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Serra Faces Wash High in Playoff’s First Round

November 04, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

Serra Catholic’s Eagles will take on the Washington High School Prexies in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs tonight at the Norwin High School stadium.

The 7-3 Eagles are coming off of a 28-0 loss last week to the Steel Valley Ironmen (9-0). Tonight’s game is a rematch of the third game of the season, when Serra Catholic defeated Wash High (6-4) in a very close game, 35-34. 

“It is always difficult to beat a team twice,” said Michael Betler, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Serra Catholic. “They have the added motivation of beating us since we won the last game. We have some film on them from last time, so we can see what they did against us, but I am sure they will make adjustments, just like we will.”

In other matchups of local interest, the 9-1 McKeesport Area Tigers were defeated by (7-3) Thomas Jefferson High School on Oct. 28 by a score of 20-10. McKeesport (5-1 in conference play) will have a home playoff game in the first round of the AAAA WPIAL football playoffs, and are hosting (6-4) Mars High School at 7 p.m.

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Serra Hopes to Rebound After Apollo-Ridge Loss

October 28, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Serra Catholic’s football team suffered an untimely loss last Friday night at the hands of Apollo-Ridge. The final score was 43–36 in a close game that came right down to the final whistle.

The Eagles are hoping to bounce back tonight (Oct. 28) when they host the 8-0 Steel Valley Ironmen under the lights in Haler Heights. Game time is 7 p.m.

“A loss is never a bad thing. We saw what happened after the North Catholic loss and this needs to be treated the same way. We hope to still have a long season ahead, and the loss doesn't do anything to change that outlook,” said assistant head coach Michael Betler.

Senior quarterback Elijah “Tiger” Ward was 5-8-170 passing with three touchdowns and rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries.

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With 5 Conference Wins, Serra’s Eagles Flying High

October 17, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Serra Catholic’s Eagles are flying high after another regular season football victory.

On Friday, Serra defeated Ligonier Valley 27–18 on the road to run their record to 7–1 overall and 5–0 in the WPIAL AA Allegheny Conference.

On Oct. 7, Yough surprised Serra, and although the Eagles won that matchup 28–14, untimely penalties and poor field position seemed to haunt the team the entire game.

Serra players said they knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders against Ligonier Valley.

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Serra’s Two QBs Say Team is ‘Like a Family’

October 06, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

It’s all in the family with the Serra Catholic football team. Last week’s Homecoming game was celebrated with a huge victory over Derry as the Serra Catholic Eagles defeated the Trojans of Derry 49–7.

The leaders of the (5-1) Serra Catholic football team credit their season-long success to the “family-like” environment developed by Head Coach Jose Regus.

“We have a really good bond with the coaches. They speak to us about football and even just life in general,” said senior quarterback Elijah “Tiger” Ward. “They are role models, and they make it like we are a family.”

Up next for the Eagles is a game tonight versus the 2-4 Yough Cougars. The Eagles will look to build on their 5-1 overall record and 3-0 record within their conference.

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Dual QBs Lead Serra Past Imani Academy

September 30, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

An explosive second quarter led by Serra quarterbacks Quadir Stribling and Elijah Ward pushed (4-1) Serra Catholic past (2-3) Imani Christian Academy last Friday night.

The 4-1 Eagles normally like to keep a quick tempo. In the matchup with Imani, the Eagles scored early but didn’t really start soaring until the second quarter. Once they got rolling, however, they were able to secure a 47-12 victory and keep their four-game winning streak alive.

Stribling and Ward will be showing off their talents tonight as the (4-1) Eagles welcome an (0-5) Derry team at home in McKeesport at 7 p.m.

“We are always trying to play fast as a no-huddle offense. Imani did a great job after our first drive settling down and playing good defense. We found some plays that worked in the second quarter and continued to run them as they had great success,” said Michael Betler, Serra Catholic assistant head coach.

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Burrell Ground Attack No Match for Serra Gridders

September 22, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Burrell High School’s archaic gameplan was not enough to ground the Serra Catholic Eagles last Friday night.

