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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 "McDowell football"
Posted: July 24th, 2014

Tyler Hammond

Chris Larsen

Jake Tarasovitch

McDowell Trojans
Coach: Brad Orlando (1st season)
2013 overall record: 7-6
2013 region record: 4-1 (second)
2013 playoff results: Defeated Allderdice 49-19 and Mifflin County 16-10 in overtime in the PIAA District 6-8-9-10 subregion. McDowell then lost to Pittsburgh Central Catholic 48-7 in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Jamie Szymczak, Eric Iavarone, Tyree Spearman, Cameron Spadacene, Tayhjal Williams, Andrew Hayes, Ethan Stark, J.J. Williams, Griffin Tevis, Scot Augustine, Luke Bailey, Tanner Decrapio, Paul Carpenter, Bryce Bone
Top returning players: Jake Tarasovitch, Chris Larsen, Fernando Frye, Chris Casella, Austin Becker, Jeremy Hermann, Tyler Hammond, Dane Eberle, Andrew Scheloske
Assistant coaches: Matt Melle, Ron Rudler, Aaron Slocum, Joe Magorien, Jim Skindell, Tim Campbell, Joe Wanson, Brian Ras, John Ferraro

For the team outlook and schedule, click below.

–Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 12th, 2013

The roster for the 2014 Under Armour All-Star Game was announced this week, and the son of a McDowell High School graduate was one of the players selected.

Wesley Horky, of Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., was picked as a long snapping specialist. He is the son of Bradley Horky, a 1976 McDowell graduate, and Bradley’s wife, Julie.

Now in its seventh year, the Under Armour game features 80 of the nation’s premier players. The game will be played Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be aired live on ESPN.

No Pennsylvania players were among the Under Armour selections.

Horky is a 6-foot 2-inch, 210-pounder who has not committed to a college yet. Check out the video below of Horky displaying his snapping skills at a Kohl’s Snapping Camp.


Posted in: Football
Posted: November 23rd, 2013

Here’s a look at high school beat writer Tom Reisenweber’s picks for today’s games:

District 10 Class AA championship game
Hickory 31, Girard 14

PIAA Class AAAA subregional title game
McDowell 31, Mifflin County 20

POLL: During the past week, the Varsity home page has featured the following poll:

Will the Girard football team upset Hickory to end Erie County’s District 10 Class AA title drought at 19 years? Here were the results with 544 votes cast as of 9:30 a.m.:

Yes, Girard’s a team of destiny: 30 percent

No, Hickory’s too tough: 70 percent

PREVIEW COVERAGE: Fans can check out the capsule previews for the two games, as well as the Girard-Hickory preview story and the McDowell-Mifflin County preview story.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: August 23rd, 2013

The Pennsylvania Cable Network will broadcast the Cathedral Prep-McDowell football game during Week 6 of the upcoming season as it was selected as the game of the week. Details of the broadcast will announced in early September, but it appears PCN will re-air the MSTD broadcast. Below is a schedule of each game of the week this season. PCN will start with a live broadcast of the Wilson at Governor Mifflin game on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

August 30 @ 7:00 p.m.: Wilson @ Governor Mifflin (PCN Sports production)
Week 2: Parkland @ Easton (Service Electric TV2 Sports)
Week 3: Clairton @ California (California University)
Week 4: Elizabethtown @ Manheim Central (Blue Ridge Cable 11 – Ephrata)
Week 5: Selinsgrove @ Berwick (Fox 56)
Week 6: Cathedral Prep @ McDowell (MTSD Productions)
Week 7: Pen Argyl @ Catasaqua (RCN)
Week 8: Muncy @ South Williamsport (Cable Sports Productions)
Week 9: Woodland Hills @ Penn Hills (Comcast – Pittsburgh)
Week 10: TBD (Blue Ridge TV13 – Lehighton)

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: July 19th, 2013

McDowell senior Tyree Spearman is one of the top returning defensive backs in District 10.

Mark Soboleski

Jake Tarasovitch was solid after taking over at quarterback as a sophomore last season.

Scot Augustine

McDowell Trojans

Coach: Mark Soboleski (9th season, 45-41)

2012 overall record: 7-6

2012 region record: 4-1 (second)

2012 playoff results: Defeated Perry 61-14 in a PIAA Class AAA subregional before beating State College 42-0 in another subregional. The Trojans then lost to North Allegheny 56-6 in the PIAA quarterfinals.

