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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 "General McLane football"
Posted: February 26th, 2012

Here is a look at General McLane’s football schedule for the upcoming season. We will post each District 10 football schedule as it becomes finalized and submitted to the Erie Times-News.

The Lancers moved up to Class AAA in the new PIAA two-year cycle and were slotted in Region 6. McLane will play its Homecoming game on Oct. 5 against East and Senior Night will be the following week against Bradford on Oct. 12.

Aug. 18 at Corry 10 a.m.
Aug. 24 Harbor Creek 7
Regular season
Aug. 31 at Fort LeBoeuf 7
Sept. 7 McDowell* 7
Sept. 14 Oil City 7
Sept. 21 at Franklin 7
Sept. 28 Open
Oct. 5 East* 7
Oct. 12 Bradford 7
Oct. 19 at Strong Vincent* 7
Oct. 25 at Central Tech* 7
Nov. 2 Cathedral Prep* 7

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 1st, 2011

Four area teams — one in each class — are ranked in the first Harrisburg Patriot-News state poll of the season.

McDowell, which competes in the WPIAL Northern Seven Conference, is ranked ninth in Class AAAA.

Grove City, the 2010 District 10 Class AAA runner-up, is No. 8 in AAA. Cathedral Prep, the two-time defending D-10 AAA champ, is listed under teams to watch.

General McLane is ranked No. 10 in AA after a 10-2 season in 2010. Meanwhile, Mercyhurst Prep is No. 10 in Class A.

Other D-10 teams to watch are Hickory and Sharon in AA and Farrell in A.

Click below to see the state poll:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: August 29th, 2011

The Erie Times-News and are continuing District 10 football preview coverage this week, leading up to Friday’s season openers. Starting Sunday, the preview coverage included Region 6, McDowell and Region 4. The coverage will continue through Thursday. Included in each preview are complete rosters for each team.

Earlier, the Times-News published the 112-page Kickoff preseason guide and posted the online Summer Huddle series on the Varsity blog.

Check out the links to the Times-News team previews:
Sunday: McDowell preview
Sunday: Region 6
Monday: Region 4
Tuesday: Region 5
Wednesday: Region 2
Thursday: Region 3
Thursday: Region 1

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: August 25th, 2011

Two District 10 teams are ranked and seven others are listed among “others to watch” in the Pennsylvania Football News preseason state rankings, which were released Wednesday night.

Cathedral Prep leads all D-10 teams with a No. 4 ranking in Class AAA. The Ramblers are coming off a trip to the PIAA Class AAA semifinals and return record-breaking junior quarterback Damion Terry.

Defending District 10 AA champion Sharon is ranked 10th in AA.

Meanwhile, listed among “others to watch” are the following D-10 teams: Grove City in AAA, General McLane, Hickory and Wilmington in AA, and Farrell, Linesville and West Middlesex in A.

Click below for the complete rankings:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: July 11th, 2011

General McLane Lancers

Jim Wells

Coach (season, record): Jim Wells (15th season, 123-33)
2010 overall record: 10-2
2010 region record (place): 6-0 (champion)
2010 playoff results: Lost 29-28 to Hickory in the District 10 Class AA semifinals.
Top players lost: Kyle Shinn, Derek Schultz, Alan Buckel, Josh Niswonger, Travis Bryant, Zach Lucas
Top returning players: Josh Ponsoll, Chad Kulka, Matt Astorino, Quinn Thompson, Jacob Krizmanich, Drew Browning, Brian Suminski
Assistant coaches: Luke Graham, Brad Wheeler, Bill Frick, Tim Campbell, Tim Casey, Elliott Laplaka
Outlook: General McLane’s program is one of the strongest in District 10 and looks to win another region title this fall. The Lancers lost several offensive weapons to graduation, including speedy running back Kyle Shinn and wide receiver Josh Niswonger. Shinn, an all-region all-purpose back, ran for 833 yards on 46 carries and 11 touchdowns, while Niswonger was a first team selection as a wide receiver and defensive back. Niswonger led the Lancers in 2010 with 12 catches for 374 yards and five touchdowns, while Shinn had six catches for 156 yards and one TD. McLane also lost three key linemen in Travis Bryant, Alan Buckel and Derek Schultz. Bryant was the Lancers’ fourth-leading tackler with 63 tackles, while Schultz had 60 and Shinn recorded 49. Zach Lucas, who also graduated, led McLane with 99 tackles.

