Who are we kidding? Some of these moments are too special to rank in order of importance. There have been some great moments and performances by high school student athletes in District 10 this past year. The following list is in no particular order. If you have one that we missed, please feel free to add a comment and we will add it. Thank you for a great year from all of us at the Erie Times-News.
Top non-championship moments in 20120. Remember, this list is in no particular order.
Varsity Cup honors inspirational athletes – The Varsity Cup banquet is only a few years old but the all-time highlight came this past June. Hundreds of athletes, families and friends filled the Ambassador ballroom to honor some of the top coaches and athletes this past year. The top moment came when the three finalists for Inspiration of the Year were announced. North East senior John Manison, a swimmer who was stricken by transverse myelitis in 2009, General McLane soccer player Alex Burbules, who had a compound leg fracture on his right leg and a need for partial amputation of his left leg because of an automobile accident, and Mercyhurst Prep soccer player Kendal Schaetzle, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer before the 2010 PIAA championship game stood next to the podium after being announced. John Leisering revealed all three had won and the crowd gave them a standing ovation. Truly a great moment all around.
McDowell honors Hailey Wilwohl (this happened during the Christmas tournament last year but we are still counting it) – Hailey Wilwohl, a junior at the time, had been battling a possible cancer diagnosis. Doctors had to go in and remove a lump from her thyroid, forcing her out of action at the McDowell holiday basketball tournament. To make sure she wasn’t forgotten, tournament workers and staff all wore purple, Wilwohl’s favorite color. Her teammtes also wore purple in support of Wilwohl. She would later return to the court for the Trojans but it was truly a special moment for her and the McDowell community.
P.J. Campoli honors the flag – Sharpsville standout football player P.J. Campoli suffered a heart-breaking injury in the District 10 Class A semifinals this year. He broke his leg and wouldn’t get the chance to compete for the D-10 title. Campoli had a steel rod placed in his leg to help it heal and was in a wheelchair when Sharpsville beat West Middlesex for the D-10 Class A championship. During the pregame ceremonies, Campoli fought the pain and got to his feet during the playing of the national anthem to honor the flag and everything it stands for.
Marie Georger competes in the U.S. Olympic trials - Marie Georger has been a dominant swimmer since she started competing for Mercyhurst Prep. After graduating with 15 PIAA medals in her career, she went to the U.S. Olympic trials. Despite a low seed, Georger shaved two seconds off her time and was only seven spots away from making the U.S. Olympic team.
Dan Finn’s heroics in the City-County baseball game – Whenever the City and County square off in an all-star game, the rivalry heats up. The baseball game in June didn’t disappoint. After the County rallied to take an 8-7 lead in the top of the ninth inning, the City started a rally of its own. With two outs and the tying run streaking to the plate, Northwestern graduate Dan Finn gunned down the runner to end the game and give the County its first win in six years. Finn also had the game-winning RBI in the top of the ninth inning. He had a two-run single to give the County an 8-6 lead. His heroics in the field and at the plate earned him the Joe Lunger MVP award.
Peris Husband shocks Prep - Strong Vincent basketball player Peris Husband picked up a signature moment last winter. He drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with less than four seconds to give the Colonels a thrilling 60-59 win over Cathedral Prep. The Ramblers eventually made the PIAA semifinals, making the Colonels’ rivalry win more special.
The Drive – Damion Terry and Delton Williams made sure they left their high school careers against McDowell on a high note. After Prep dominated most of their rivalry football showdown, the Trojans stormed back to cut the Ramblers’ lead to 34-27 in the fourth quarter. McDowell was even inside Prep’s 10-yard line with a fresh set of downs before Prep’s defense made a huge stand at the 2-yard line on fourth down. Terry and Williams responded by leading Prep 98 yards for a touchdown to clinch the 41-27 win.
The Denzel Decision – The Save-An-Eye game was a thriller in late July. The City and County went back-and-forth before Corry’s Andy Hajec drilled a 28-yard field goal to tie the game 13-13 with 6 minutes, 8 seconds left. In overtime, Alex Svetz scored from one yard out and Hajec tacked on the PAT to give the County a 20-13 lead. Noel Ruiz powered in a four-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 20-19. Instead of a game-tying extra point, City coach Matt Morgan decided to put the game in Denzel Jones’ hands. Jones rolled left, couldn’t find anyone open and reached across the pylon for a 2-point conversion to give the City a 21-20 win.
Alex Schroeck comes through - Although Alex Schroeck is a freshman at Mercyhurst Prep this year, he has already made his mark on the soccer program. Schroeck knocked in a rebound with seven seconds left in overtime to give the Lakers a 1-0 win over archrival Fairview in the District 10 Class A semifinals.