Top players lost: James Conner, Khyre Drayer, Tim Hess, Sean Gallagher, Joel Mascharka, Terrance Carr, Riley Dunbar, Riley Warren, Dylan Ukasik

Top returning players: Scot Augustine, Paul Carpenter, Eric Iavarone, Jamie Szymczak, Chris Larsen, Griffen Tevis, Ethan Stark, Tanner DeCrapio, Tyree Spearman, Jake Tarasovitch, Tayhjal Williams

Outlook: McDowell has showcased some of the top running backs in the area over the past few years and will need one or two to step up this year. The Trojans were hit hard by graduation, including the talented duo of James Conner and Khyre Drayer. The two were voted to the all-region first team after Conner ran for 1,680 yards and 21 touchdowns last fall and Drayer ran for 857 yards and 13 touchdowns. Conner, a Pitt recruit, also caught 13 passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns, while Drayer recorded 32 tackles. Conner, a first-team defensive lineman and all-district selection, led the Trojans with five sacks after recording 12 the year before, the current school record. The Trojans are also without Tim Hess, Sean Gallagher, Joel Mascharka, Terrance Carr, Riley Dunbar, Dylan Ukasik and Riley Warren. Gallagher dealt with injuries last year but threw for 153 yards and ran for 165 yards and one touchdown but his presence was felt more on defense as a lock-down, first-team defensive back. Ukasik is also a big loss in the backfield after rushing for 339 yards and two touchdowns, while Hess, Mascharka, Carr and Dunbar are losses on the line. Hess was voted to the all-region first team at offensive line, and Warren is a first-team linebacker. Mascharka was voted to the second team on the offensive line, while Dunbar (defensive line) and Mascharka (linebacker) were also second-team picks. McDowell seems to go through big graduation losses every year and the Trojans manage to recover with a strong program and plenty of players coming up from the lower levels. Scot Augustine, Paul Carpenter, Eric Iavarone, Jamie Szymczak, Jake Tarasovitch, Chris Larsen, Griffen Tevis, Ethan Stark, Tanner DeCrapio, Tyree Spearman, Jake Tarasovitch and Tayhjal Williams are among a group of experienced players back this season. Augustine is back to anchor the offensive line after being voted to the all-region first team and was named all-district. Larsen and Tevis are also back on the offensive line and DeCrapio on the defensive line. Tevis was voted to the all-region second team as a junior and DeCrapio to the second team on the defensive line.

Spearman is a big-time playmaker and rising D1 recruit. He was named all-district at defensive back and was voted to the all-region first team. He could play a big role on both sides of the ball this season along with Szymczak and Tarsaovitch. The two took turns playing quarterback and both along with Spearman could be on the field at all times in some fashion. Tarasovitch threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 359 yards and four touchdowns, while Spearman ran for 203 yards and two touchdowns and Szymczak ran for 157 yard and two TDs. Spearman also caught eight passes for 93 yards and one touchdown and Iavarone had seven catches for 150 yards and one touchdown. Szymczak was voted to the all-region second team at wide receiver with six catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. Tarasovitch also played a big role on defense last year with a team-leading 63 tackles and Szymczak had 33 tackles and three sacks. Spearman collected three interceptions and Tarasovitch had two. McDowell also has a big weapon back in Stark. He was voted to the all-region first team at kicker and punter last year and connected on 48 extra points and five field goals. Start also averaged 58.6 yards per kickoff, including 47 touchbacks, while he averaged 40.3 yards per punt.

McDowell has a terrific trio of playmakers and an experienced line back this season. This is the Trojans’ final year in District 10 and they will be tough to beat in Region 6. McDowell has some holes to plug before the postseason but the Trojans could be on their way back to the PIAA quarterfinals for a showdown against the WPIAL champion. The Trojans certainly have the schedule to prepare them for a playoff run. McDowell plays one game at Gus Anderson Field in the first half of the season against General McLane. The first half also includes road games at Ohio powerhouses Mento, St. Ignatius and St. Edward along with a neutral-site game against Lancaster Catholic. McDowell won’t leave Erie over the final five games of the season, including a major rivalry game against Cathedral Prep. McDowell’s program is strong enough to reload instead of rebuild and with three outstanding playmakers, the Trojans will be a tough team to beat this season.

30 at Mentor (Ohio) 7
6 General McLane* 7
14 at Lancaster Catholic 4
20 at St. Ignatius (Ohio) 7
28 at St. Edward (Ohio) 2
4 Cathedral Prep* 7
11 Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) 7:30
19 at East* 7
25 Strong Vincent* 7
2 at Central Tech* 7
*Region 6 games

–Tom Reisenweber
Posted: April 29th, 2013

Here is a look at the McDowell football schedule this fall. We will publish schedules as we receive them from schools.

All times p.m. unless otherwise noted.