Josh Ponsoll was an all-Region 4 first-team quarterback in 2010.

Matt Astorino

Despite McLane losing several leaders and standout players, the Lancers have a solid core back. Josh Ponsoll, an all-region quarterback and defensive back, completed 31-of-58 passes for 884 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 683 yards and seven TDs. Ponsoll has emerged as a standout in several sports over the past few years and is a big plus for the Lancers. He is joined in the backfield by Matt Astorino and Chad Kulka. Astorino was McLane’s second-leading rusher last year with 709 yards and seven touchdowns, while Kulka carried the ball 98 times for 584 yards and nine TDs.

Chad Kulka

All three have received collegiate interest as well as up-and-coming junior Quinn Thompson, an all-region tight end and defensive lineman. Thompson caught six passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore and is an imposing force on defense at 6 feet, 5 inches.

Brian Suminski started to come on strong last season and could see more carries after rushing for 442 yards on 73 carries and seven touchdowns last year. He will look for holes in the line opened up by returning linemen Jacob Krizmanich and Drew Browning. David Olszewski, McLane’s long-time kicker, has graduated but soccer player Kirk Dillen is in line to replace him after kick six extra points last year.

Quinn Thompson

The Lancers, once again, have a solid non-region schedule filled with three Class AAA teams and Class AAAA Strong Vincent. McLane opens with two tough home games against Vincent and North East before an interesting four-game road trip later in the season featuring Bradford, Meadville and Fairview. Usually regions aren’t decided early in the season, but the Lancers’ Week 2 date with North East could determine the Region 4 champion.

2 Strong Vincent 7
9 North East* 7
16 at Harbor Creek* 7
23 Seneca* 7
30 at Northwestern* 7
7 at Bradford 7
14 at Meadville 7
21 at Fairview* 7
28 Girard* 7
4 Franklin 7

Tuesday: Girard

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted: January 1st, 2011

Drew Astorino

Football and basketball great Drew Astorino is scheduled to sign copies of a newly published book about General McLane High School athletes Jan. 8 at the Erie Book Store.

Astorino and author Steve Orbanek, a General McLane graduate and now a graduate student at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, will sign copies of “General McLane Athletics: Stories from the First Fifty Years” from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 8 at the store, 137 E. 13th St.

Astorino is a redshirt junior on the Pennsylvania State University football team, which lost 37-24 to the University of Florida on Saturday in the Outback Bowl. He led the Lancers to PIAA football and basketball championships in the 2006-07 school year, and in the book is named the No. 1 athlete in school history as determined by members of the McLane Hall of Fame.

For book information, excerpts and orders, visit

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: August 16th, 2010

General McLane is coming off an 11-1 season that ended in the District 10 Class AA semifinals last season. A year after the Lancers went 10-0 in the regular season, big things are expected from the perennial D-10 power. Quarterback Josh Ponsoll talks about the season ahead:

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: December 3rd, 2009

When Cathedral Prep’s football team plays West Allegheny on Friday in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals, the Ramblers will also be going against history.

WPIAL teams have dominated District 10 teams during the past decade, going 16-4 against D-10. The only D-10 teams to beat WPIAL opponents since 2000 were:

• Cathedral Prep, 2000, in Class AAAA (Mount Lebanon)

• West Middlesex, 2006, in Class A (Clairton)

• General McLane, 2006, in Class AAA (Thomas Jefferson)

• Wilmington, 2008, in Class AA (Aliquippa)

Click below for the complete D-10 vs. WPIAL results from this decade:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: November 18th, 2009

Farrell remains the only District 10 team ranked No. 1 in the state polls as the second weekend of the postseason approaches.

The Steelers (11-0) are ranked No. 1 by the Pennsylvania Football News and No. 3 by the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

McDowell (No. 7, Class AAAA), Cathedral Prep (No. 8, AAA), Wilmington (No. 6, AA) and General McLane (No. 8, AA) also are ranked by the Patriot-News.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Football News ranks the following D-10 teams (in addition to Farrell): Cathedral Prep (No. 9, AAA), General McLane (No. 4, AA) and Wilmington (No. 5, AA).

