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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 "PIAA"
Posted: July 20th, 2014

District 10 tennis got a peek at two of its incoming players for 2014-15 during Sunday’s Erie County Tennis Tournament.

The five-day event concluded with seven championship matches at Fairview High School’s Chris Batchelor Memorial Courts. Two of them, the boys and girls age 18-under finals were won by players who start their high school careers come August.

Alec Thomas, a Cathedral Prep recruit, rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) victory over Fairview junior-to-be and reigning District 10 Class AA doubles victor Ben Westcott. Their match required nearly three hours of play to determine a titlist.

Shannon Sertz, another junior-to-be at Fairview, swept Villa Maria recruit Mary Catherine Prichard 6-2, 6-0. Sertz is the daughter of Tigers tennis coach Rick Sertz.

District 10 veterans Derek Sawer (General McLane) and Tris Tuttle (Fairview) also won the tournament’s boys 18 doubles title via a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Austin Fiedler and Westcott.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, PIAA, Tennis
Posted: July 20th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It’s 40 days until the start of the high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29.

Number of the day: 40

That’s the number of touchdown passes Mercer quarterback Logan Clarke has thrown going into his senior season.

Clarke enters the Mustangs’ 2014 opener at Eisenhower as District 10′s active career passing leader. His 3,733 yards through the air rank 16th on that list.

Clarke only needs 221 yards to break into District 10′s top 10 for that category.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 19th, 2014

Two of District 10′s best returning runners were the overall champions of Saturday’s North East Cherry Festival 5K.

Mercyhurst Prep student Sebastian Curtin was first across the finish line with a low time of 16 minutes, 14 seconds. North East rival Gary Olson placed fourth and took first place in the men’s age 14-19 division at 16:51.

Noah Curtin, Sebastian’s younger brother and another returning Laker, was second to Olson in that bracket at 16:56.

Grace Trucilla of Villa Maria was the race’s fastest female. The former PIAA track and field gold medalist returned in 19:13.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 19th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It’s 41 days until the opening night of the high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29.

Number of the day: 41

That’s the number points Cathedral Prep scored to beat Central Bucks West in the 2000 PIAA Class AAAA final. The Ramblers became the fourth team from District 10 to claim a state championship with their dramatic 41-35 overtime victory at Hersheypark Stadium.

It was a historic game with an epic finish.

Prep’s victory not only represented the first of its two PIAA titles, but also ended CB West’s 59-game winning streak. One of the wins in the Bucks’ streak was their 14-13 victory over the Ramblers in the 1999 PIAA Class AAAA final.

A year later, the teams found themselves tied after four quarters of their rematch. CB West had the ball for the first possession in overtime, but were denied points when the Ramblers’ Dale Williams blocked Jim Wiberly’s 24-yard field goal attempt.

Prep only needed three rushing plays to score its decisive six points. Jawan Walker, who rushed for 163 yards, scored the last of his three touchdowns on a 4-yard carry.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 18th, 2014

Cathedral Prep student Norman Stark abandoned his bid to swim across Lake Erie on Friday morning.

Stark, a senior-to-be for the Ramblers’ aquatics program, ended his attempt roughly 45 minutes after he took off from Long Point, Ontario, around 7:30 a.m. Josh Heynes, who followed Stark in a kayak, reported the 17-year old experienced seasickness because of 1 to 2-foot rolling waves.

Heynes, who swam from Long Point to North East’s Freeport Beach in 2006 and 2011, holds the course record for that popular route at 11 hours, 16 minutes.

Stark reported he will make a second attempt at conquering Lake Erie on Aug. 1. He still plans to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 18th, 2014

Jake Lehotsky and Brad Pier, returning members of Fort LeBoeuf’s boys cross country team, finished first and second in their age group for Thursday’s Waterford Summer Sizzler 5K.

Lehotsky, a sophomore-to-be for the Bison, was timed at 18 minutes, 34 seconds. It was low enough to win the male 15-18 division.

Pier, entering his final season at LeBoeuf, came in second for that group at 19:08.