McDowell Trojans
Date Scrimmages Time
Aug. 16 at New Castle 10 a.m.
Aug. 23 at Woodland Hills 7
Date Regular season Time
Aug. 30 at Mentor (Ohio) 7
Sept. 6 General McLane* 7
Sept. 14 at Lancaster Catholic TBA
Sept. 20 at St. Ignatius (Ohio) 7
Sept. 27 at St. Edward (Ohio) 2
Oct. 4 Cathedral Prep* 7
Oct. 11 Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) 7:30
Oct. 19 at East* 7
Oct. 25 Strong Vincent* 7
Nov. 2 at Central Tech* 7

*Region 6 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: 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: November 21st, 2012

The McDowell football team was granted its released by District 10 earlier this year. The Trojans will compete in D-10 in 2013 and currently does not have a district for 2014 and beyond. McDowell has applied to rejoin the WPIAL but their membership is still up in the air. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the WPIAL Board of Control tabled a discussion Tuesday to readmit McDowell until next fall. The Trojans were official members of the WPIAL in 2010 and 2011 until a new District 10 playoff policy forced McDowell back to D-10 this past year.

“I’m not sure that the board is opposed to them coming back in,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “but wants to wait to see the landscape, as it relates to number of teams in Quad A and whether their inclusion is advantageous or detrimental, before making a decision. If they had stayed in, we wouldn’t have this discussion.”

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Football
Posted: November 17th, 2012

Some quick notes from Friday night’s area playoff games:

– McDowell rushed for 446 yards in a 61-14 win over Perry but amazingly didn’t have the highest rushing total among the three Erie County teams. General McLane rushed for 470 yards in its 46-42 win over Slippery Rock.

– McDowell star James Conner scored in three ways — on a run, a reception and a sack that resulted in a safety. The Pitt recruit finished with 129 rushing yards on just eight carries.

– Like McDowell’s Conner, Sharpsville’s Tyler Luchey had a big all-around game in the Blue Devils’ 41-34 win over Lakeview. Luchey had TD receptions of 2 and 43 yards. He also scored on a 55-yard return of a Lakeview fumble. His 2-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner.

– Cathedral Prep’s Delton Williams, a Michigan State recruit, had just three rushing attempts Friday in a 54-12 win over Warren but each resulted in a touchdown — 1, 6 and 11 yards. Williams also broke Prep’s single-season record with 48 receptions after making four catches Friday.

– Prep’s Damion Terry, another Michigan State recruit, became the first player in District 10 history to pass for 40 touchdowns in a season. He now has 41. He also extended his D-10 records with 6,447 career yards and 78 career TDs.

– One of Terry’s primary receivers, Brendan Klemensic, tied the Prep record for single-season touchdown catches with 11. He had a 25-yard TD reception Friday

– Slippery Rock’s Frank Conlon had a monster game in defeat against McLane. He rushed for 284 yards on 15 carries while scoring on runs of 83 and 71 yards.

– General McLane had two rushers with big games: Quarterback Quinn Thompson, a UConn recruit, was busy as he rushed 30 times for 145 yards and two TDs. Michael Suminski had 13 carries for a team-high 195 yards. Suminski had scoring runs of 2, 28, 49 and 60 yards. His 49-yard TD run provided the winning margin in the fourth quarter.

– Lakeview’s Blake Reddick rushed 23 times for 243 yards in defeat against Sharpsville. Reddick scored on runs of 2, 41, 68 yards.

Fans can check out all of Friday’s District 10 game statistics.

Posted in: District 10, Football
Posted: October 4th, 2012

The football showdown between Cathedral Prep and McDowell, also known as the Cureage Cup, will serve as a fundraiser for cancer research for the fifth consecutive year.

That game is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium.

However, two upcoming soccer games will serve as cancer fundraisers as well.

McDowell and Prep meet on the soccer field today at 7:30 p.m. at Dollinger Field in the second annual “Kickin’ Cancer” game.

Shelley McQuown, a Cathedral Prep soccer parent rep, said the game will be utilized to raise money “to assist a family who has been affected by cancer.”

Last year, more than $1,000 was raised for a family at the inaugural “Kickin’ Cancer” game.

Fans can help by selling T-shirts, 50/50 tickets and raffling three baskets. In addition, $1 from each admission ticket sold will be donated. The public is encouraged to attend.

• Meanwhile, the McDowell girls soccer team will raise money for the Regional Cancer Center Foundation during its game at Gus Anderson Field Monday at 7:30 p.m. against rival Mercyhurst Prep.

A press release from the McDowell girls soccer team noted that one team member lost a grandmother to colon cancer and an aunt to lung cancer. Another McDowell player’s uncle had childhood leukemia at age 2, and “fortunately, thanks to treatment, he is now 35, cancer-free and about to be a father for the first time.”

The team chose the Regional Cancer Center “because it benefits cancer patients right here in our community. No patient is ever turned away because of his or her inability to pay and patients with financial needs are served.”

McDowell will be selling special game shirts and soccer ball cutouts with ribbons to raise funds.

For information, send an e-mail to Caroline Mashyna at or Char Mashyna at or call 881-1210.


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