Notebook: Williams glad to be back with Kiski Area track team |
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Bill Beckner Jr.

Kiski Area sophomore Brett Williams did not get to experience the thrill of competition last track and field season. And for a unique reason.

Williams had four wisdom teeth removed and was not cleared to compete until very late in the season.

“I went to school and everything, but I couldn’t run,” said Williams, who has the potential to be one of the top sprinters in the WPIAL. “I had so much gauze in my mouth. There was blood all over the place when I tried to run.

“I just figured, wait until next year.”

But after the dental work, and a recent brief break due to personal reasons, Williams is back and ready to make a run in the WPIAL individual postseason.

He won the long jump and was named boys combined (track and field) MVP at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet on Saturday.

“Looking back, I wish I could have been part of the team last year,” Williams said. “I wish I could have been with them longer.”

Williams has sought guidance from his older stepbrother, former Kiski Area football player and track athlete Adam Gunn, who plays football at Pitt.

“We talk about things all the time,” Williams said. “He tells me all about what he used to do and what I can do to get better.”

He also gets advice from another brother, Vance Gunn, who is currently serving in Iraq.

According to Williams, Vance also had his wisdom teeth out.

Adam Gunn was a middle distance runner for the Kiski Area track team and quarterback of the football team.

Williams, who will be a running back and linebacker in football, wants to make his brothers proud.

“Yeah,” Williams said, “but I want to be better than they were.”

Ed Gunn, Williams’ stepfather, said Brett is considering legally changing his last name to Gunn.

Division I prospect

Plum baseball player Scott McGough, a junior pitcher/shortstop, is drawing some Division I college interest. In fact, Pitt coach Joe Jordano made a personal appearance Tuesday at Fox Chapel to see McGough play.

Clemson also is showing strong interest in McGough, according to Plum coach Carl Vollmer. McGough’s older brother, Eric, pitches for Division I Charleston Southern (S.C.). Their father, Tom, pitched in the Cleveland Indians’ organization.

Pitt already has landed local pitching standouts Dave Kaye of Riverview and Cole Taylor of Burrell and reportedly is interested in Knoch first baseman Austin Leffler.

New man in charge

Don Schubert, Fox Chapel’s new baseball coach, hardly needed to mention his leadership qualities when he applied for the Foxes’ position in the offseason.

After all, Schubert was the mayor of Sharpsburg for eight years, serving his last term in 2002. He was involved in politics for 12 years.

And he wasn’t short on baseball experience, either. Schubert was an assistant coach with the Foxes last year, but also had played in the Oakland Athletics organization. A Fox Chapel grad, he pitched in the A’s Class AAA system for six years.

National champion

Freeport senior hockey defenseman Zach Hepler helped Team Pittsburgh win its first Chicago Showcase title in the 23-year history of the national all-star event.

Hepler had a game-winning goal and an assist in six games.

Pittsburgh produced a 5-1 record and defeated Wisconsin Red, 5-4, by shootout in the championship game. Pittsburgh also beat North Dakota, Illinois, Missouri and New York and lost to Michigan.

During the high school season, Hepler led Freeport to its first PIHL Class A Penguins Cup title and a second-place finish in the state.

Contributing: Paul Kogut

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