Perfect General McLane – The General McLane boys basketball team had another successful season under legendary coach Andy Schulz. What made it even more special is the Lancers lost only one game all season. McLane finished 21-0 in the regular season and won three more games in the D-10 playoffs to claim the Class AAA championship. The Lancers eventually lost to Montour in the PIAA playoffs but put together the best regular season in Schulz’s career.
Kayla Wilwohl comes through, twice - The Mercyhurst Prep-Villa Maria girls basketball rivalry has started to grow once again the past two years. Both games came down to the final seconds with the Lakers sweeping both. The second of the two happened in February this past year, featuring two signature moments from Mercyhurst’s Kayla Wilwohl. She connected on a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to tie the game up before tying up Karlee McBride with nine seconds left to force a turnover. She also scored on a big drive in overtime to help the Lakers beat the Victors 45-39.
Zablotny sends Prep to the PIAA quarterfinals – Everyone in Sharon’s gym knew the ball was going to Sheldon Zablotny and no one could stop him. Zablotny used a high screen and drove down the lane to hit a jumper at the buzzer and give Cathedral Prep a 50-49 overtime win over Central Catholic in a PIAA Class AAAA second-round basketball game. Zablotny also hit a baseline jumper near the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.
The Comeback - The Fort LeBoeuf girls volleyball team had one huge step left before competing for a PIAA Class AA championship. The Bison trailed WPIAL powerhouse Mars two games to one in the PIAA semifinals. One more loss and LeBoeuf’s season was over. The Bison rallied to win the fourth and fifth games to pull out the match and march on to York.
The Catch - The East football team went through some major struggles this season at 1-9. That one win, however, had several signature moments as the Warriors beat Central Tech 28-22 in overtime. With time running out in regulation, East had one final shot at the end zone to tie the game up. On 4th-and-28 from the Central 35-yard line, East quarterback Jauwan Ford launched one final desperation pass to the end zone. Avery Kirksey came up with the catch through two defenders to cut Central’s lead to 22-20. Ford then powered in with less than one minute left for the 2-point conversion. After a Central turnover in overtime, Ford rushed for another touchdown to secure the win.
The Shot - Warren all-around athlete Matt Sandberg has found success in soccer, basketball and tennis with the Dragons. Undoubtedly, one of his top moments came recently against McDowell. Warren hadn’t beaten the Trojans since 2005 but that all changed with one college-range 3-pointer by Sandberg. Trailing 75-74, Sandberg heaved a 3-pointer as the clock ran out to give Warren a thrilling 77-75 win.
From dylan – The moment in soccer where Central Tech scored their first goal against Mcdowell in the second game against the Trojans and from there they took an outstanding team head on to score yet another goal. Even though the Trojans scored late in the 2nd half, everyone knew Central Tech was going on to beat Mcdowell for the first time in Central Tech history. Or the moment where Santos Guerra scored for the Falcons in overtime against General Mclane to beat them on their senior night in front of over 500 fans. LETS GO FALCONS SOCCER!
From Team Steam – John Pascuzzi from Eisenhower breaking the school’s all-time rushing record. A couple 300+ games in there as well.
From DFrank – Week 10 Seneca Football sends out its seniors with a win over State Ranked West Middlesex.
From Ryan – Mercyhurst Prep Sr. Cornelius Barclay reaching 4000 career rushing yards. Mercyhurst Prep became only the third school in D-10 history to have two 4000 career yard rushers.
From brian – Iroquois Sr. Meghan Martin pitching a “no hitter” in the District 10 playoffs against Maplewood. Also pitching a perfect game against Girard…
From Southern D10 Fan – Chase Hoffman drilling a shot off the right post to tie Mercer’s D-10 semifinal game with North East :43 left before the Mustangs won it on PKs.
From Mike – Every Shaq Johnson thunderous dunk in last year’s Burger King Classic.
From Joel – Here’s a moment from the D-10 AAA Track Championship May 16th: Grove City’s Dan Jaskowak, won the 1600 in 4 minutes, 21.57 seconds, and Fort LeBoeuf’s Matt McWilliams and Strong Vincent’s Josh Natalie joined him in breaking the D-10 record that had lasted since 1982, with all three qualifying for states.
From Cliff – Talking of track moments, Ryan Smathers ran the D-10 AA 1600 at 4:14.74, leading up to the State AA Championship win at 4:12.39
Have a favorite moment we didn’t mention? No matter how big or small, comment on this post and we will add it to the list!