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Notes, quotes and anecdotes from WPIAL Hall of Fame class

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL announced its 2014 Hall of Fame class this morning at a news conference at the Heinz History Center. The inductees will be honored at a banquet June 6 at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, and the event is open to the public. Go to the WPIAL web site for tickets.

A Post-Gazette story from earlier today has bios on all of the inductees.

But some notes and memories about the class:

Where are they now?

It's always interesting to find out what some of the athletes from the Hall of Fame class are doing today. Hey, I wouldn't mess with Shannon Davis. She has been a Pittsburgh city policeman for 22 years. She could be an imposing figure when she played at 6 feet 2 - and she can be imposing now.

Shannon DavisThe photo is of Davis standing next to a Franco Harris statue at the History Center. I think people forget how good Davis was. She was a three-time Parade All-American. Three times!!!! She was first-team USA Today All-American in 1989. She scored more than 2,000 career points and she led Sacred Heart High School to a state championship as a senior - and played the entire season with a torn ACL.

Former WTAE sportscaster John Meyer introduced all of the inductees.

"This was awesome," said Davis. "When [Meyer] was reading the stats, I didn't even remember them, as far as my numbers. It was very humbling for people to still remember them."

Davis signed with the University of Virginia, but never played college basketball. The knee injury forced her to miss her first year and she came home and attended Pitt, but did not play.

More from the Where Are They Now department: Remember Beth Friday, former Upper St. Clair two-sport star who had a great basketball career at Duquesne University. She works for PNC, is married and has a 1-year-old. And she still looks like she could post up and score from the block without any problem.

She was the Post-Gazette athlete of the year in 1999. People forget that she was a tremendous soccer goalkeeper in high school. She had more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her Duquesne career. She is one of only two Duquesne womens players to have her number retired.

Dante's love for baseball

Former Blackhawk basketball star and University of North Carolina player Dante Calabria is one of the headliners of the class. He was not able to attend the news conference, but I spoke with him over the phone. He is now living in North Carolina and spent the past year as a men's and women's assistant at Northwood University, an NAIA school in West Palm Beach, Fla. He's looking to be an assistant at a Division I college. Anyone hiring?

Calabria was a great shooter, but people forget how good of an all around player he was. I have to admit he was one of my all-time favorites to cover and will always remember he eventually got the nickname of "Cheap" because he never liked to pay for anything. We always talked about going golfing "but only if you pay," he would say.

As great of a basketball player that he was, people don't realize Calabria's talents in other sports. I never saw him play football or baseball, but he supposedly was a heckuva quarterback before giving up the sport in junior high. He also played baseball until his senior year at Blackhawk.

"I couldn't ever get to practice my senior year because I was doing so much with basketball," said Calabria. "I always could throw the ball pretty hard. In the high 80s probably, but unfortunately all I could throw was a fastball and changeup.

"But honestly my love is baseball. To this day, it is. I've been a Pirates fan forever. I love it. I even go to minor-league games. With football, I played until after my freshman year. Guys might tell you I was this or that in football. I don't know good I was, but I could always throw the ball. I could throw it 60 or 65 yards. I was tall, too. People say I could've done this or done that in football, but the bottom line is I didn't love football.

"I migrated toward basketball because that's what I thought I was the best in. But I still love baseball."

Calabria played 16 years professionally overseas. Many don't realize he made it to the final cut once with the Chicago Bulls when they had Michael Jordan.

The below photo is from the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 Calabria's senior year at Blackhawk. It's Terry O'Shea from Carlynton, Calabria, Valley's Tom Pipkins, Duquesne's Derrick Scott and Penn-Trafford's Peca Arsic.

Boys Fab 5 1992

WPIAL is "big" to Yannessa

Don Yannessa coached 37 years at Aliquippa, Baldwin and Ambridge and is still seventh on the WPIAL all-time list for wins. He was one of four coaches selected this year to the WPIAL Hall of Fame. Yannessa took Aliquippa to great heights in the 1980s, winning four WPIAL titles.