Kelli Proctor, who’s coached Lehotsky and Pier, was the 5K’s fastest woman when she crossed the finish line in 19:43. Former LeBoeuf student Matt McWilliams was the overall titlist at 16:32.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 18th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It’s 42 days until the start of the high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29.

Number of the day: 42

That’s the number of touchdowns Eisenhower graduate Steve Witte scored during his career.

Witte rushed for 3,115 yards by the end of his senior season in 1991. He helped the Knights reach the District 10 Class A finals in 1990 and 1991, which they lost each time to Iroquois.

Witte went on to play football for Clarion University, and was a member of the Golden Eagles’ team that reached the NCAA Division II semifinals in 1996. He was inducted him into Clarion’s athletic hall of fame in 2008.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 17th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It’s 43 days until the opening night of the high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29.

Number of the day: 43

That’s the number of touchdowns McDowell graduate Jeff Davis scored during a high school football career that saw him inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame and have his No. 42 jersey retired.

Davis averaged an even six yards per carry as a running back in the late 1960s. He totaled 3,045 yards on 510 carries.

Davis was recruited by Ohio State, where his coach was the legendary Woody Hayes. He started as a defensive back in two Rose Bowls for the Buckeyes, including the 1974 game where they beat USC 42-21.

– Mike Copper

 

Posted: July 16th, 2014

Megan Smoulder, a senior-to-be with Warren’s girls golf team, won the age 18 division during Tuesday’s stop on the Erie Sp0rts Store Flagship Junior Tour. Action took place at Oakland Beach Golf Course in Conneaut Lake.

Smouder took advantage of Georgia Capotis’ absence to finish first with a round of 84. Capotis, who recently graduated from Mercyhurst Prep, was competing in Tuesday’s qualifying round for the EDWGA Match Play Championships at Lake Shore Country Club.

Capotis’ absence allowed Smoulder (65 points) to take the lead in the division standings. Capotis goes into the July 22 Flagship Tour stop at Elk Valley Golf Course with 60.

Titusville golfer Eric Maginnis was the boys 18 victor at Oakland Beach with a 1-over par 73. Harbor Creek’s Jacob Van Slyke still holds the tour lead with 185.70 points.

– Mike Copper

Posted in: District 10, Golf, PIAA
Posted: July 16th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It’s 44 days until the opening night of high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29

Number of the day: 44

That’s the number of touchdowns Greenville running back Andy Blatt scored for the Trojans in 1991. The 264 points he compiled for from those scores remain District 10′s single-season record.

Second on that list is another Greenville graduate. Joe Korcinsky scored 41 touchdowns (254 points) for the 1996 Trojans.

Blatt’s record effort wasn’t enough to garner Greenville the district’s Class AA title in 1991. Hickory achieved that with a 21-20 win over the Trojans in the championship game.

Blatt later starred at Westminster College, leading the Titans to an NAIA national championship.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 15th, 2014

Varsity Kickoff Countdown is a daily series on the Varsity blog. It is 45 days until the opening night of high school football season on Friday, Aug. 29.

Number of the day: 45

That’s the number of catches Franklin’s Nate Byham made for the Knights in 2004. His 883 receiving yards that season are the ninth most in District 10 history.

Byham went on to play for the Franklin boys basketball team which won the 2006 PIAA Class AAA title. He was recruited to play tight end for the University of Pittsburgh’s football team and was then drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft.

San Francisco released Byham after he sat out the 2011 season on injured reserve. He signed with Tampa Bay and played the last two seasons with the Buccaneers.

– Mike Copper

Posted: July 14th, 2014

Harbor Creek student Jacob Van Slyke and recent Mercyhurst Prep graduate Georgia Capotis are the leading golfers in the boys and girls age 18-under divisions heading into Tuesday’s action for the 2014 Erie Sports Store Flagship Junior Tour.

The fifth stop is at Oakland Beach Golf Course in Conneaut Lake. Tee times will start at 8 a.m.

Van Slyke, a junior-to-be for the Huskies, leads his division with 170.70 points. McDowell senior-to-be Ryder Grignol is second with 136.50.

Capotis will join the Mercyhurst University women’s golf team this fall. She has 60 points so far in her final tour season, with Warren senior-to-be Megan Smoulder next at 46.

– Mike Copper

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