills *                             
10/10 7:30 pm    Baldwin *                                
10/17 7:30 pm    at Bethel Park *               
10/24 7:30 pm    at Pine-Richland

8/29 7:30 pm      at Thomas Jefferson *       
9/5 7:30 pm        Uniontown *                         
9/12 7:30 pm      Knoch                        
9/19 7:30 pm      at West Mifflin *                                  
9/26 7:30 pm      Albert Gallatin *                                   
10/3 7:30 pm      Belle Vernon *                      
10/10 7:30 pm    at Laurel Highlands *                          
10/17 7:30 pm    at Elizabeth Forward *       
10/24 7:30 pm    Trinity *               

South Fayette
8/29 7 pm            East Allegheny *              
9/5 7 pm              Keystone Oaks *                  
9/12 7:30 pm      at South Park *                     
9/19 7 pm            South Allegheny *                               
9/26 7 pm            at Carlynton *        
10/3 7 pm            Steel Valley *         
10/10 7 pm          at Sto-Rox *                           
10/17 7 pm          at Seton-La Salle *               
10/24 7 pm          Quaker Valley *

8/29 7:30 pm      Belle Vernon * 
9/5 7:30 pm        at Laurel Highlands *                          
9/12 7:30 pm      Elizabeth Forward *            
9/19 7:30 pm      at Albert Gallatin *              
9/26 7:30 pm      Thomas Jefferson *                            
10/3 7:30 pm      at Uniontown *                                    
10/10 7 pm          at Yough                                   
10/17 7:30 pm    West Mifflin *                       
10/24 7:30 pm    at Ringgold *

8/29 7 pm            Derry Area *          
9/5 7 pm              at Burgettstown *                               
9/12 7 pm            Waynesburg Central *                       
9/19 7 pm            at Brownsville *                                    
9/26 7 pm            Mount Pleasant *                                
10/3 7 pm            at Charleroi *                         
10/10 7 pm          New Brighton                         
10/17 7 pm          Southmoreland *                                 
10/24 7 pm          at McGuffey *

8/29 7 pm            Burgettstown *                    
9/5 7 pm              at Brownsville *                                    
9/12 7 pm            at Washington *                                   
9/19 7 pm            Mount Pleasant *           
9/26 7 pm            at Charleroi *                         
10/3 7 pm            Summit Academy                 
10/10 7 pm          at Southmoreland *                            
10/17 7 pm          at McGuffey *  
10/24 7 pm          Derry Area *

West Greene
8/29 7 pm            Jefferson-Morgan *           
9/5 7 pm              at Bentworth *                     
9/12 7 pm            at Mapletown *                                    
9/19 7 pm            Serra Catholic     
9/26 7 pm            at Beth-Center *                                  
10/3 7 pm            at Carmichaels *                                   
10/10 7 pm          California *             
10/17 7 pm          Frazier *              

10/24 7 pm          at Avella *

Monday, July 7, 2014

All-State softball selections announced

The 2014 high school softball season did not end with a local team hoisting a state championship trophy, but the success of several local programs is reflected on the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association post season honors announced Monday.

Canon-McMillan, which reached the WPIAL Class AAAA title game before losing to DuBois in the first round of the state playoffs, had four players receive first team honors - senior third baseman Olivia Lorusso, sophomore shortstop Linda Rush, senior catcher Gia Zeremenko and junior outfielder Abby McCartney.
Lorusso, who was named the Observer-Reporter Softball Player of the Year, batted .532 with a team-high 16 home runs and 46 RBI. Rush was a first-team all-district selection and batted .571 with a team-high 48 hits, 40 runs and 16 doubles.

Zeremenko, a Pitt recruit, did not commit an error in 2014 and batted .438 with five home runs, 24 RBI, 32 hits and just two strikeouts in 79 plate appearances. McCartney, who will join Lorusso at Robert Morris, led the Big Macs with a .575 average, while adding 12 home runs, 45 RBI, 42 hits and 36 runs. She struck out twice in 84 plate appearances.

In Class AAA, Trinity junior shortstop Olivia Gray and sophomore catcher/first baseman Delaney Elling received first team honors.

Gray, a Pitt recruit, batted .554 this spring with eight doubles, five home runs, 32 stolen bases and 32 RBI. Elling, who will play at Penn State, led the Hillers with 39 hits, 11 doubles and a .684 batting average. She also tied Gray with 32 RBI.

Also in AAA, South Fayette junior pitcher Ashley Iagnemma was named Class AAA Honorable Mention. Iagnemma led the Lions (14-2) to their first section title in program history with a 1.80 ERA and 151 strikeouts. She had a 14-2 record in the circle and batted .400 with a team-high 30 RBI.

