The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

June 16, 2014

ALL-STAR NOTEBOOK: County coaches can relax since Dunn is done!

OPINION — REST EASY, Mercer County coaching fraternity. Joe Dunn played his final scholastic athletic contest Saturday evening.

After wreaking havoc on the area aggregation’s football and basketball teams during this past year’s District 10 playoffs, Girard High’s Dunn is bound for Penn State-Behrend to become a nurse anesthetist and play basketball.

For one series during the latter stages of the 3rd annual North-South All-Star Game, Dunn demonstrated his deadly demeanor.

With the North trailing 27-20 with 7:21 remaining in the 4th frame Dunn directed the North on an 8-play scoring drive, completing 5 of 8 attempts for 75 yards and culminating it with a 3-yard touchdown run. However his attempted go-ahead 2-point PAT pass fell awry, and the South secured victory.

Speaking on behalf of his gridiron counterparts Jim Wildman (Sharon) and Bill Brest (Hickory) and Farrell basketball coach Roland Shannonhouse, South Head Coach Brian Herrick said,

“Oh, my gosh! I shouldn’t have said anything. At halftime — and not that the Smith kid (Corry QB Nate Smith, who was 14 of 33 for 322 yards and 2 TDs) is not a great quarterback — but I was certainly glad to see Dunn at wide-out,” related Herrick. “(Dunn) can hurt you runnin’ and throwin’. He’s just a fantastic athlete.

“They (North) had us on the ropes, but the (South) kids hung in there,” Herrick praised. “I thought at the end we made some plays, we got some heat on the quarterback. I thought (Reynolds’) Kyle McConnell, (Greenville’s) Justin Reynolds, (Sharon’s) Dan Vanderslice and (Grove City’s) Warren Marlowe, our defensive ends, really did a nice job of containing and gettin’ some heat.”

“I respect the Mercer County teams because they’re tough, hard-hittin’ kids. It is a good thrill playing against them ’cause they give you good competition, and they make you work for what you get, so it gives me a good feeling,” related the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Dunn, a mult-sport athlete who also competed in all three jumrps for the Yellow Jackets’ track & field team. 

Dunn, despite various “football options” from area NCAA Division II and III schools, will devote his full attention to becoming a 2-guard/small forward for Behrend.

“I realized that basketball is my dream, and decided to go with that, and I’m pretty excited about that decision,” Dunn related, admitting, “but it was nice playin’ football again.”

Dunn’s decision to enter nursing emanates from the heart: “Really, I just like helpin’ people, so it was either becoming a counselor or being a nurse anesthetist, and that’s what I decided to go with,” he related.

ä Greenville quarterback Matt Jones was chosen as the South squad’s offensive MVP, whileWilmington strong safety Josiah Bloise was the defensive MVP. For the North, Gen. McLane wide-out Zach Fox (8 receptions for 153 yards, 2 rushes for 19 yards) and Dunn’s Girard teammate Brian Divido, a linebacker, were the respective offensive and defensive MVPs.

˝ Coaches of the Year were recognized, including Brendan Hathaway (Slippery Rock), Brest and Herrick.

ä Jones, 2 days after pitching in Youngstown for the Greenville A’s baseball team, turned in a 7-for-13, 173-yard, 3-touchdown passing performance. Having played his last scholastic contest, Jones will head to the Univesity of Mount Union as a pre-med major and pitch for the Purple Raiders.

“This was my last game — I know some of these other guys are going other places (to play collegiate football) — but I was just lookin’ to come out, play my last game and have a little fun. It’s not easy when you lose in the playoffs (16-14 in the D-10 Class AA semifinals to Dunn, Divido and Girard), but this is a nice way to end it, go out with a win,” Jones explained.

Jones’ Trojans’ teammate, Tyler Fattman, could easily have been selected for MVP honors, also. Fattman finished with 3 receptions for 30 yards (18-yard diving TD catch) and tossed a 45-yard flea-flicker — Herrick’s Offensive Coordinator Mike Menold dubbed the play “Disney” — to Hickory’s DeQuan Lewis. Fattman also punted.

In the game program’s bio it was noted Fattman’s career QB rating was 177 percent, meaning he threw for a TD virtually every time he attempted a pass.

“(Fattman) threw the ball all week and was ready to go in a ‘Wild-cat’ situation if we had to,” Herrick related. “I thought Matt did a fantastic job!”

On Fattman’s fling to Lewis, Herrick related, “It’s a ‘Jet’ and a double-pass. We actually ran it in the last all-star game we coached (2007); we were wide-open, but overthrew it. But Tyler keeps reminding me every week what his quarterback rating is — altways through the roof — and he put it right on the money like he always does, and DeQuan did a nice job coming back and getting the ball.” 

ä Admittedly, I’m not a proponent of summertime scholastic all-star football games. I’ve seen at least one end prematurely due to a melee, another to an electrical storm, and recall a young man’s collegiate career jeopardized by a knee injury sustained in June.

However Saturday’s 3rd annual game, conducted by the West Penn and Northwest Football Coaches Associations at Thiel College’s Alumni Stadium was a win-win for all.

“It was a great experience!” Herrick gushed. “These are the most polite ... they’re great kids, and their parents should be very proud of them, the way they carry themselves and the way they act. We had a great week of practice, and it was a lot of fun.

“It was competitive, and nobody got a major injury — we had a couple ankle sprains — but that’s the only thing I worry about: These kids are goin’ on to play in college, and I just don’t want them to get hurt, and I’m pleased that we got through it,” Herrick summarized.

ä Brest, Herrick Reynolds’ Josh Mull and Allegheny-Clarion Valley’s Brad Dittman (South) and their North counterparts, Blaine Gold (Franklin), Jim Brinling (Fairview), Matt LaVerde (Oil City) and Scott White (Strong Vincent) did a tremendous job in organizing and conducing the event to give the players one last scholastic memory.

The organization awarded $500 scholarships to Bloise, Karns City’s Dan Filges, Fort LeBoeuf’s Nathan Conti and Corry’s Ryan Morris.

ä Thanks to Thiel’s Ed Topoleski and William Becque for their statitistical assistance, and for their year-round efforts in promoting the Tomcats.

˝  Also, unbeknown to many, Saturday’s officiating crew — Jack Thorn (referee), Will White (umpire), Joe Lombardi (head linesman), Jeff Osborne (line judge) and Steve Hoover (back judge) donated their time and efforts to the game. The Mercer County chapter also annually awards a scholarship.

ä Regarding the opportunity to coach some of his Greenville gridders (also including Luke Houpt, Trey VanAken, Randall Peabody, Sawyer Miller) one, last time, Herrick concluded, “Boy, I love those kids! They’ve done a lot for our program over the last four years, and a lot of them are four-year starters. It was a joy, a pleasure. It was my turn, and I’m very pleased that I got to do that.”

Ed Farrell is assistant sports editor for The Herald

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

    You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

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