The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


October 18, 2013

Preview: Playoff berths on the line

- — When Wilmington High football team invades Tiger Stadium tonight, unlike years past, there will be no championships on the line. But to borrow a hackneyed cliché, respect cannot be bought; thus, the essence of this rivalry remains intact.

Sharon welcomes Wilmington in a Week 8 District 10 Region 3-AA encounter with playoff berths at stake for both.

Should the Tigers tumble, they would be hard-pressed to make the cut, as they are one of a handful from the area’s aggregation vying for 4 spots. Wilmington, meanwhile, could weather a loss, but still qualify for the postseason tournament in Week 9, though that’s not certain.

Tonight’s Games

(All games begin 7 p.m.)

Wilmington (3-2, 5-2) at Sharon (3-2, 4-3)

There was a time earlier this season — following back-to-back losses to Grove City and Hickory — when Wilmington was regarded as perhaps a year away from pursuing the playoffs, owing to 2012 Greyhounds’ graduation losses.

But just as Hickory had its wake-up call courtesy of Greenville, so, too, did Wilmington awaken after being blown out at Hermitage. Since then the Hounds Hammer defense has yielded only 1 touchdown in the last 16 quarters, while lefty Cody Llewellyn has orchestrated  an offense that has scored 136 points during that  span.

The Greyhounds’ ground game features new names, but with tradition-rich results, with Josiah Bloise and Jacob Sotter setting the tone.

Arguably, Sharon’s signature success this season occurred last week with a 20-6 win over West Middlesex. Sharon shut down the Big Reds’ offense to a season-low point output (6; while Wilmlington permitted 10 to the Big Reds in a season-opening win), while the Tigers mauled Middlesex for a handful of miscues.

And while Carnell Hawkins returned to form by surpassing the century mark in yards rushing, Anthony Johnson enjoyed a career-best 135-yards rushing, 2-touchdown outing.

Following a disappointing Week-4 loss to Greenville, Tigers’ taskmaster Jim Wildman prophetically promised, “People are gonna hear from us before it’s over ... these 60 kids ... aren’t gonna give up for the next six, seven, eight, nine weeks — or whatever it takes.”

When he retired, Wildman was the Mercer County area’s career coaching wins leader, subsequently surpassed by Greyhounds’ veteran Terry Verrelli (276-115-3). While it’s unlikely Wildman (212-81-6) will return the favor, a win tonight would restore the roar in the Tigers’ tradition.

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

Farrell (2-2, 4-3) at Conneaut Area (1-3, 4-3)

With a win the Steelers’ season could remain alive in Linesville following tonight’s tilt. However Farrell’s fortunes have fallen in back-to-back losses to Lakeview and Hickory.

Following the latter Steelers’ skipper Jarrett Samuels said several seniors were among a segment of players he jettisoned from the squad — leaving him some scant seniors, a quartet of juniors and “a great sophomore class.

“... With those guys, we’re building for the future,” Samuels said, emphasizing, “but we still have a chance to get into the (2013) playoffs, and I’m just gonna push these guys harder.

“It’s my job. At the end of the day, I’m lookin’ in the mirror and know that I gave my best to these guys.”

CASH has captured consecutive conquests of 5-win clubs Mercer (21-14) and Region 2-A leader Eisenhower (35-0). In the latter, the Eagles ended with a 389-150 edge in total yards, according to The (Meadville) Tribune, led by Hunter Merritt’s 20-carry, 228-yard, 2-TD (73 and 68) and Elijah Anderton (20 carries, 94 yards, 3 TDs). Merritt also mustered a 4-for-10, 41-yard passing performance, all of which went to Taylor Williams.

Farrell forged a 20-18 conquest of Conneaut last year at Anthony J. Paulekas Stadium. Two years ago host Linesville outlasted the Steelers (37-36),

Sharpsville (3-2, 4-3) at Lakeview (3-1, 6-1)

Last year Sharpsville skipper Paul Piccirilli predicted Lakeview would be the team to beat in Region 1-A in 2013. And while Piccirilli’s proud program produced a 2nd straight D-10 title in 2012, his prognostication has proven accurate.

With Blake Reddick re-writing the rushing record books, Lakeview is off to the program’s best start since Joe Sass’ Sailors secured an 8-1 French Creek Valley Conference co-championship in 1982. According to available archives at The Herald, Lakeview’s lone loss that season occurred to Conneaut Valley, 20-19, in Week 3, but the Sailors outlasted Linesville, 14-12, in Week 8 in Stoneboro.

Sharpsville’s slender hopes at defending its dual District 10 titles hinges on an upset in Stoneboro tonight.

In the last 3 regular seasons Sharpsville has silenced the Sailors (42-0, 52-6, 34-0). In that trio of tilts Reddick rushed for 184 yards on 39 carries (4.71 yards/carry), with only 1 TD.

However in last year’s D-10 semifinals the Blue Devils outlasted Lakeview (41-34), though Reddick roared for a 23-carry, 243-yard, 3 TD (68, 41, 2) rushing performance.

The game will be broadcast on WLLF (96.7 FM)  with Ryan Briggs and Chris Burtch on mike.

Greenville (5-0, 7-0) vs. Reynolds (2-3, 4-3)

at Thiel College’s Alumni Stadium

As though this rivalry wasn’t ramped up enough from 4-plus decades on the gridiron and wrestling mats, it set a new standard last year.