"Any Hall of Fames I've been inducted into and any awards I've received have all been significant honors, but this is a great honor because this is the league where I grew up," said Yannessa, who is 73. "I played in junior high and high school at Aliquippa. I grew up as a coach here, too, as a junior-high coach and then a varsity assistant and finally a head coach. I didn't know a heck of a lot about the league when I played but I sure do now.

"I remember when I was a freshman player at New Mexico State my line coach introduced me to someone and said 'this is Donnie Yannessa and he played in one of the greatest leagues in the country, the WPIAL.' I was 18 so I said, 'really, one of the greats in the country?' I didn't know how great it was then but I know now."

Yannessa was one of the most colorful coaches I ever covered and have many great memories of him. I will never forget the first time we met. I was in college and a part-time worker at the Post-Gazette. I was assigned to do a story on Aliquippa for our football preseason tab. It was preseason practice and the Quips weren't at school. I called Aliquippa basketball coach Red McNie and asked him where the team was. He said they were having a week-long camp at a place in Zelienople called Camp Brashear.

McNie didn't know how to get there, but I took off for Zelienople, figuring I'd find it sooner or later. I finally found Camp Brashear. It was lunch time on a Friday. The team was on a break. I met Yannessa, introduced myself and he then took me to a house where the coaches stayed. We went to a room upstairs.

He pulled out a cooler of Miller High Life beer and said "You wanna beer? Now what do ya want to talk about?"

I remember saying "Man, this guy is alllllright."

A few years later, I was watching him win WPIAL championships and then watching him take my money on a golf course, before we would always head to an Aliquippa watering hole for hot sausage sandwiches from a guy named "Coolie." Then once after the hot sausage we went to the Lebanese club and met "Joey." I wasn't told exactly what Joey did for a living, but Yannessa said, "Whatever you do. don't mess with Joey." I didn't.

Yannessa gave reporters many memorable lines over the years. One of my favorites came away from football, on Beaver Lakes Golf Course, one day when I was playing "Animal" from the Post-Gazette, Yannessa and former Steelers kicker Roy Gerela. Yannessa was at Baldwin then and Gerela was an assistant there. I hit Gerela in the leg with a shank shot that day, but we won't go into that. We were on a par 3 and Gerela hit a high shot.

"Oh that's terrible. ... That's not even close. ... That's nowhere near the green," Gerela said.

Then as the ball bounced on the green, Yannessa said loudly, "Holy hell Roy, no wonder you missed that extra point against Dallas in the Super Bowl. You can't see! That's 10 feet from the pin."

Unforgettable.

When asked today if he misses coaching, Yannessa said, "If someone said to me, 'We have eight Division I players next year, do you want to coach?' I'd be there in a heartbeat. But I don't miss the days when 'well, we have a tough schedule this year and we don't have many kids out for the team."

The picture below is of the four coaches selected to the Hall of Fame this year: From left, it's Yannessa, Connellsville baseball coach Tom Sankovich, Springdale soccer coach Dave Meloni and Canevin football-soccer coach Bob Jacoby.

Yannessa WPIAL Hall Fame

 

Kasper's memorable play

Former North Hills quarterback Eric Kasperowicz also was one of the inductees. In 1994, the Parade All-American football had eight quarterbacks. One was Peyton Manning. Another was Kasperowicz.

John Meyer had a good line when introducing Kasperowicz today at the news conference, saying "we never heard of Peyton Manning again and Kasperowicz became a star."

Seriously, Kasperowicz was one of the best all-around players I've seen in the last 25 years. He had more than 6,000 yards offense and was a terrific defensive back. He intercepted 14 passes as a senior.

But the thing I will remember Kasperowicz for the most is "That Play." I say maybe the most memorable play in state championship history. North Hills is losing to Central Bucks West, 14-7, on a bitter cold night in the 1993 Class AAAA state championship game in Altoona. It's late in the fourth quarter. LaVar Arrington catches a long pass from Arrington, but North Hills goes backward and North Hills is facing fourth-and-goal from the 28. I said FOURTH-AND-GOAL AT THE 28. This one appears over, especially with North Hills going into a stiff wind.