For complete state rankings, click below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 10th, 2009

General McLane receiver Josh Niswonger’s clutch, three-touchdown performance Friday helped the Lancers complete a perfect regular season.

Now, Niswonger is being honored for his efforts.

The 6-foot 2-inch 200-pound junior is the Erie County Athlete of the Week in Wednesday’s Varsity edition. In addition, he won this week’s Breakout Player of the Week Award in voting that was completed on the Varsity blog Monday night.

Niswonger will be featured in Friday’s sports section. Here’s the voting from this week’s poll:

Week 10: Who’s the Breakout Player of Week?

  • Josh Niswonger, General McLane (41%, 87 Votes)
  • Chris Kurzik, Mercyhurst Prep (21%, 44 Votes)
  • Ryan Myers, Union City (13%, 28 Votes)
  • Josh Rzepecki, Harbor Creek (8%, 18 Votes)
  • Courtney Harden-Pullium, Strong Vincent (5%, 11 Votes)
  • Braidy Westfall, Corry (5%, 11 Votes)
  • Justin Wiley, Cathedral Prep (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Matt Stapleford, Warren (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Dan Odem, Farrell (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 214

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Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: November 7th, 2009

After reviewing the statistics and overall performances, here are our nominees for the Breakout Player of the Week.  In an oddity, receivers dominate this weekend’s poll.

Vote in the poll at upper right. We’ve added one player from Friday and several players from Saturday.

The winner will be announced Tuesday on the Varsity blog and will be featured in Friday’s sports edition.

Josh Niswonger, General McLane: 4 receptions, 49 yards; TD catches of 10, 18 and 5 yards, including the game-winner in the closing seconds.

Courtney Harden-Pullium, Strong Vincent: 4 receptions, 170 yards, including a 64-yard TD catch

Josh Rzepecki, Harbor Creek: 9 receptions, 125 yards; TD catches of 3, 3, 13 and 7 yards.

Braidy Westfall, Corry: 3 receptions, 132 yards, including TD catches of 80 and 49 yards. Also caught a two-point conversion pass.

Justin Wiley, Cathedral Prep: 8 carries, 91 yards; TD runs of 6 and 49 yards, 12-yard TD receptions — all in the first half Saturday

Ryan Myers, Union City: 80-yard TD reception, 74-yard kickoff return for a TD, 8-for-12 passing for 106 yards, 2-point conversion pass

Dan Odem, Farrell: 20-yard interception return for TD, 5-of-8 passing for 85 yards and and four touchdowns, 11-yard TD run

Chris Kurzik, Mercyhurst Prep: 18 rushes for 122 yards and a TD.

Matt Stapleford, Warren: 16-of-24 passing for 227 yards and 2 TDs, two-point conversion pass, TD runs of 3 and 10 yards

Note: North East’s Jimmy Bailey and Mercyhurst Prep’s Aaron Horton were previous winners and were not eligible to win this week.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: October 30th, 2009

Here are some nominees for the Breakout Player of the Week. Remember, the winner will be honored in Friday’s edition of the Times-News. Vote for your favorite in the poll at the upper right.

Let us know if we missed a worthy candidate. We’re limiting nominees to one per school, and no winner can be nominated again.

Gary Brown, East: 11-of-21 passing 174 yards; 17 rushes, 127 yards, TD

Jared Burger, Union City: 24 rushes, 176 yards; TD runs of 4, 10 and 54 yards

Corey Dunton, Cambridge Springs: 65 yards rushing, 2 TDs, including game-winner in third overtime; 3 receptions for 33 yards; 77-yard kickoff return for a TD

Kevin Green, Strong Vincent: 9 rushes, 156 yards; TD runs of 80 and 30 yards

Richie Kolesar, Fort LeBoeuf: 13 rushes, 92 yards; TD runs of 1 and 34 yards

Jared Lane, Fairview: 17 rushes, 114 yards, TD in return from hamstring injury

Cory Lee, General McLane: 27 rushes, 180 yards

Justin Wiley, Cathedral Prep: 15 rushes, 108 yards; TD runs of 1, 3, 3, 5 and 27 yards

Posted in: District 10, Football

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