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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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Posts categorized "Golf"
Posted: September 29th, 2013

The Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria golf teams were winners of a rare Saturday-Sunday tournament. They competed in the Midwest Prep Classic, held at Diamondhawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Prep fielded two teams in the event. Its orange team won with a cumulative score of 620.

The Ramblers’ Andrew Britton was the tournament’s individual medalist at 144.

Villa’s winning score of 525 was 18 fewer than District 10 rival McDowell. The Victors’ Annie Ciacchini was first overall with rounds of 82 and 83.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, Golf, PIAA
Posted: September 24th, 2013

Two more boys golf regions finished up the regular season on Monday. Titusville won the final Region 5 mega-match to win the region title, while Harbor Creek edged Mercyhurst Prep to win the Region 6 title. Titusville has won seven straight region titles and Harbor Creek has won back-to-back region titles. Out of seven boys regions, six have declared champions. Hickory, Meadville, Saegertown, Titusville, Harbor Creek and Cathedral Prep have locked up region titles and spots in the District 10 postseason. The Region 1 champion is still to be determined between Mercer and Kennedy Catholic. Mercer will head to Kennedy Catholic this afternoon with an opportunity to clinch the region title and a playoff spot. The D-10 Class AA and AAA boys team championship tournaments will take place Oct. 5 at the Country Club of Meadville. The Class AAA title will come down to Region 3 champion Meadville and Region 7 champion Cathedral Prep. The two teams played for the Class AAA team title last fall with Meadville winning 326-337. The D-10 Class AA team title will be between Hickory, Saegertown, Titusville, Harbor Creek and the Region 1 champion. Harbor Creek won the title in 2012, while Titusville was second followed by West Middlesex, Greenville and Saegertown.

•The District 10 girls tournaments look similar to last fall. Region 1 still has two mega-matches left, but barring a collapse, Hickory is in line to win another region title. Villa Maria was sort of a surprise team this season to win the Region 2 title. The Victors unseated Mercyhurst Prep as the Region 2 champion and the Lakers won’t get a chance to defend their D-10 AA title. Hickory and Villa Maria will square off on Oct. 5 at Riverside Golf Club. The D-10 Class AAA championship will likely be between defending champion McDowell and Meadville. There is one mega-match left in Region 3 with McDowell in control of the region. All Meadville has to do is finish in the top three of the four-team mega-match to lock up a spot in the D-10 championship. McDowell beat Meadville 371-411 in the D-10 Class AAA championship last fall.

•The District 10 individual tournaments will take place Oct. 8. The boys tournament is at the Country Club of Meadville, and the girls tournament is at Riverside Golf Club.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Golf, Reisen Shine
Posted: September 20th, 2013

Cambridge Springs vs. Saegertown CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Jeff Bobin

In one of the most competitive regions in District 10, Cathedral Prep locked up the Region 7 boys golf title on Thursday. The Ramblers finished with 35 points, while McDowell had 31 and General McLane scored 23. Prep dominated throughout the season, including the region low average from Andrew Britton. He shot a 38 on Thursday along with teammates Ryan Podufal and Jordan Henry, McDowell’s Ryder Grignol and Strong Vincent’s Ben Hartleb. With the Region 7 title, Prep earned a rematch with Meadville on Oct. 5 in the District 10 Class AAA team championship. Meadville won the D-10 AAA title last fall with a 326-337 win over the Ramblers. Prep has everyone back from last year’s team and I’m sure all of the returning Ramblers remember what happened last fall.

•Fort LeBoeuf senior soccer standout Jordan Oberlander is making an early case for District 10 Player of the Year. In the biggest match of the season, Oberlander scored four goals Thursday in a 4-1 win over powerhouse Harbor Creek. She has a total of 19 goals and three assists in eight matches this season and stepped up as one of the top scorers in District 10. The Bison are in control of Region 5 and look like a heavy favorite in District 10 Class AA.
•Fairview solidified its spot atop of Region 3 and District 10 Class A. The Tigers knocked off another contender in Seneca, 3-0. Jaclyn O’Keane, Katie Sundberg and Andrea McGee all scored, while Aubree Martin picked up the shutout for the Tigers.
•McDowell’s volleyball team picked up a big win over Harbor Creek. The Trojans swept the Huskies 25-20, 25-18, 25-17 behind 32 assists from standout Leah Vensel. Maggie Murray added 10 kills, while Delaney Souel and Kirsten Platz each had seven kills for McDowell. The Trojans look like a runaway favorite to win the District 10 Class AAA championship.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: September 17th, 2013

Mercyhurst Prep girls golf coach Kathy Lynch and senior Georgia Capotis were at the same course Sunday, only this time they were competitive opponents.

