WPIAL realignment didn’t have much of an effect on the softball teams in Section 1-AA. Only one team will join the existing group of teams.
Unfortunately for Avonworth, Burgettstown, Carlynton, Freedom, OLSH and South Side Beaver, that team is returning after a two-year hiatus and is bringing its WPIAL-leading 10 district titles.
Sto-Rox, which disbanded its softball and baseball programs because of cost-cutting measures two years ago, decided to reinstate both next spring.
“Both myself and the board in its totality, decided that sports allows for young men and women to have a well-rounded school experience,” said superintendent Terry DeCarbo, who was not in the district two years ago. “There are wonderful advantages on the playing field that translate into the classroom.
“There are rich aspects that sports bring to do the students.”
The Vikings baseball team will play in Section 3-AA with Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Shady Side Academy, Summit Academy and West Shamokin.
The district, which also is adding middle school boys and girls basketball, has advertised internally for coaching applicants and plans to also look outside of the district.
Lee upset at Cadet nationals
Franklin Regional sophomore Spencer Lee had made the U.S. Cadet World Team the past two seasons, but two losses in the 119-pound freestyle finals to Daton Fix of Oklahoma denied him a third trip.
Fix rallied in both matches of the best-of-three finals in Akron, Ohio, to defeat Lee, the reigning Cadet World champ. Fix won 5-5 by criteria and then 9-6.
Belle Vernon sophomore Jarod Verkleeren and Jefferson-Morgan freshman Gavin Teasdale won their final matches and are the only Pennsylvania wrestlers on the team.
Verkleeren made the team for the second time by winning the 138.75-pound class by defeating Kanen Storr of Michigan, 9-6 and 11-0.
Teasdale claimed the 110-pound spot by beating Drew Martin of Ohio 4-1 and 4-2.
The champions will represent the U.S. at the FILA Cadet Word Championships on Aug. 25-30 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Central Catholic junior DB Damar Hamlin and Woodland Hills junior RB Miles Sanders, a Penn State recruit, each earned invites to Nike’s The Opening, a four-day event in Oregon in July focused on training and competition for 162 of the country’s top prospects.
Sanders also committed to play this week in the Under Armour All-American Bowl Game.
Woodland Hills’ Jaymond Dunn, a junior WR/DB, made a verbal commitment to Robert Morris.
The WPIAL baseball championships drew more than 3,000 to Consol Energy Park last week. Roughly 1,340 tickets were sold for the Class A and AA finals Tuesday. Wednesday’s Class AAA and AAAA finals had 1,950 sold.
WPIAL athletes were well-represented on the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association all-state teams released late last week.
Connellsville’s Madison Wiltrout, who set a national record, in the javelin, was named the girls performer of the year. Other first-team selections included North Allegheny’s Madeleine Davison (3,200), Beaver Falls’ Domenic Perretta (1,600), Mars’ Ori Rinaman (110 hurdles) and Knoch’s Jordan Geist (shot put, discus).
Woodland Hills’ Isaiah Brooks (long jump) and North Allegheny’s Bobby Upton (pole vault) were named to the second team.
Mt. Lebanon’s Kelsey Potts (1,600), Latrobe’s Maddy Mueseler (300 hurdles), Apollo-Ridge’s Tre Tipton (long jump), Trinity Christian’s Tyler Carter (triple jump) and West Allegheny’s Skyler Mason (javelin) were third-team picks. Honorable mentions included Burrell’s Nicole Scherer (100), Hempfield’s Lauren George (long jump), Central Catholic’s Jeff Van Kooten (1,600), Greensburg Salem’s Lawson Monta (discus) and Hempfield’s Hayden Fox (pole vault).
North Allegheny’s Kyle Rullan and Canon-McMillan’s Ben Ward were named the U.S. Lacrosse WPIAL Players of the Year for Division I and II, respectively. North Allegheny’s John Rullan and Greensburg Central Catholic’s Mike Evans were the Division I and II Coaches of the Year.