But Kasperowicz pulls off a miracle. He hits Chris Feola over the middle on a slant pattern at about the 10 and Central Bucks overruns the play and Feola scores. It was like Feola had Velcro on his hip because the ball just stuck there.

Then Kasperowicz ran for the two-point conversion to give North Hills the win - and intercepted a pass to preserve the win.

 

 

 

 

 

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A look back at all of the old boys and girls Fabulous 5 teams

Written by Mike White on .

          A tradition unlike any other … the Fabulous 5.

OK, so part of that first line goes with a famous golf tournament at this time of year. But the Post-Gazette’s Fabulous 5 all-star teams also have a spring tradition that goes back more than three decades.

The 2014 boys and girls Fabulous 5 teams came out Sunday. Check out the videos that go along with the stories. The Fab 5s are picked by the P-G scholastic sports staff and take into consideration all WPIAL and City League teams.

For more than 20 years now, we try to take a group picture with some kind of fun theme and headline. We have used everything from firetrucks, classrooms and limousines to greyhounds and hospital emergency rooms (headline of “Smooth Operators”) to take Fab 5 pictures.

You can look back at the old Fab 5 teams below. I have kept many of the newspapers from old Fab 5 teams, but not all. What I can gather from old clippings and some microfilm, the Fab 5 started in 1979, a little before I started at the P-G. There were all-star teams picked by the P-G before 1979, but it seemed they were not given the Fab 5 name.

I have found that people like looking at old teams and famous players, prompting lines of “oh yeah, I remember that guy now.” Personally, I get a kick out of some of the old Fab 5 pictures. I have been on hand for most of the photo shoots (just shows how long I’ve been doing this). Heck, I remember going to Mount Washington with Sean Miller 27 years ago.  This year’s photo shoot was maybe the most unforgettable. Nine people, including four Fabulous 5 members, myself and some parents, got stuck on the elevator at the Post-Gazette for a while. And Maverick Rowan’s mom said she was claustrophobic.

 New Castle’s Malik Hooker wasn’t on the elevator. To add to the story, he mistakenly went to a small Post-Gazette office in Cranberry. Ooops, we’re in downtown, Malik.

Anyway, here is a look at the old Post-Gazette Fabulous 5s for boys and girls (we could not find a few of the old girls Fabulous 5s) and also some of the pictures. The 2007 boys Fabulous 5 turned out to be quite a group. 

BOYS

2014 - Malik Hooker, New Castle; Ryan Luther, Hampton; D.J. Porter, Obama Academy; Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park; Kason Harrell, Hempfield

 

2013 - Ryan Luther, Hampton; Malik Hooker, New Castle; Elijah Cottrill, Beaver Falls; Shawn Anderson, New Castle; Devin Wilson, Montour.

 

2012 - Sheldon Jeter, Beaver Falls; Micah Mason, Highlands; Nolan Cressler, Plum; Nate Snodgrass, Butler; Geno Thorpe, Shaler.

 

2011 - Micah Mason, Highlands; Anthony Dallier, North Allegheny; Jesse Reed, Greensburg Central Catholic; Devon Cottrell, Gateway; Sheldon Jeter, Beaver Falls.

 

2010 - (pictured) Bill Luther, Hampton; Nate Perry, Hempfield; T.J. McConnell, Chartiers Valley; Evan Pierce, Mt. Lebanon; Tom Droney, Sewickley Academy.

 

2009 - T.J. McConnell, Chartiers Valley; Nick Novak, Franklin Regional; Chris Klimchock, Greensburg Salem; Jeff Yunetz, Latrobe; Tom Droney, Sewickley Academy.

 

2008 - Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette; Deandre Kane, Schenley; Quentin Harding, McKeesport; Brian Walsh, Moon; Antoine Childs, Blackhawk.

2007 - DeJuan Blair, Schenley; D.J. Kennedy, Schenley; Herb Pope, Aliquippa; Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette; Jonathan Baldwin, Aliquippa. Maybe the most famous Fab 5 ever? Certainly one for the ages. All are pros. Blair is still in the NBA, Kennedy had a brief stint in the NBA, Pryor and Baldwin are in the NFL and Pope played professionally overseas. They are holding suitcases with a headline "Going Places." How true.