Capotis paired with her father, Homer, to win the EDWGA Couples Tournament at North East’s Lake View Country Club. The father-daughter duo recorded a 72 in the better-ball event.

Lynch, with assistance from Dave Kowalewski, placed second at 74.

Georgia Capotis and Lynch will revert to their student-coach status Wednesday. That’s when the Lakers will travel to the DuBois Tournament, scheduled at the Treasure Lake Golf Resort.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, Golf, PIAA
Posted: September 13th, 2013

As hard as it might be to believe, the District 10 golf season is winding down. The postseason is only three weeks away and region champions are starting to be crowned. Here’s a look at where each region stands:

Region 1 boys – This is the only region that goes to region duals instead of mega-matches. Kennedy Catholic and Mercer are tied for first place at 5-1 with four matches left. Kennedy won the first meeting before being upset by Greenville Kennedy and Mercer will finish the region schedule with their second match on Sept. 25.
Region 2 boys – Hickory has clinched the region title with one more mega-match to go. The Hornets have won four mega-matches for 20 points, and even with a fifth-place finish in the final mega-match they would have more points than the rest of the field. The final mega-match will take place Tuesday at the Hickory VFW Golf Course.
Region 3 boys – The region season wrapped up Tuesday with Warren winning the final mega-match. Despite the Dragons winning the last mega-match, Meadville claimed the region title with 23 points.
Region 4 boys – Region 4 is starting to heat up after Cambridge Springs won the third mega-match on Thursday. Saegertown took second and leads the region with 10 points. Union City is right behind at 9 points and Cambridge Springs has 8. Maplewood is fourth with 3 points and will host the final mega-match on Tuesday. At this point, any of the top three teams could win the region title.
Region 5 boys – There are still two mega-matches left in Region 5. Titusville currently leads the pack with 15 points, while Corry is second at 12 and Franklin is third with 9. The region will play a mega-match Monday at Cable Hollow in Russell before the season wraps up Sept. 23 at North Hills in Corry.
Region 6 boys – Region 6 is the biggest region in District 10 and a region champion won’t be declared until the final mega-match. There are still two mega-matches left and the race is close between Harbor Creek and Mercyhurst Prep. The Lakers climbed back in the race by winning the mega-match on Thursday. Harbor Creek leads the standings with 46 points, while Mercyhurst has 43. The next mega-match is Monday at Harbor Ridge before the final mega-match is Sept. 23 at Lawrence Park.
Region 7 boys – Interestingly enough, Region 7 is only halfway through its schedule. Region 7 will play six mega-matches and it is only through three of them. Cathedral Prep leads the way with 17 points, while McDowell is second at 16. The fourth mega-match will take place today at Erie Golf Club before the next mega-match on Tuesday at Whispering Woods. The region season will wrap up Thursday at Whispering Woods.
Region 1 girls – This region is unique as each team hosts two mega-matches. With four teams in the region, there are eight total mega-matches. After the sixth one on Thursday, Hickory is running away with the region title. At worst, Hickory would tie with Reynolds if the Hornets come in last over the final two mega-matches and Reynolds wins both. The seventh mega-match will take place Sept. 19 at West Middlesex before the final mega-match is Sept. 26 at Reynolds.
Region 2 girls – Villa Maria wrapped up the region title on Thursday with a five-stroke win at Downing. The Victors knocked off defending District 10 Class AA champion Mercyhurst Prep and will get a chance to take on Hickory for the D-10 title in three weeks.
Region 3 girls – McDowell has wrapped up at least a share of the region title and needs to just finish in the top three in the final mega-match to clinch the region title. The final mega-match will take place Sept. 26 at Warren.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Golf, Reisen Shine
Posted: September 4th, 2013

Harbor Creek High School will conduct ceremonies this weekend for its new athletic hall of fame inductees.

The 2013 class will be informally honored before and during Friday’s 7 p.m. football game between the Huskies and North East at Paul J. Weitz Stadium. The official ceremony will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. at the high school cafeteria.

