The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


September 6, 2013

Preview: Region play begins tonight!

---- — District 10 Region 3 is one of the PIAA’s more competitive Class AA entities, something of which the Mercer County-area can be proud.

However the downside — as illustrated 4 times in the last 5 seasons — is that only one county contingent ultimately survives the district tournament, thereby qualifying for the PIAA playoffs’ meanwhile other legitimate contenders fall by the wayside by Thanksgiving.

Last year Hickory and Wilmington ousted Grove City and Greenville, respectively, in the D-10 semifinals, then the Hornets defeated the Greyhounds for the program’s 2nd straight championship.

With no rest for the weary, a quartet of those squads — all coming off season-opening, non-league wins — will collide tonight in Region 3, where every week seemingly has playoff implications.

Tonight’s Games

(All games begin 7 p.m.)

Greenville (1-0) at Hickory (1-0)

These proud programs have split their last half-dozen meetings, but the Hornets have had the edge the past 3 years, including 2010 (14-10), 2011 (39-6) and a year ago (35-10). Greenville garnered wins in ’09 (41-0), ’08 (37-21) and ’07 (10-6).

One of the 2013 Hornets’ strong suits — speed, owing to its D-10 championship track & field program — has tormented the Trojans during the last 3 years, and Hornet Stadium’s synthetic surface seems well-suited to this year’s edition.

However Trojans’ taskmaster Brian Herrick — similar to Hickory bench boss Bill Brest — is a track & field proponent as it relates to enhancing his Greenville gridders’ speed and stamina, making for an interesting matchup.

A point of interest: Since assuming the starting signal-caller’s berth at the last season’s outset, Matt Voytik has been victorious all but once for the Hornets (opening-round PIAA playoff loss to Richland).

The game will be broadcast on NewsTalk 790 (WPIC AM), with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action.

Grove City (1-0) at Wilmington (1-0)

While Wilmington’s Terry Verrelli continues to be the caretaker of  Mercer County-area’s career coaching wins mark (272), Jeff Bell takes a backseat to no one.

Since guiding Grove City to the ’04 PIAA Class AA championship game, Bell has rung up a 79-23 composite won-lost mark, including a trio of 11-win seasons (2011, 2010, ’04).

According to available Herald  archives, Bell is 111-61 in his 17th season.

Last year at Forker Field the Eagles eased to a 19-7 win, blanking the Greyhounds during the game’s final 3 quarters. Ultimately, it was only D-10 titlist Hickory (41-12 regular season; 35-13 D-10 semifinals) that Grove City could not get past.

Grove City clubbed Carrick (34-12) in last week’s opener.

Some area aficionados considered this a rebuilding year in New Wilmington; however that theory’s credibility crumbled approximately 24 minutes into last week’s lidlifter.

After building a 14-10 margin at intermission at Middlesex, the Hounds Hammer  defense blanked the Big Reds during the 2nd half en route to a 28-10 win over the 2-time D-10 Class A finalists.

Interestingly, the Greyhounds’ ground game, while potent (122), did not do as much damage as quarterback Cody Llewellyn’s arm (8 of 15, 147 yards, 3 TDs, 0 interceptions).

The game will be broadcast on SportsRadio 96.7 (WLLF FM), with Ryan Briggs and Chris Burtch calling the action.

Conneaut Area (1-0) at Lakeview (1-0)

CASH collected a convincing 27-17 conquest of Girard, led by Hunter Merrit’s memorable 26-carry, 305-yard performance that included a pair of 80-yard scoring sprints, as well as a 52-yarder.

Such was the Eagles’ ease on the ground (361 yards, including Elijah Anderton’s 24-carry, 56-yard, 1-TD contribution), Merritt attempted only 4 passes.

Blake Reddick roared to a 10-carry, 260-yard, 5-touchdown performance against helpless Union City in the Sailors’ successful opener. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the Linesville-Conneaut Lake-Conneaut Valley confluence.

However Lakeview does not exclusively have to rely on Reddick, as Zach Bigley and Zach VanDusen also had success last week to the Sailors’ 420-yard outburst.

Brookfield (1-0) at Newton Falls (1-0)

Newton Falls annexed a near record by routing Rootstown (55-7) in its opener. According to The (Warren) Tribune-Chronicle, it was the first time the Fallsman finished with 50 or more points since ’04, and they came within a field goal of the single-game school standard (58, versus Cortland-Lakeview, Oct. 8, 1971).

Second-year head coach Joe Culp’s Tigers mauled Rootstown by rushing for 383 yards against the Rovers (435 total), led by Larry Zarlengo’s 116 yards and quarterback Brandon Fuller, who finished with 88 (2 TDs) and Derek Backherms’ 79 (23-yard TD run).

