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Charity Hoops Tourney Will Raise Funds for Scholarships

January 09, 2019 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Announcements, Sports

A charity basketball game on Saturday at Penn State's Wunderley Gymnasium in McKeesport will raise money to support scholarships for Hispanic students in the Pittsburgh area.

The game is being co-hosted by Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It tips off at 2:30 p.m.

“We are so pleased to be teaming up with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for this event,” said Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor and chief academic officer at Greater Allegheny. “The chamber has been a wonderful community partner and incredibly supportive of our students through their scholarship programs.”

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EA Starts Football Season With Two Tough Tests

August 22, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

Easing into the 2018 football season won’t be an option for East Allegheny.

In what promises to be a schedule with plenty of obstacles, the Wildcats may face their two toughest tests before Labor Day.

East Allegheny opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday by taking on defending Class 1A PIAA champion Jeannette. The following week the Wildcats will go on the road to Steel Valley -- which is ranked in the top five in the PIAA in Class 2A -- for their Allegheny Conference opener.

“You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone in the state that has a tougher first two games of the season than us,” East Allegheny coach Dom Pecora said. “But we’ll show up every Friday ready to play.”

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Tigers Prepared For Opening Game Against Erie High

August 21, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

Dylan Vaniel wants the fresh faces on McKeesport’s football team to settle comfortably into their new roles.

Seeing an across-the-board transition at the skill positions on offense has the 6-foot-2, 246-pound senior motivated to keep the new Tigers off their backs.

Helping McKeesport’s option attack move in the right direction -- and protecting quarterback Konota Gaskins -- isn’t something Vaniel will have to go at alone.

When the Tigers open the season Saturday afternoon against Erie High School at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek, Vaniel will be flanked by center Brandon Brooks, a first-team all-conference selection, and junior guard Andy Mellinger, who was chosen for the second team.

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3 Local Racers Headed to World Soap Box Derby Finals

June 18, 2018 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Sports

(All photos: Vickie Babyak, special to Tube City Almanac)

Steamy temperatures and scorching pavement didn't faze entrants in the 2018 Greater Pittsburgh Soap Box Derby, held Sunday morning on Eden Park Boulevard in front of McKeesport Area High School.

The annual Father's Day tradition has been held for 36 consecutive years, but actually dates to the 1950s.

The top finishers in each category will be headed to the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships, to be held in July in Akron, Ohio.

Photographer Vickie Babyak braved the heat to grab these images.

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Serra Denied WPIAL Baseball Title in 5-2 North Catholic Loss

May 30, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

WASHINGTON, Pa. – If Serra Catholic’s baseball team could keep things close, Eagles coach Brian Dzurenda believed the offense would come eventually.

Surely it had to. All season, the Eagles’ offensive juggernaut bowled through opponents, pounding out 11.63 runs per contest en route to an appearance in the WPIAL Class AA final Tuesday night at Wild Things Park.

Solving Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic pitcher Ryan Feczko proved to be a different problem entirely.

In the end, Serra was denied winning its second WPIAL title in three seasons, falling to North Catholic, 5-2.

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Work Underway to Renovate Two City Ball Fields

May 17, 2018 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Sports

Work is underway to renovate two community ball fields in the city to update the facilities and make them more accessible to people with disabilities.

The projects at Fawcett and Duncan fields, totaling $210,000, are designed to enhance recreation opportunities for younger residents and make the neighborhoods more attractive places to live, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

The fields are used on a daily basis during the baseball and softball season, he said, including by several leagues.

“Youth sports (are) a way to keep our children active and involved in a structured program that will teach them cooperation, team building and other responsibilities that will benefit them for the rest of their lives,” Cherepko said. “My administration always will support initiatives and developments that provide positive life-learning experiences for our children.”

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Short: Education is Key to the American Dream

May 03, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Sports, White Oak News

(Photo: Penn State Greater Allegheny, via Twitter)

Brandon Short sees the world much more clearly now that he lives in London.

Having a broader world view has strengthened the 40-year-old McKeesport native’s belief in the concept of the American Dream.

That’s why it was important for Short to espouse the importance of higher education in front of a crowd of 110 people during a talk at the Crossing Bridges Summit Wednesday night at Penn State Greater Allegheny’s Wunderley Gymnasium.

Despite some of the country’s flaws, Short believes everyone has a chance for upward mobility. Short, who had a seven-year career in the NFL with the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers from 2000-06, is running for a spot on Penn State University’s Board of Trustees.

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Ringgold Team Wraps Season; Featured Players From Across Mon Valley Schools

March 14, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

(Photo courtesy Ringgold Hockey Association, via Facebook)

Clayton Colecchi doesn’t feel any different aversion to playing hockey with a different high school on the front of his sweater. The South Allegheny High School sophomore wanted a chance to compete in the PIHL -- the governing body for high school hockey in Western Pennsylvania -- and playing under the Ringgold Hockey banner was his only option.

South Allegheny is part of a wide-ranging agreement that features eight schools, including Belle Vernon, Bentworth, Brownsville, California and Yough.

“I’ve embraced it and so have the other kids in my school,” Colecchi said. “They come out and watch the games and support it. They don’t care if it’s Ringgold, they consider it South Allegheny.”

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Serra's Cleary: Not The 'Firebrand' He Used to Be

February 22, 2018 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

Bill Cleary, athletic director and coach of the women's basketball team at Serra Catholic High School, celebrates his 600th win along with members of the team. (Photo courtesy Serra Catholic High School, via Twitter)

Bill Cleary gets a gentle reminder when former players return that he isn’t the firebrand he used to be. Coaching the Serra Catholic girls basketball program for 31 years, Cleary has led many generations of Eagles.

Each has different memories of Cleary’s style.

“I have changed,” said Cleary, who will coach the Eagles tonight in the WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals against Greensburg Central Catholic. “Some of the players from years gone by who come back say I’ve changed. I’ve softened. Age has done that and experience has made me more understanding in a lot of situations.”

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Tigers Look to 2018-19 Following 8-3 Football Season

November 20, 2017 |

By Josh Rizzo | Posted in: Sports

When the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association released enrollment numbers last week, McKeesport Area School District was on the list to bump down in classifications from 5A to 4A.

The Tigers were listed as having 335 boys enrolled, down from 439 two years ago.

McKeesport Athletic Director Charley Kiss said via email the district hasn't yet made a decision if the Tigers’ football program will accept a move to Class 4A for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Tigers second-year coach Matt Miller wouldn’t mind staying put.

“We’ve always played Woodland Hills and Penn Hills and Gateway,” Miller said. “It’s hard to give that up. You have those built-in rivalries and healthy competition. I foresee us probably sticking in 5A. It hasn’t been finalized yet, but it’s hard to give up those rivalries. The kids get fired up for those games. I think the rivalries will make it hard to move to a lower division.”

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