Those scheduled for induction are Kristen DePlatchett (class of 1999), Don Dougan (1963), Missy Watson Grudi (1990), Steve Moorhead (1958), Lee Palloto (1950), David Uglow (1979), Heather Norder Weismiller (1994) and the late Norman Decker (1949).

Tickets are still available by calling (814) 897-2100, extension 1367, or by e-mail at

– Mike Copper

Posted: September 3rd, 2013

This past weekend was a busy one for fall sports starting their seasons. Today, the season really gets going with nearly every fall sport being played. Here’s a look at some of the games/matches that fans should check out:

Corry, Seneca at North East cross country – Some of the area’s best cross country runners will be at this meet. All three programs have become strong and produce some of the top runners around each season. Emma Verdonik of North East had a quick start to her season by winning the McDowell Invitational. She won the meet with a time of 19 minutes, 8 seconds. Kate McIntosh, Verdonik’s teammate at North East, finished third at 20:30. Another North East runner, Joelle Klein, finished in the top 10 in 10th place at 21:06. Seneca’s Kelsey Leasure is a solid runner and placed 24th with a time of 21:41, while Brie Sutherland of Corry was 30th at 21:51. On the boys’ side, Gary Olson has stepped up as a top runner for North East after finishing in second at the McDowell Invitational. He ran the course in 16:41. Curtis Royek was the top Corry runner with a ninth-place finish and a time of 17:19, while Phoenix Myers was Seneca’s top runner with a time of 18:02 to place 20th.

Mercyhurst Prep at Hickory girls golf – Two of the top girls golf programs in District 10 will play a non-region match at the Hickory VFW Golf Course. Mercyhurst Prep is a contender in Region 2 and Hickory in Region 1. The two region champions played for the District 10 Class AA team championship last fall. Mercyhurst Prep won 366-384 behind an 80 from Grace Brzowowski and an 85 by Georgia Capotis. Both are back this fall, while Alena Lancia is back to lead the Hornets.

Iroquois at Harbor Creek girls volleyball – The two rivals always get up for this showdown. The two teams are in different regions and classes but it always means a little more when they play. The second time the two play is during the afternoon in front of one of the two school’s student bodies.

Villa Maria at Warren girls tennis – The two programs are strong each season. Both are still trying to break through against the powerhouses like McDowell and Mercyhurst Prep and both have new head coaches this season.

General McLane at Cathedral Prep boys soccer – The Lancers have developed into a perennial playoff team under head coach Josh Hopkins, while Cathedral Prep continues to play at a high level under coach Sam Tojaga. The Ramblers find themselves in the District 10 Class AAA championship each season, while McLane continues to challenge for the D-10 AA title each year. Both soccer programs are strong and although this is a non-region match, expect some impressive soccer to be played.

Villa Maria at McDowell girls soccer – Villa Maria and McDowell are always in the District 10 playoffs. The Trojans continue to win D-10 Class AAA championships and the Victors seem to always be in the mix for the D-10 Class AA title. Villa has a new coach in Afrim Latifi and one of the top players in the area in Morgan Putnam. McDowell counters with two terrific goal scorers in Caroline Mashyna and Abby Kenski. This should be an early-season test for both teams.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 27th, 2013

Last week we challenged readers to name all seven athletes in the Varsity blog header (above) from the 2012-13 school year.

(The top of the Varsity blog soon will have a new look with current District 10 athletes.)

For those who were curious which athletes are on the current header, here they are: Top row, from left, Jaymon Mason, General McLane basketball; Rylee Klomp, Mercyhurst Prep swimming; Anne Lewis, North East cross country. Bottom row, Chad Ferguson, Greenville tennis; Khyre Drayer, McDowell football; Hannah Kondrlik, Corry volleyball; Chris Kupniewski, Strong Vincent golf (Northwest Collegiate Academy student).

Posted: August 27th, 2013

•The District 10 high school golf season can come and go quickly. It’s the first sport to start but a lot of fans and parents are still enjoying their summers. Before you know it, it’s early October and golf season is coming to a close. Monday was a big reason why everyone needs to keep an eye on these D-10 golfers. First was the Region 3 boys mega-match. Grove City knocked off Meadville and won the match with a combined round of 341. That was eight strokes better than defending District 10 Class AAA champion Meadville. Matt Gordon was the only golfer to break 80 at Grove City Country Club with a 74 to lead the Eagles to first place. Slippery Rock and Warren tied for third place, which tightened up the Region 3 race a bit.