Fab 5 2007

2006 - Herb Pope, Aliquippa; DeJuan Blair, Schenley; D.J. Kennedy, Schenley; Steve McNees, Shenango; Lance Jeter, Beaver Falls.Boys Fab 5 2005 300x400

2005 - (pictured) Lance Jeter, Beaver Falls; Sean Lee, Upper St. Clair; Ben McCauley, Yough; Geoff Kestler, Mt. Lebanon; DeJuan Blair, Schenley.

2004 - Darrelle Revis, Aliquippa; Akida McLain, Penn Hills; Ben McCauley, Yough; Adam DiMichele, Sto-Rox; James Hairston, Connellsville.

2003 - Ryan Evanochko, Blackhawk; Darrelle Revis, Aliquippa; Adam DiMichele, Sto-Rox; James Hairston, Connellsville; Byron Knight, Penn Hills.

2002 - Ryan Evanochko, Blackhawk; Terrance Vaughns, Uniontown; Bobby Franklin, Plum; Bryant McAllister, West Mifflin; Joey Tutchstone, Kiski Area.

2001 - Daren Tielsch, Montour; Bryant McAllister, West Mifflin; Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Blackhawk; Jack Higgins, Schenley; Allan MacQuarrie, Pine-Richland.

2000 - Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, Blackhawk; Drew Schifino, Penn Hills; Yuri Demetris, Shaler; Jon Pawlak, Highlands; Josh Lay, Aliquippa.

1999 - Brandon Fuss Cheatham, Blackhawk; Mike Phenizee, Peabody; David Young, New Castle; Drew Schifino, Penn Hills; Desmond Whetzel, New Castle.

1998 – David Young, New Castle; Mike Colbert, Chartiers Valley; Aaron Epps, Butler; Dave Freeman, Vincentian; Ricky Richburg, Westinghouse.

1997  - Archie Miller, Blackhawk; Courtney Wallace, Perry; Brian Carroll, Schenley; Aaron Lovelace, Franklin Regional; Isaiah Stewart, Chartiers Valley.Fab 5 boys 1996

1996 (pictured) Aaron Lovelace, Franklin Regional; Steve Menifee, McKeesport; Chris Kirkland, Sto-Rox; Jim Cantamessa, Blackhawk; Archie Miller, Blackhawk

1995 (pictured) Pete Sauer, Shady Side Academy; Kevin Fab 5 boys 19995Covert, Neshannock; Vince Coppola, Seton-LaSalle; Monty Latimer, Sto-Rox; Vince Graham, Belle Vernon.

Boys Fab 5 19941994 (pictured) Pete Sauer, Shady Side Academy; Kevin Price, Duquesne; Shawn Bellis, Butler; Vince Graham, Belle Vernon; Dan Fortson, Shaler.

1993 - Tom Pipkins, Valley; Nick Bosnic, Laurel Highlands; Kevin Price, Duquesne; Tino Hunter, Shaler; Mike Keyes, Woodland Hills.

1992 - (pictured) Terry O'Shea, Carlynton; Dante Calabria, Blackhawk; Tom Pipkins, Valley; Derrick Scott, Duquesne; Peca Arsic, Penn-Trafford.

Boys Fab 5 1992

1991 – Dante Calabria, Blackhawk; Will Macon, Perry; Gabe Jackson, New Brighton; Malik Hightower, Perry; Bruce Patterson, Langley.

1990 – Will Macon, Perry; Yancey Taylor, Ringgold; Norbert Valis, Hampton; Jermaine Morgan, Jeannette; Keith Crosby, Carrick.

1989 – Kevin Salvadori, Seton-LaSalle; Myron Walker, Aliquippa; Chris Pipkin, New Brighton; Jeff Gaca, Quaker Valley; Jon Walker, New Brighton.

1988 - Jim McCoy, Central Catholic; Keith Tower, Moon; William Herndon, Allderdice; Gravelle Craig, Farrell; Mark Gilbert, Aliquippa

 

1987 - Sean Miller, Blackhawk; Mike Yoest, North Hills; Darelle Porter, Perry; Joe Nethen, Shaler; Dan Aloi, Ellwood City.

Fab 5 boys 1987

1986 - Sean Miller, Blackhawk; Major Harris, Brashear; John Rasp, Norwin; Tony Petraraca, Kiski Area; Pete Freeman, Rochester.Fab 5 boys

1985 -(pictured) Brian Shanahan, Hampton; Shawn Roberts, Farrell; Neal Fenton, Latrobe; Greg Martucci, Springdale; Bill Vernau, Brentwood.

1984 – Marvin Woods, Aliquippa; Tyrone Howard, Westinghouse; Marvin Bailey, Lawrenceville Catholic; John Robinson, Peabody; Collins Dobbs, Allderdice.

1983 – Mark Beavers, Sto-Rox; Marlon Ferguson, Center; Bill Leonard, McKeesport; Ron Stevenson, Langley; Dean Kartsonas, Shady Side Academy.

1982 – Rick Suder, Center; Joe David, Upper St. Clair; Lloyd Moore, Clairton; Mike Masley, Boyle; Jack Mansell Sharon.

1981 – Ron Rowan, Beaver Falls; Pat Farrell, Central Catholic; Lloyd Moore, Clairton; Ken Simril, Belle Vernon; Earl Minor Uniontown

1980 – Frank Dobbs, Allderdice; Marc Marotta, Central Catholic; Hal Bentley, New Brighton; Cleveland Bibbens, Brashear; Dwight Collins, Beaver Falls.

1979 – Cleveland Bibbens, South Hills; Damon Bryant, Beaver Falls; Larry Anderson, Schenley; Bill Varner, Valley; Joe Myers, Burrell.

GIRLS

2014 - Brenna Wise, Vincentian; Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk; Yacine Diop, Seton-LaSalle; Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel; Sydney Bordonaro, Burrell.

2013 – Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Hopewell; Ciara Gregory, Jeannette; Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel; Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk; Shelby Lindsay, South Park.

2012 – Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Hopewell; Destiny Brown, Gateway; Naje Gibson, Seton-LaSalle; Erin Waskowiak, Bishop Canevin; Ciara Gregory, Jeannette.

2011 (pictured below) Madison Cable, Mt. Lebanon; Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Hopewell; Val McQuade, Shaler; Alexa Hayward, Blackhawk; Belma Nurkic, Baldwin.

2010 – Belma Nurkic, Baldwin; Madison Cable, Mt. Lebanon; Olivia Bresnahan, Butler; Paige Alviani, Hopewell; Jen Papich, Fox Chapel.

2009 – Emily Correal, Peters Township; Emily Miller, Mt. Lebanon; Markel Walker, Schenley; Olivia Bresnahan, Butler; Lily Grenci, Mars.

2008 – Darche Jackson, Penn Hills; Emily Correal, Peters Township; Jamie Smith, Woodland Hills; Jackie Babe, Mt. Lebanon; Alex Gensler, Upper St. Clair.

2007 (pictured) Ashley Henderson, Greensburg Central Catholic; Erica Prosser, Oakland Catholic; Vanessa Abel, Southmoreland; Jaleesa Sams, New Castle; Shayla Scott, Gateway.

2006 – Jaleesa Sams, New Castle; Ashley Henderson, Greensburg Central Catholic; Amy Johns, McKeesport; Aysha Jones, Oakland Catholic; Joyce Novacek, Hopewell.

2005 – Brianne O'Rourke, Oakland Catholic; Rachel Frederick, North Catholic; Eve Pyle, Oakland Catholic; Danielle Gratton, Bethel Park; Dominique Duck, Schenley. Girls Fab 5 2005

2004 – Charel Allen, Monessen; Jocelyn Chandler, Uniontown; Lauren Revesz, Chartiers Valley; Nia Capuano, Moon; Meagan Cowher, Fox Chapel.

2003 – Charel Allen, Monessen; Loui Hall, Albert Gallatin; Erin Wigley, Moon; Kamela Gissendanner, Clairton; Meg Bulger, Oakland Catholic.

