The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


November 24, 2013

Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard

- — EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.

Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.

“Enjoy the moment,” Brest yelled to his team as they celebrated the win. “At the start of the year, they said we wouldn’t make it back here,” Brest continued. “But these kids have expectations, they expect to win.

“This is about the coaches and about the kids; it isn’t about me. At the end of last season after we lost to Richland (in the PIAA quarterfinals), Matt Voytik and Daulton Linton came and asked to meet with me. They said, ‘Coach, we’re better than that. We’ll get back next year.’”

Well, next year is now and the Hornets are back. But it wasn’t easy against a strong Girard squad that beat both Sharon and Greenville in earlier playoff games to reach the D-10 finals.

And the weather didn’t help either. The first half of the game was a struggle in snow and blowing wind. But Hickory kept Girard in their own part of the field most of the half thanks to a swarming defense and outstanding kicking and punting of Hornet junior Jordan Wombacker.

Hickory finally got on the scoreboard with 8:03 remaining in the second period when freshman Charles Carr swept outside left end and raced 42 yards for a tally. Wombacker booted the point after to put Hickory up 7-0.

It was a Hickory miscue that set up Girard, which had started its first four series at their own 12, 1, 14, 16 and 35. With Hickory on its own 45, Yellow Jackets’ Cody Dinger picked off a Matt Voytik pass and returned it to the Hornets 32.

From there the Jackets mounted a 12-play drive and quarterback Joe Dunn carried the final 1 yard into the end zone. Devin Mason’s PAT kick tied the score at 7 with only 16 seconds left before intermission.

Another Hickory mistake early in the third quarter set the stage for Girard to take the lead. During a handoff from Voytik to Lou Derloni, the ball came loose and Yellow Jackets’ Brendan Kohan recovered it at the Hickory 31. Six plays later, Mason kicked a 37-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.

“The defense came up big there,” said Brest. “They did get a field goal, but we kept them out of the end zone.”

But Hickory rolled right back and this time it was a Girard mistake that aided the effort. The Hornets took the ensuing kickoff and started at their own 21. It took 10 plays for the Hornets to drive to the Girard 5. On a fourth down, the Hornets lined up for a field goal. While Wombacker booted it through, the play was ruled dead for a Girard offside.

That moved the ball to the 2, so Brest decided to roll the dice and go for a touchdown. The gamble paid off as Derloni carried over right tackle for the TD. Wombacker’s PAT made it 14-10 with 2:29 remaining in the third frame.

Hickory put some distance between the two teams early in the final frame after Andrew Pryts returned a Girard punt from the Hickory 45 to the Girard 15. Four plays later, Voytik toted for the final 2 yards and Wombacker’s kick made it 21-10.

Girard threatened later in the fourth quarter, but again the defense rose up and stopped the Jackets at the 1 yard line on a fourth down play. Hickory later had an interception from Andrew Pryts and a fumble recovery by Anthony Cannone to help keep Girard at bay.

“I’m just so proud of these kids,” said Brest. “We had to beat the elements and a really good Girard team. We made some mistakes and had some penalties that hurt, but the coaches stayed with the game plan and the seniors stepped up.

“We felt we had to run the ball more and grind it out behind our line (Zack Cirillo, Austin Aikins, Nate Aikins, Dylan Brenneman, Blase Hudson and Anthony Nardone). And my quarterback (Voytik) threw that interception, but he bounced back. He’s been the kid — we can put the ball in his hands and count on him to get it done.

“And on defense the kids kept pressure on all day. All year long we emphasized two words — relentless and aggressiveness. That’s how the defense played.

As Brest reflected on the third straight title, he remarked, “Hickory is just a great place to coach. And we have the greatest fans in the world.”

The Hornets (11-1) will move on to face Central Martinsburg next weekend at a site to be announced in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs. Martinsburg upset undefeated Richland Friday, 27-22, in the District 6 title tilt. Richland ousted Hickory from the playoffs last season.

Notes: The Hornets joined Farrell (2008, 2009, 2010) and Sharpsville (1999, 2000, 2001) as the only teams from Mercer County to win 3 straight district crowns. In the last two D-10 titles games, Hickory beat Wilmington, 39-7, in 2012 and General McLane, 35-13, in 2011. ... Hickory was led in rushing by Voytik who finished with  103 yards on 15 carries. ... Hickory assistant coaches are Jason McElhaney, Mike Pilipovich, Brad Paulson, A.J. Staul, Dave Bodien, Mark Palumbo, Dontell Morgan and C.J. Stanfield.




HICKORY    0    7    7    7    21

GIRARD    0    7    3    0    10

Scoring plays

H — Carr, 42 run (Wombacker kick)

G — Dunn, 1 run (Mason kick)

G — Mason, 37 FG

H — Derloni, 2 run (Wombacker kick)

H — Voytik, 2 run (Wombacker kick)

Team stats

HICKORY                           GIRARD

11    First downs    5

217    Rushing yards    37

7    Passing yards    127

3-1-1    Att-comp-int    17-10-1

214    Total yards    164

1-1    Fumbles-lost    4-1

8-45    Penalties-yards lost    4-28

Individual stats

Rushing: HICKORY — Voytik 15-103, Derloni 13-61, Carr 3-53, Pryts 1-4, team 2-(-4); GIRARD — Barnes 11-26, Dunn 17-11.

Passing: HICKORY — Voytik 3-1-1-7; GIRARD — Dunn 17-10-1-127.

Receiving: HICKORY — Pryts 1-7; GIRARD — Little 1-45, Dinger 3-32, Divido 1-17, Johnston 2-14, McCall 1-13.

Text Only
  • Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.

    April 20, 2014

  • Celebrate! Hickory track coaches near finish line

    While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
    More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
    Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team

    WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
    How’s that working out, Dan?
    Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.

    April 20, 2014

  • Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational

    Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
    A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
    Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4

    ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
    Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win

    Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
    At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.

    April 13, 2014

  • Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work  computer  before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.

    April 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season

    Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
    Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon

    An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
    The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps

    ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year

    LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
    Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
    Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team

    ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
    Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brady Leunis Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins

    ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
    Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordyn Allen Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win

    ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
    Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter