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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 tagged "Cathedral Prep football"
Posted: February 6th, 2013

McDowell running back/outside linebacker James Conner signs his National Letter of Intent with Pitt Wednesday at the McDowell's lirbary. MATT MEAD/Erie Times-News

Today is National Letter of Intent Day, and many area football players and other athletes are set to sign with Division I and Division II schools or commit to program at other levels.

The Erie Times-News took a look at the area football players expected to sign today. Read a short bio on each player. Here’s the list:

Damion Terry, Cathedral Prep – Michigan State (Update: MSU reports that his letter of intent has been received.)
Delton Williams, Cathedral Prep – Michigan State (Update: MSU reports that his letter of intent has been received.)
John Chereson, Cathedral Prep – Notre Dame (walk-on)
Erik Swanson, Cathedral Prep – Pennsylvania
Jake Plonski, Cathedral Prep – Mercyhurst
Nick Dubowski, Cathedral Prep – Indiana (Pa.)
Brendan Klemensic, Cathedral Prep – Gannon
James Conner, McDowell – Pittsburgh (Update: Pitt reports that his letter of intent has been received.)
Sean Gallagher, McDowell – Edinboro
Riley Dunbar, McDowell – Mercyhurst
DeShawn Coleman, Hickory – West Virginia
Dionte Pope, Hickory – Edinboro
Artrel Foster, Meadville – Temple
Quinn Thompson, General McLane – Connecticut (Update: UConn reports that his letter of intent has been received.)
Aidan Graham, General McLane – Clarion
Nathan O’Brien, Eisenhower – Lock Haven
Aaron Lundmark, Eisenhower – Grove City
Logan Rickert, Reynolds – IUP

Following are the athletes from other sports who plan to sign today. Read a short bio on each athlete.

Eli Flynn, Cathedral Prep – Concord College (W.Va.)
Scott Hess, Cathedral Prep – Indiana (Pa.)
Cross country
Ethan Louis, Cathedral Prep – Dayton
Austin Pondel, Corry – Penn State
Hunter Johnston, Saegertown –Dayton
Cory Kuzilla, Harbor Creek – California (Pa.)
Olivia Augustyniak, Mercyhurst Prep – Duquesne
Sarah Kaiser, Mercyhurst Prep – Cleveland State
Track and field
Jaynee Corbett, Corry – Youngstown State
Maria Peluso, Fort LeBoeuf – Shippensburg
Evan Daley, Fort LeBoeuf – Clarion
Water polo
Michael Squeglia, Cathedral Prep – Gannon

Note: Coaches are encouraged to notify the Times-News if an athlete plans to commit to a college.

Posted: January 29th, 2013 is currently running a list of the top 50 football recruits in Pennsylvania. Reporter Andrew Shay has compiled the list, which includes five District 10 players.

Shay ranks Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster as the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania. Foster, an Alabama recruit, has made several All-America teams.

Check out the top 50 list. Here’s how District 10 players rank, along with their college choices:

9. Damion Terry, Cathedral Prep quarterback, Michigan State
12. Delton Williams, Cathedral Prep defensive back, Michigan State
16. DeShawn Coleman, Hickory RB, West Virginia
17. James Conner, McDowell RB/OLB, Pitt
38. Artrel Foster, Meadville DB, Temple is providing a countdown of the top 20 leading up to the Feb. 6. signing day. James Conner is featured today.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: January 25th, 2013

Cathedral Prep will unveil its official football state championship highlight video Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Ramblers went 15-0 and won the school’s second PIAA title by beating Archbishop Wood 24-14 in the Class AAA final Dec. 14 in Hershey.

USA Today ranked Prep No. 17 in its national poll after the season.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: January 18th, 2013

Cathedral Prep’s record-breaking quarterback, Damion Terry, has advanced to the Final Five for the Mr. PA Football Award.

In online voting conducted by fans, media and coaches, Terry advanced through three rounds of balloting into the Tremendous Twenty, Top Ten and Final Five.

Terry is a finalist for the big-school award, which features players from Class AAA and AAAA. (Prep is in Class AAA.) A Final Five also was picked for Class A and AA.

Terry is joined in the Final Five by North Allegheny quarterback Mack Leftwich, North Allegheny lineman Patrick Kugler, Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster and Pennridge running back Michael Class. Class is the only junior who advanced.

The Class A-AA Final Five includes Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer, Clairton running back Tyler Boyd, Old Forge running back Brian Tomasetti, Williams Valley wide receiver Owen Daniel and Imhotep Charter running back David Williams.

Each of the Final Five in both divisions will be invited to the Mr. PA Football Awards Program Feb. 9 at Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. The winners will be selected by a panel of coaches and media.

For more, check out the MrPAFootball website.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: January 15th, 2013

USA Today revealed its 30th anniversary American Family Insurance All-USA Team today, and one of Erie’s own was among the stars selected.

Cathedral Prep graduate and former NFL standout center Mark Stepnoski was selected as an offensive lineman to a team that included such stars as Emmitt Smith, Thurman Thomas, Adrian Peterson and Randy Moss.

Stepnoski made the 1984 All-USA team as a senior at Prep.

USA Today noted that Stepnoski was a “five-time Pro Bowler who won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys.”

After graduating from Prep, Stepnoski starred at the University of Pittsburgh. He started his NFL career with the Cowboys from 1989-94 before playing for the Houston Oilers (1995-96) and Tennessee Titans (1997-98). He closed his career with the Cowboys (1999-2001). Stepnoski made five straight Pro Bowls from 1992-96.

In 2004, the Erie Times-News selected Stepnoski to the City of Erie All-Time Team.

Check out the entire All-USA Team.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: December 31st, 2012

The Cathedral Prep football team already has earned quite a few awards and accolades from a 15-0 state championship season.

The Ramblers claimed another national honor from recently when the website ranked Prep as the No. 6 team in the final MaxPreps Medium Schools National Football Rankings.

The website classifies teams as a “medium school” if the school falls in “state enrollment divisions that generally have between 1,000 and 2,000 students.” The PIAA lists Prep with a total enrollment of 433 for the upper three grades. The national rankings were based on the MaxPreps Freeman Computer Rankings.

Bellevue (Wash.) claimed the top spot in the poll, while Washington (Miami) placed second.

USA Today ranked Prep as the No. 17 team in the country, regardless of class, recently in the final Super 25 standings.

Here’s the top 10 list from the MaxPreps rankings:

MaxPreps Medium Schools
National Football Rankings

1. Bellevue (Wash.) 14-0 73.3
2. Washington (Miami) 13-1 69
3. Serra (Gardena, Calif.) 14-2 66.2
4. Navasota (Texas) 16-0 65.8
5. Stephenville (Texas) 13-1 65.1
6. Cathedral Prep (Erie) 15-0 63.5
7. Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 13-1 62.5
8. Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) 15-0 61.4
9. Oceanside (Calif.) 12-1 60.6
10. St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 13-2 59.6

See the complete top 25 and the MaxPreps story.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: December 15th, 2012

The Erie Times-News provided extensive coverage Cathedral Prep’s victory in the PIAA Class AAA title game, as did newspapers and websites statewide and nationwide. Here are links to some of the coverage:

Tom Reisenweber of the Times-News wrote the game story from Hershey. John Dudley used his column to share some thoughts about Damion Terry and his achievements. Reisenweber and Dudley also combined to write title game notebook. There’s also a photo gallery.

Kevin Cooney of wrote about how Archbishop Wood was valiant in defeat against a powerful Prep team. also had stories on Terry’s performance and Wood’s unsuccessful attempt to repeat as a state champion. Check out a photo gallery as well.

Montgomerynews.c0m also wrote a game story. talked to Damion Terry and Delton Williams this weekend, but both are premium subscription stories. also wrote about Terry’s big night.

Posted: December 14th, 2012

Posted: December 14th, 2012

High school football fans can follow Cathedral Prep in the PIAA Class AAA championship game tonight on the Varsity blog.

We’d like to thank Welders Supply for sponsoring the live blog tonight because the PIAA charges a fee for real-time web publishing at championship events. Welders Supply’s participation helps us bring fans full coverage of the game on the Varsity blog. (Their ads are at the top of the page and at right.)

Even if fans are watching the game on Pennsylvania Cable Network, listening to the game on the radio or attending the game, the Playoff Central live blog is a must.

Tom Reisenweber will provide play-by-play, statistics and analysis while also answering readers’ questions. Meanwhile, Andy Colwell will provide action photos on the blog.

The live blog is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

So join us for the Playoff Central live blog as we provide full coverage tonight when Prep takes on defending champion Archbishop Wood in the state title game.



Posted: December 13th, 2012

Cathedral Prep is set to make its first appearance in a PIAA football championship game since the Ramblers won the Class AAAA title in 2000.

However, Prep will have to face a powerhouse team Friday in defending Class AAA champion Archbishop Wood. Wood (12-2) is loaded with a huge line and speedy, skilled backs.

Prep (14-0) enters with a high-scoring, pass-oriented offense and hard-hitting defense.

Which team will emerge as the state champion Friday in Hershey? Here’s your chance to vote in the poll at right. Voting ends Friday at 6:30 p.m.


Posted: December 8th, 2012

Felix Manus-Schell

Jake Plonski

Erik Swanson

Joe Hampy

Cathedral Prep’s offense has earned much attention this season, and with good reason. Led by record-setting quarterback Damion Terry, the Ramblers have set a team record for points in a season with 677 and are averaging more than 48.4 points per game.

However, as the season has progressed, the defense has begun to open eyes statewide. Prep (14-0) turned in perhaps its best defensive effort of the season Friday against a high-powered Bishop McDevitt team that featured a 3,200-yard passer, a 1,500-yard receiver and two 1,000-yard rushers.

The Ramblers limited the Crusaders to a field goal and 143 total yards in a 38-3 victory. McDevitt’s two 1,000-yard backs combined for 34 yards on 17 carries.

Prep defensive ends Joe Hampy and Erik Swanson continued their torrid play, while linebacker Jake Plonski and cornerback Felix Manus-Schell turned in big games Friday. The defense and the Prep coaching staff certainly earned the respect of veteran McDevitt coach Jeff Weachter.

“They changed their defense a lot and went with some run blitzes after we ran the ball early,” Weachter told the Harrisburg Patriot-News. “Anything we had a little success with they almost immediately took it away. Once it was gone, it was gone for good. They are a very strong defensive football team.”

Read the full story on

Posted: December 8th, 2012

Yes, it’s natural that readers of a blog would favor the hometown team in a poll. However, Varsity blog readers still deserve credit for picking the winner — Cathedral Prep — in Friday’s PIAA Class AAA semifinal game.

But even Varsity blog readers didn’t expect the 38-3 rout that the Ramblers turned in against previously unbeaten Bishop McDevitt Friday.

A total of 295 readers voted in a poll conducted Thursday and Friday on the Varsity blog, and 216 picked Prep to beat the nationally ranked McDevitt. However, 41 percent (121 votes) expected Prep to win by 7 points or less. Another 24 percent (70 voters) predicted that Prep would win by 8 to 14 points. Only 8 percent (24 voters) — the fourth most popular answer — picked the Ramblers to pull away by 15 points or more.

The results are listed below:

Which team will win the PIAA Class AAA football semifinal showdown between Cathedral Prep and Bishop McDevitt Friday?

  • Prep by 7 points or less (41%, 121 Votes)
  • Prep by 8 to 14 (24%, 70 Votes)
  • McDevitt by 8 to 14 (12%, 35 Votes)
  • Prep by 15 or more (8%, 25 Votes)
  • McDevitt by 15 or more (8%, 25 Votes)
  • McDevitt by 7 or less (7%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 295

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