•Over at Crab Apple Ridge, Fort LeBoeuf edged out Corry by one stroke. Sophmore Ryan Carniewski led the Bison with a 42, while Kameron Landers had a 43 and Justin Latsko recorded a 44. Landers is the only senior on a young LeBoeuf team. Nolan Pike and Tyler Jacquith each had rounds of 43, while Joey Sonntag shot a 44 for Corry.

•Cathedral Prep put together an impressive performance at the University School tournament in Ohio this past weekend. The Ramblers finished third behind Cleveland powerhouses St. Ignatius and St. Edward. The Ramblers were only two strokes behind St. Ed’s and 12 behind St. Ignatius. Jack Coyne of St. Ignatius had the low round of 69, and Jack Kelly led Prep with a 74. Zack Britton shot a 76 and Evan Wronek shot a 78.

•The live blog is finally here! Join me at noon to discuss high school football this coming season.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Golf, Reisen Shine
Posted: August 24th, 2013

• There’s no job in sports that I have more respect for than officials. It is without a doubt the toughest job to have. When you get a call right, that’s your job. When you get a call wrong, everyone jumps on you. There really is no win scenario for an official but they continue to take time out of their lives to officiate sports from the youth level on up. I started thinking about officials on Friday when I learned that Harry Boback Sr. passed away. He was a terrific official that worked for more than 60 years. I still remember playing basketball for Sacred Heart School and Boback would officiate our games. He was famous for using two fingers to call traveling instead of the traditional two arms in a spinning motion. Boback’s son Harry is also an outstanding official in the area.

There is no doubt fans, parents and students are passionate when it comes to high school, college and professional sports. That passion just needs to be under control when addressing officials. They are out there giving up their nights and weekends to give the athletes an opportunity to compete. Before screaming at an official from the sidelines or telling people how awful they are, take a second and think about if you were in that position. Anytime someone tells me that an official “stinks” my immediate response is “The application to become an official can be found on the PIAA website”. Let’s set a good example for the kids and athletes and refrain from screaming at officials as they are working hard every day for you.

• It’s pretty clear no one in District 10 can stop McDowell senior Adrianna Jeffress. She has dominated the girls tennis scene throughout her career and beat Lauren Petrella 6-4, 6-2 on Friday. Petrella, who transferred to Mercyhurst Prep last year, is arguably the second-best player in District 10 and will likely win the D-10 Class AA singles title. Jeffress is putting together one of the all-time great high school careers in the area and is primed to make a run at the state title. If you have a free afternoon, go check out a McDowell tennis match over the next five-six weeks and see Jeffress play in person.

• The Harbor Creek-Mercyhurst Prep boys golf rivalry continued Friday as the Huskies pulled out a mega-match win by two strokes. Harbor Creek had five golfers break 90, including a 77 by Jacob VanSlyke. While the Huskies and Lakers have a strong rivalry going, Class AA teams are going to have trouble catching Villa Maria on the girls’ side. The Victors won the Hickory Invitational by 36 strokes, including rounds of 81 by Annie Ciacchini and Andrea McCormick.

• Make sure to check out the blog on Tuesday at noon as I talk about the upcoming high school football season. Fans are welcome to join the chat and ask questions or comment on their favorite teams and players.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: August 22nd, 2013

The high school golf season is already one week old and most of the regions have held their first mega-matches. The only region not to play mega-matches is Region 1 on the boys side. Each of the six teams will play each other twice for their region schedule. Region 2 in girls golf will play its first mega-match today at Oakland Beach Golf Course in Conneaut Lake.

• Harbor Creek won the first two Region 6 mega-matches but both have been close. The Huskies won the first mega-match by seven strokes but only the second by one. Mercyhurst Prep’s Ryan Matlock had the low round in both matches. He show a 75 in the first mega-match at Downing before shooting a 77 at Lake Shore. Harbor Creek, however, seems to have more depth this season. Ryan Markiewicz led the Huskies with a 77 in the first mega-match and Jacob VanSlyke had a 79. In the second mega-match, VanSlyke and Jacob Troutman each carded 80s.

Mercyhurst Prep won the third mega-match on Wednesday by eight strokes. Sculley shot a 74 for the Lakers and Matlock had a 75. The Huskies and Lakers could be neck and neck all season and it’s a shame only one will represent Region 6 in the District 10 Class AA team championship tournament.