Brookfield’s balanced attack in last week’s win over Springfield Local (30-27) featured 425 total yards almost evenly divided (221 rushing; 204 passing). Augustus Necastro notched scores both throwing and running in his debut as the starter under center for Brookfield bench boss Randy Clark.

Last year at Addison, Brookfield bullied Newton Falls (59-12).

Reynolds (1-0) at Titusville (0-1)

Titusville fell to Franklin, 18-14 — Franklin’s 1st season-opening win since 2010, according to Penny Weichel’s website.

Todd Brown fueled the Rockets with a 12-carry, 92-yard rushing performance, including a 4-yard TD run, and 10-for-22 passing for another 148 yards. The Rockets registered a 351-198 edge in total yards against Franklin, but committed costly miscues — Brown fumbled on a 1st-and-goal situation from the Franklin 5 to commence the 2nd half — and they also were flagged for 94 yards in penalties.

Easton Hogue (15-55) also ran well, while Carter (4-45), Sines (3-39) and Hogue (3-18) were Brown’s aerial targets. Frosh QB Brady Corklin connected on 3 of 8 passes for 44 yards and orchestrated a scoring drive.

The Raiders ruled the Rockets (19-6) a year ago in Transfer, but Titusville could pose a stiffer test tonight at historic Carter Field for Reynolds and new mentor Josh Mull.

Saegertown (0-1) at Sharon (0-1)

While Sharon was shut out in its season-opener, Saegertown was rocked at home by Cambridge Springs, 68-0.

Colton Noble notched a game-high 163 yards rushing for the Spa, which amassed 331 total yards. Noble, after scoring sprints of 62, 22, 26, 13 and 10 yards, told The (Meadville) Tribune, “It was awesome! Definitely surreal! The first two years I played (Saegertown) we got destroyed It’s good to give it back to them for once.”

While playing respectably on defense, Sharon must shore up its offensive line play, which was guilty of yielding 9 quarterback sacks to Farrell. The Tigers turned over the ball 4 times, too.

Perhaps this will serve as the 1st of Tiger taskmaster Jim Wildman’s triumphs in his 2nd stint at Sharon. In Week 2 a year ago, Sharon slugged Saegertown (40-12).

West Middlesex (0-1) at Moniteau (0-1)

Both clubs are coming off season-opening setbacks, but the Big Reds were respectable in their home-field loss to Wilmington, while Moniteau was manhandled by a Sharpsville squad missing 4 regulars.

New head coach Ed Roberson’s Reds could secure his 1st win at the helm, though Moniteau mustered 266 yards against Sharpsville.

A year ago the Big Reds dropped their opener to Wilmington, then righted themselves at Moniteau’s expense (27-8), setting the stage for an 8-game West Middlesex win skein that ended in the District 10 Class A title tilt for the 2nd straight season.

Saturday’s Games

Farrell (1-0) at Kennedy Catholic (0-1), noon

On its preseason roster, Farrell features 15 senior lettermen; Kennedy Catholic, conversely, lists 22 players on its roster.

In recent meetings, Farrell has forged a half-dozen consecutive wins by an aggregate 249-27 margin; however, last year the Steelers scored a slender 6-0 win.

The last time the Golden Eagles’ gridders of Kennedy Catholic captured a win over their backyard neighbors occurred in ’06 (41-0) — Louie Falconi’s finale as Farrell’s head coach.

Sharpsville (1-0) at Mercer (1-0), 7

While Sharpsville secured 28-14 success last season at James McCracken Field, its recent visits to the county seat in this series have been challenging.

In 2011, Sharpsville survived Mercer (34-33); 2 years previously, the Mustangs manhandled the Blue Devils (28-14) at mid-season, only to see Sharpsville stage a semifinals win (10-7) in the D-10 playoffs.

Mercer mentor Pat McClearn’s Mustangs made a statement last week in easing past Eisenhower (41-13): Anything less than a return to the postseason will not be palatable. Logan Clarke contributed 313 yards (158 rushing, 155 throwing, plus 2 TDs) to the Mustangs’ 437-yard total against Eisenhower, while Zane O’Brien tallied a trio of touchdowns.

Last week, it was the same, old Sharpsville: 374 total yards, including 360 rushing, led by Tyler Wansack’s 13-carry, 164-yard, 3-TD performance, including 46- and 65-yard scoring sprints for Sharpsville, the 2-time defending D-10 titlist.

Herald sports writer Rob Malsom contributed research for this preview.

Text Only
  • Dylan McConnell Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM

    ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
    Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


    Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.


    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

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