2002 – Meg Bulger, Oakland Catholic; Carmen Bruce, Schenley; Kamela Gissendanner, Clairton; Loui Hall, Albert Gallatin; Erin Wigley, Moon.

2001 – Tanisha Wright, West Mifflin; Amy Kunich, Oakland Catholic; Kacy O’Brien, Carlynton; Jess Strom, Steel Valley; Kamela Gissendanner, Clairton.Fab 5 girls 2000

2000 (pictured) Katie Bulger, Oakland Catholic; Jess Strom, Steel Valley; Tanisha Wright, West Mifflin; Ashle Kelly, Mt. Lebanon; Jessica Brungo, North Allegheny.

1999 – Katie Bulger, Oakland Catholic; Jen Sobota, Latrobe; Lisa Miller, Blackhawk; Brooke Stewart, East Allegheny; Beth Friday, Upper St. Clair.

Girls Fab 5 19981998 – Christal White, Mount Alvernia; Val Zona, Blackhawk, Cindy Dallas, Schenley; Katie Bulger, Oakland Catholci; Swin Cash, McKeesport (hamming it up)

Girls Fab 5 19961997 – Swin Cash, McKeesport; Erin Huth, North Allegheny; Cindy Dallas, Schenley; Korie Morton, Woodland Hills.

1996 (pictured) Gina Naccarato, Monessen; LynnDee Howell, Penn Hills; Swin Cash, McKeesport; Kim Seaver, Mt. Lebanon; Michelle Katkowski, Mount Pleasant.

1995 – Mandy West, Upper St. Clair; Catherine Jacob, Penn Hills; Shauntai Hall, Albert Gallatin; Gina Naccarato, Monessen; Jackie Porac, North Catholic.

Girls Fab 5 1995

1994 – Mandy West, Upper St. Clair; Sherri Hannan, North Allegheny; Julie Moehring, Avonworth; Gina Naccarato, Monessen; Jackie Porac, North Catholic.

1993 – Mandy West, Upper St. Clair; Gina Naccarato, Monessen; Erin Miller, Oakland Catholic; Monique McCoy, Penn Hills; Missy Thompson, West Mifflin.

1992 – Elizabeth Proudfit, Washington; Lisa Vizzocca, Shaler; Kim Calhoun, Penn Hills; Collen Brady, Moon; Denise Gallo, Connellsville.

1991 – Shane Bartha, Apollo-Ridge; Kim Calhoun, Penn Hills; Stephanie Gonzales, Shady Side Academy; Kelly Malins, Ambridge; Elizabeth Proudfit, Washington.

1990 – Carrie Bordas, Aliquippa; Carla Coleman, McKeesport; Jonna Huemrich, Bethel Park; Bonnie Rimkus, Carlynton; Jenine Joyce, Penn Hills.Girls Fab 5 1989

1989 (pictured) Shannon Davis, Sacred Heart; Jonna Huemrich, Bethel Park; Carrie Bordas, Aliquippa; Cathy Torchia, St. Francis; Molly Larkin, North Catholic.

1988 – Shannon Davis, Sacred Heart; Julie Jones, Laurel Highlands; Molly Larkin, North Catholic; Leatha Dudeck, North Catholic; Karen Donley, Trinity.

1987 – Shannon Davis, Sacred Heart, Wendy Brink, Butler; Angie Kirkland, Beaver Falls; Connie Hurt, Penn Hills; Tanya Garner, West Mifflin.

1986 – Edna Campbell, Allderdice; Lorri Johnson, New Castle; Connie Hurt, Penn Hills; Diane Dobrich, Elizabeth Forward; Angie Kirkland, Beaver Falls.Girls Fab 5 1985

1985 (pictured) Maureen Conley, Mount Alvernia; Lorri Johnson, New Castle; Edna Campbell, Allderdice; Joy Jeter, Beaver Falls; Kathy McConnell, Seton-LaSalle.

1984 – Suzie McConnell, Seton-LaSalle; Karen Hall, Mount Alvernia; Maureen Conley, Mount Alvernia (need two more).