The Trojans trailed 20-6 entering the 4th frame, before tallying twice to tie the tilt, then rallying past Reynolds in OT (27-26). That essentially served as Greenville’s springboard to the D-10 playoffs, while simultaneously denying Reynolds.

While this season’s Greenville gridders are off to the program’s best start since 2000, Reynolds is looking for a return to the postseason for the first time since the best single-season in program annals, 2005.

 The Raiders’ Week-8 desperation mode under 1st-year mentor Josh Mull, coupled with last season’s circumstances and tonight’s unique venue, all will lend a playoff atmosphere.

The game has additional significance since this is the first of 3 years (minimum) where football and wrestling matches between the two schools will be held at Thiel College.

Reynolds is designated as the home team tonight.

The game will be broadcast on WGRP (940 AM), with Steven G. Folmer and Karl Rupert calling the action. There will also be a live webcast at with Thiel announcers Hugh Ringer and Don Achenbauch on duty.

Saegertown (0-5, 0-7) at Hickory (4-1, 6-1)

Ordinarily, this might be viewed as a trap game; however the Hornets have not taken their foot off the gas since their lone loss in Week 2.

Interestingly, the Panthers posted more points in last week’s 54-31 loss to Maplewood than they had scored in the previous 6 games combined. Casey Fetzner fashioned a 22-carry, 217-yard, 2-TD rushing performance, part of the Panthers’ season-high 425 total yards. Also, Ryan Kirdahy connected on 4 of 9 pass attempts for 110 yards, including 18- and 35-yard TD tosses to Willy Bernardo.

“You’ve got to credit these kids,” Saegertown skipper Justin Catalano told The (Meadville) Tribune. “They impressed us (last Friday night), and we keep getting better every week.”

Unfortunately for Saegertown, so does Hickory. In the last handful of games the Hornets have outscored 5 foes by an aggregate 247-47 (reaching 70 and 60); conversely, Saegertown has been outscored by a composite 422-59.

Grove City (3-2, 4-3) at Titusville (0-5, 0-7)

The Eagles have endured losses to Hickory, Greenville and Slippery Rock — teams that are a combined 20-1.

Grove City suffered its initial setback on the road last week at Slippery Rock (49-21), but would figure to take kindly to cozy Carter Field tonight, as did Reynolds (35-14) and Sharon (58-8) back in Weeks 2-3.

The Rockets have been outscored 318-49 this season, and were overwhelmed by Oil City (49-0) last week.

Last year Grove City garnered a 42-6 rout of the Rockets.

Under Jeff Bell, the Eagles have enjoyed almost a decade-long District 10 playoff appearances skein, dating back to the program’s place in the ’04 PIAA Class AA championship game.

Keystone (1-6) at Mercer (5-2)

The Steeds snapped a 2-game skid with last week’s win over Mercyhurst Prep (46-21) at the college.

For Mercer mentor Pat McClearn, marksman Logan Clarke connected for 6 touchdown tosses, equally divided between T.J. Peters, Brayton Edwards and Zane O’Brien for an unofficial, single-game school standard.

A win almost assuredly would end Mercer’s 1-year hiatus from the postseason.

Keystone claimed its initial victory, victimizing winless Allegheny-Clarion Valley (30-14). According to, Austin Chambers chucked 17 and 10 yards, respectively, to Logan Corvino and Dustin Wolbert as part of a 10-for-13, 156-yard passing performance (Jake Courson, 8 catches for 64 yards). Also, Chambers chugged 13 and 15 yards for TDs, Zach Stiglitz slashed for 85 yards on 10 totes and a TD, and Jacob Weaver went for another 65 yards on 11 carries.

Conneaut (4-3) at Brookfield (5-2)

After the Warriors won their first 3 games, Brookfield has bounced back from its lone losses, including last week’s win at Ashtabula-Edgewood (20-6).

Conneaut was clobbered by Gates Mills-Gilmour Academy (42-12) last week, snapping the Spartans’ 3-game win skein. Conneaut was ripped, 465-98, in total yards, according to The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon. Troy Colucci collaborated with Alex Gerdes on a 10-yard TD toss, then Colucci collected a 15-yard run for the other Spartans’ score for Coach Rocco Dobran.

Brookfield belted Conneaut, 49-6, in their last meeting.

Saturday’s Game

West Middlesex (3-1, 4-3) at Kennedy (0-4, 0-7), Noon

Coming off an inter-region setback at Sharon, the Big Reds gain a boost for their bid for the postseason.

In a scheduling quirk, this will be KC’s 6th home game — unfortunately, Butala Stadium has not served the Golden Eagles well. KC has been outscored 189-28 thus far on its home turf (Bradford, Farrell, Mercer, Lakeview, Reynolds).

West Middlesex has won the last 8 meetings in this series,  including last year (55-20).

KC last copped a win over West Middlesex in ’05 (35-21 regular season; 29-6, D-10 playoffs).

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

Herald sports writer Rob Malsom contributed research to this preview.

Text Only
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    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

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    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.

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  • 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

  • In control Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

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    March 30, 2014

  • Tanner Powell WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals

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    The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
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    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buddy Guerino Tourney winding down

    Hoops action continued on Friday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Tournament at Sharpsville High and Elementary Schools.

    March 29, 2014

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