• Cathedral Prep straight dominated the Region 7 mega-match. The Ramblers had the top six golfers in the match one day after finishing second at the Gary Garrison tournament in Latrobe. Jack Kloekcer and Jordan Henry had the low rounds in the mega-match with 66s, while Evan Wronek and Ryan Podufal shot 67 and 68, respectively. Andrew Brittno and Jack Kelly each shot 69 to contribute to the dominant win.

• Speaking of dominant wins, the Union City golfers won the first Region 4 mega-match by 35 strokes. Troy Jackson led the way with an 83 and Nick Yaple had an 89. The Bears could run away with Region 4 this season.

• Hickory’s athletic program is mostly known for cross country, track, football and basketball. Look out for the Hornets on the golf course. The boys won the first Region 2 mega-match by 33 strokes behind Billy Colbert’s round of 71 at Tam O’Shanter Golf Course. Colbert is a contender in Class AA this season, which is a field that is wide open this year. The Hickory girls had a little closer match with a round of 194. Reynolds wasn’t far behind at 206. Alena Lancia had the low round for the Hornets with a 56, while Grove City’s Meg Birmingham had a 46. Grove City isn’t in the region but had two golfers compete independently. The two, Fontaine McFeathers and Birmingham, can qualify to play in the District 10 championships by competing in D-10 events.

•Matt McCord, a D-10 contender, and Eric Maginnis each shot a 74 to lead Titusville in the first Region 5 mega-match at Cross Creek Resort. The two finished in the top 12 in the District 10 championship tournament last fall. McCord, a junior, shot an 82 to finish third behind Sean Sculley and Steve Kearns of Mercyhurst Prep, who each shot an 81. Sculley is back and Kearns graduated. Maginnis finished 12th as a freshman with a round of 88.

•Meadville continued its strong play in recent years in the Region 3 opener. The Bulldogs had a round of 317 to win the mega-match, while Slippery Rock shot a combined 335. Warren’s Andrew Gignac had the low round of 75, followed by Matt Gordon of Grove City with a 77 and Meadville’s Dalton Zelasco shot a 78. Meadville upset Cathedral Prep in the D-10 Class AAA team tournament last year and continues to get stronger. Despite the loss of Ford to him moving south, the Bulldogs have plenty of depth. Keep an eye on junior Charlie Holt, who finished fourth in the mega-match and was eighth at the D-10 championships last year.

Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
School Region W-L School Points School Points School Points
Mercer 1-0 Hickory 5 Meadville 5 Union City 4
Kennedy Catholic 1-0 Sharon 4 Slippery Rock 4 Saegertown 3
Greenville 0-0 West Middlesex 3 Warren 3 Cambridge Springs 2
Jamestown 0-0 Sharpsville 2 Grove City 2 Maplewood 1
Lakeview 0-1 Wilmington 1 Oil City 1
Reynolds 0-1
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Region 1 Girls
School Points School Points School Points School Points
Titusville 5 Harbor Creek 23 Cathedral Prep 6 Hickory 3
Corry 4 Mercyhurst Prep 22 McDowell 5 Reynolds 2
Franklin 3 Fairview 18 General McLane 4 West Middlesex 1
Rocky Grove 2 Fort LeBoeuf 14 Conneaut 3
Eisenhower 0 North East 13 Strong Vincent 2
Seneca 9 Central Tech 1
Girard 5

Iroquois 4

•Make sure to check out the blog on Tuesday as I will host a live chat about the upcoming high school football season at noon.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Golf, Reisen Shine
Posted: August 21st, 2013

The opening day of the 2013-14 season for fall high school sports is Aug. 30. (Golf and girls tennis already have begun.)

With that in mind, soon will be changing the Varsity blog header to include current high school athletes. Before we switch to a new set of athletes, the Varsity blog challenges readers to identify all seven athletes from the 2012-13 header above.

The first person to correctly identify all seven athletes will win a free edition of the 2013 Kickoff football preview magazine. If no one can identify all seven, the first person to name six will win.  If no one can identify six, the first person to name five will win … and so on.

Readers can share their answers in two ways:

1. List the names and schools of the athletes in the comment section below. (We will not post any comments until the contest is over, so readers’ answers will not be seen.)

2. Send an e-mail to us at and put “Varsity blog athletes” in the subject line.

The deadline is Friday at 4 p.m.

Show us your knowledge of District 10 sports, and see how many of the seven D-10 athletes above you can identify.

– Jeff Kirik

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