A few items that fell off my laptop
New Castle High School has a new football coach, and he's quite familiar with the program.
New Castle has hired Joe Cowart to succeed Frank Bongivengo Jr., who resigned in March. Cowart, 31, is a former New Castle quarterback and defensive back who was a New Castle assistant coach the past four seasons, including two as defensive coordinator.
An interesting sidelight to the hiring was one of the other candidates for the job. Bruce Clark, a former New Castle star who went on to play at Penn State and also in the NFL, was one of the other finalists who apparently was favored by a few school board members. Joe Simon of the New Castle News has an interesting story on Cowart's hiring.
*** Beaver Falls basketball star Sheldon Jeter is finishing up a visit to Penn State and will make his decision in the next week. Does it matter that Penn State was his final visit? Sometimes, a recruit's final visit makes the biggest impression. Wisconsin, South Carolina and Vanderbilt also are in the ballgame with Jeter.
*** The Hoop Group's Pittsburgh Jam Fest AAU tournament was last weekend in Pittsburgh at various sites. North Hills served as the headquarters and had many of the top games for juniors and sophomores. I was amazed at the number of college coaches attending. Below is a picture from the HoopGroup of all the head coaches in North Hills' Junior High gym, which is nicknamed "The Dungeon." These are all college coaches.
Incidentally, one of the NCAA rules for these types of tournaments is that the college coaches must have a designated area to sit, separate from other fans.
In North Hills' main gym, nicknamed "The Palace," there had to be 100 college coaches in the gym at one time Saturday night. The coaches came from everywhere and all areas of the country - Iowa, Kentucky, South Florida, Pitt, Duquesne, Seton Hall, Rhode Island.
I probably saw at least 100 of the coaches. Many were assistant coaches, but a number of head coaches also were in attendance. Throughout the entire weekend, Kentucky's John Calipari was the only coach I saw who wore a suitcoat. Interesting. Calipari was there for much of Sunday, and he spent a great deal of time sitting with Joe DeGregorio, who coached Calipari at Clarion University.
Calipari's main objects were the Harrison twins, who are juniors from Texas and two of the top players in the country. The Harrison twins' AAU team (Houston Defenders) is coached by their father. I don't know their father at all, but I know his act didn't go over well with some of the officials at North Hills, who were all from the Big East Conference. I saw him get one technical and was close to getting "T'ed" up a few other times.