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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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2012 Top 10 championship moments: 6-10

Over the next two days, we will take a look at the top moments in 2012. We will begin with the Top 10 championship moments before reviewing the Top 10 non-championship moments.

No. 6 – Marie Georger caps outstanding career
Mercyhurst Prep swimmer Marie Georger finished as one of the most decorated swimmers in District 10 and PIAA history. Before her senior season, the Michigan recruit had 11 of possible 12 medals in her first three years. She had three golds in the 100 backstroke, a gold in the 200 medley relay, two silvers in the 200 IM, a bronze in the 200 IM, two fourth places in the 400 free relay and two fifth places in the 200 medley relay.

Her incredible medal count was bolstered by four more in March. Georger won the 200 IM state championship and took second in the 100 back and 400 free relay. She also claimed a fourth place in the 200 medley relay to finish with 15 of 16 possible medals during her high school career.

No. 7 – Steve Spearman makes history
Not only did Spearman claim his second wrestling state championship, he is the only multi-state champion in McDowell’s storied history. He won a PIAA Class AAA title as a sophomore and grabbed his second title in March with a 7-3 decision over Cedar Cliff’s Chris Vassar.

No. 8 – Smathers dominates in Shippensburg
North East distance runner Ryan Smathers wanted to set his personal best time in Shippensburg during the 1,600. Not only did he run a blazing time of 4:12, it was six seconds faster than the rest of the field as he won the PIAA Class AA championship. Smathers will be back in the spring for one more performance in Shippensburg.

No. 9 – Cathedral Prep duo claims state
Alex Brzozowski and Mario Nicolia took a calculated risk in the postseason. The two skipped the singles postseason to make a run as a doubles team. That risk paid off as the Class AAA pair made an amazing run to the PIAA championship. The Ramblers beat Conestoga’s pair of Jason Sutker and Eric Yen 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 10 – Mercer County Madness
There was plenty of smack talk between Erie and Mercer counties this past year. While Erie owned some sports, Mercer County dominated others. The No. 10 moment is Mercer County’s success in several sports. Grove City’s Wes Phipps (182 pounds) and Greenville’s Cody Copeland (152 pounds) dominated as seniors to win Class AA state championships in their respective classes. The two blew through the competition to finish with unbeaten records.

Phipps and Copeland were running through the playoff brackets when the basketball playoffs were being played. West Middlesex standout Jerrod Palmer picked up a signature moment of his own. He connected with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Big Reds a 41-38 overtime win over Kennedy Catholic for the District 10 Class A championship. It was Midldesex’s first title in 30 years. Speaking of titles, Wilmington multi-sport star Jon Yohman won a discus state championship in the spring and Mercer County continued its dominant play in the fall. Region 1 and 3, which are both southern football regions, swept the north in the D-10 quarterfinals. In fact, the south has claimed almost every D-10 football championship in Class A and AA in the past 20 years.

Check back tonight for moments 1-5.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: District 10

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