Using an unrecognizable game plan for the year 2022, the Burrell Buccaneers did not attempt a single forward pass the entire game against Serra Catholic last Friday night. The Burrell offense could have literally “taken the air out of the ball,” and the results would have been same.

However, the ground-and-pound offense was only effective until halftime and that’s when the Serra Catholic football coaches went to work making the necessary adjustments on their way to a 35-20 victory.

The Eagles are on the road this week to face 2-2 Imani Christian Academy of Pittsburgh. Game time is 7 p.m.

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Eagles Ready for Showdown With 3–0 Burrell

September 16, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

The Serra Catholic High School Eagles will look to keep their momentum alive tonight when they host the Buccaneers of Burrell High School under the lights in Haler Heights.

Last Friday, a thrilling three-minute series of plays helped the Eagles score 21 unanswered points on their way to a miraculous comeback that helped Serra defeat the Prexies of Washington High School 35–34.

The Eagles’ offense was spearheaded by sophomore quarterback Quadir Stribling, who was 11-18-1 with 185 yards passing. Senior running back Mike Schanck rumbled into the endzone for 2 touchdowns on 12 carries while amassing 93 yards on the ground.

Michael Betler, Serra Catholic associate head coach, wasn’t surprised by the comeback.

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Serra Bounces Back, Looks To Build Momentum

September 08, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

After a tough loss in week one at North Catholic, Serra Catholic’s football team was out to make a statement last Friday night. The Eagles beat the Seton LaSalle Rebels 56–21 at Rebel Athletic Field, bringing their record to 1-1-0.  

Eagles Head Coach Jose Regus was not surprised at all by his team’s rebounding effort.

“The players know the expectations that have been set in this program. This group didn’t flinch at the loss; it was a chance to get better,” he said.

The Eagles controlled the Rebels from the beginning, and it soon became a highlight reel for Eagles’ senior quarterback Elijah “Tiger” Ward as he threw for three touchdowns, caught one touchdown, and ran one in on the ground. Ward finished the game with 237 yards passing.

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Turnovers Decide Clash Between Serra, N. Catholic

August 27, 2022 |

By Jason A. Mignanelli | Posted in: Sports

Turnovers decided the clash between two defending WPIAL football champions on Friday night in Haler Heights, as North Catholic defeated McKeesport’s Serra Catholic 37-14 in a non-conference game.

North Catholic begins this season as the reigning WPIAL AAA champions, but has moved up to WPIAL AAAA for this upcoming season.

Serra Catholic won the WPIAL Class AA championship last year and will continue play in WPIAL AA. Friday night was Serra’s first game defending their title.

“North Catholic played a great game,” said Mike Anitori, longtime statistician for Serra Catholic. “I’m not taking anything away from them. However, the game could be summed up as a battle of poor field position and turnovers by Serra Catholic.”

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McKeesport, EA Baseball Teams Savor Success

May 14, 2022 |

By Kristen Keleschenyi | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, Sports

McKeesport Tigers varsity baseball players include, first row, Brady Boyle, Colin Scharritter, Duston Strom, Brayden Kovach, Jason Peterson and Ryan Tucker, and second row, Jaden Smith, Jake Miller, Logan Shiffler, Noah Marcic, Austin Riggs, Alex Reigh and Ricky Heyz. (Submitted photo)

For fans disappointed in the Pittsburgh Pirates, high school baseball is an exciting alternative in the Mon-Yough area.

For the first time in 23 years, East Allegheny High School’s Wildcats are section champs (WPIAL Division 3A) as they advance to the playoffs and for the first time in 21 years, McKeesport Area High School’s Tigers (WPIAL Division 5A) have earned a playoff spot in their conference.

But why has it been so long since these teams have had something big to celebrate? According to Ron Bishop, head coach of McKeesport’s varsity team for the past nine years, it takes a long time to create a competitive team. Sometimes his players are coming together, for the first time, at the high school level.

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