In Class AA, Waynesburg junior third baseman Hannah Gibbons was a first team selection and McGuffey senior pitcher Cassie Weiss received second team honors. Gibbons, a Penn recruit, batted .614 with three home runs and 26 RBI, while Weiss led the WPIAL in strikeouts with 175 in 102 innings pitched.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trinity sophomore invited to Hockey Night in Boston

A'Shon Burgess
A’Shon Burgess, a sophomore at Trinity High School, is as diverse an athlete you will find in Washington County.

On a humid afternoon in April, Burgess qualified for the finals at the WPIAL Class AAA South Individual Track & Field Qualifiers in the 100 hurdles.

It is not track that has Burgess close to an opportunity that athletes around the country would pay to receive. Burgess, who plays hockey for Trinity in the PIHL and for the Mon-Valley Thunder in the PAHL, received a roster spot on the Mid-West team at Hockey Night in Boston – a showcase for players who will soon be
eligible for junior hockey.

Burgess, who plays at one of the lower levels of hockey in Class A, was unexpectedly invited a tryout in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he competed against some of the top Class AAA high school talent in the region. After three days competing against bigger players, he received an invitation to the showcase in Boston, which is set for July 13-18.

“It was very hard because it’s a couple of levels higher than I usually play,” Burgess said. “I had to change my game a little bit to skate with those kids because it’s a faster paced game and you are always skating. At a lower level, you can glide at times to take little breaks.”

Like showcases in other sports, Hockey Night in Boston soared in popularity when college and junior hockey scouts began attending the weekend in swarms. 100 college scouts and 52 junior hockey scouts from all levels will be in attendance.

For Burgess, who only began playing hockey five years ago, the tryout was the culmination of a quick rise in the game.

He had yet to reach middle school when a parent of a friend suggested he give hockey a try. Basic classes came first before he joined a developmental team.

Burgess, who is one of very few African Americans to play hockey in the region, got much needed help from a program based at Robert Morris’ complex on Neville Island. Pittsburgh Ice, which was formerly known as Hockey in the Hood, provides socially and economically disadvantaged boys and girls in the Greater Pittsburgh area the opportunity to learn to play the game of ice hockey.

Ice hockey is rapidly increasing in popularity, but the cost of the sport prevents many kids from being able to lace up skates and dedicate themselves to the craft.

“The first time around he fell,” JoJo Burgess, A’Shon’s father, said.” His second time up, he stayed up and he’s been up ever since. He loved it. My wife and I busted our behinds because it is an expensive sport. We fundraise to play the sport. We let our work, work for him. I do any type of fundraiser to let him play for who he plays for. To see him grow and show the skills, he is successful in anything he puts his mind in.”

For JoJo, who works in the steel industry, allowing his son the opportunity to choose hockey over track creates an inevitable sacrifice. Purchasing equipment for a growing teenager is never ending and playing organized hockey comes with a hefty price tag.

With the opportunity in Boston waiting, A’Shon’s father is going to all lengths to get his son on the ice in Boston. The family has set up an internet fundraiser page on to help fund his trip.
A’Shon recently won the 15-16 year-old division of the 100 meter hurdles championship in the Three Rivers Association of the USA Track & Field – qualifying for a Region 2 National Qualifier in Atlantic City. .

A’Shon chose Hockey Night in Boston over the track meet.

“I knew he wanted to give it a shot and I’m not going to tell him he can’t do something,” JoJo Burgess said. “I wanted him to go out there and achieve. He got an opportunity. The one thing that was very rewarding to me was he grabbed the opportunity and ran with it. I’m never going to tell my son he can’t do something.”

To donate, simple got to and enter A’Shon Burgess in the search line to read his story. JoJo Burgess can be reached by phone at 724-554-5561 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ringgold School Board approves assistant football coaches

The Ringgold School Board officially hired Nick Milchovich’s coaching staff at a meeting last week and the six new Rams coaches are familiar with Western Pennsylvania.

Milchovich’s two top assistants are Ron Frederick and Thomas Plack. Frederick is a graduate of Southmoreland High School and played collegiately at the University of Tulsa.

Also joining the staff are Brady Barbero, who was the head coach at California Area High School from 2009-12, as well as former Washington & Jefferson standout Matt Wujcik, Jeff Lowden, who was an assistant under Barbero at Cal, and former Pitt offensive lineman Dan LaCarte.

When Milchovich was hired, he promised he would be able to lure a strong coaching staff and he did just that. Having an assistant like Barbero with head coaching experience is vital and Frederick will help mentor the linemen, which is invaluable in Class AAA.

I also love the hire of LaCarte, who instantly brings credibility. Ringgold will be one of the bigger story lines to watch this season as the Rams transition from Matt Humbert’s offense to Milchovich’s, which will surely contain some different concepts.

With Nico Law at quarterback and a star-studded backfield featuring one of the highest touted incoming freshman and a workhorse like Chacar Berry, Ringgold is bound to reach the WPIAL playoffs once again.
Many were disappointed that a bigger name was not brought in to take Humbert’s place, but Milchovich could be the right man for the job and will bring stability to a program that is one of the most storied in Western Pennsylvania.