Girls Fab 5 19831983 (pictured) Suzie McConnell, Seton-LaSalle; Lisa Faloon, Brashear; Maureen Conley, Mount Alvernia; Vida Kernich, Baldwin; Mimi Reiber, Chartiers Valley.

1982 – Suzie McConnell, Seton-LaSalle; Kim Tirik, Ambridge; Jane Plake, Serra; Kim Gannis, Brentwood; Allison Daniel, Langley;

1981 – Kim Tirik, Ambridge; Diane Walker, Oliver; Karen Hosek, Shaler; Leigh Curl, North Hills; Sally Anderson, Thomas Jefferson.

 

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WPIAL well-represented on all-state basketball teams

Written by Mike White on .

The prestigious Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 all-star basketball teams come out Sunday, as well as the all-WPIAL, all-City League and all-section teams.

But the sports writers all-state teams were released today, and the WPIAL has a heavy representation, especially with the players of the year.

Twenty-eight players from the WPIAL - 14 boys and 14 girls - made the all-state teams. Two City League players - one boy and one girl - also were selected. Four WPIAL boys made first-team all-state and six WPIAL girls.

What is most impressive, though, is that of the eight players of the year, six were from the WPIAL, including all four girls players of the year. 

The four WPIAL girls who received player of the year awards are Fox Chapel's Erin Mathias, Blackhawk's Chassidy Omogrosso, Seton-LaSalle's Naje Gibson and Vincentian's Brenna Wise. Seton-LaSalle had three girls make all-state. Besides Gibson, the others were Cassidy Walsh and Yacine Diop.

The two WPIAL boys who were selected player of the year were Hampton's Ryan Luther and Lincoln Park's Maverick Rowan. You can bet New Castle faithful aren't happy that Malik Hooker didn't get player of the year after leading New Castle to a perfect record. And New Castle beat Hampton four times.

New Castle, Seton-LaSalle and Lincoln Park all had two players make all-state. For New Castle, it was Malik Hooker and Anthony Richards. For Seton-LaSalle, it was Dale Clancy and Levi Masua. For Lincoln Park, it was Rowan and Elijah Minnie.

Here are the all-state teams:

 

BOYS

CLASS AAAA 

FIRST TEAM

Sal Biasi, Hazleton, 5-11, sr, 26.7 ppg

Mikal Bridges, Great Valley, 6-7, sr, 18.5 ppg

Malik Hooker, New Castle, 6-1, sr, 21.8 ppg

Rashann London, Roman Catholic, 6-2, sr, 14.6 ppg

Ryan Luther, Hampton, 6-8, sr, 22.1 ppg

Isaiah Washington, Williamsport, 6-3, sr, 21.6 ppg

SECOND TEAM

Levan “Shawn” Alston, Haverford School, 6-3, jr, 16.5 ppg

Sammy Foreman, Martin Luther King, 5-11, jr, 13.8 ppg

Shep Garner, Roman Catholic, 6-1, sr, 12.3 ppg

Mahir Johnson, Chester, 6-2, sr, 18.8 ppg

Jahaad Proctor, Harrisburg, 6-2, jr, 21.5 ppg

Anthony Richards, New Castle, 5-8, sr, 13.0 ppg

Tyrell Sturdivant, Chester, 6-8, sr, 15.7 ppg

THIRD TEAM

Christopher Bing, Philadelphia Central, 6-5, sr, 18.9 ppg

Chris Clover, St. Joseph’s Prep, 6-3, jr, 21.9 ppg

Kason Harrell, Hempfield (D-7), 6-2, jr, 23.9 ppg

Matty Harris, Cathedral Prep, 6-2, sr, 20.4 ppg

Cameron Jones, Pennsbury, 6-1, jr, 17.8 ppg

D.J. Porter, Obama Academy, 6-5, sr, 22.4 ppg

Lamar Stevens, Haverford School, 6-6, so, 15.1 ppg

Ryan LutherPLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ryan Luther, Hampton (pictured)

COACH OF THE YEAR: Ralph Blundo, New Castle

CLASS AAA

FIRST TEAM

Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Allentown Central Catholic, 6-4, sr, 23.5 ppg

Nana Foulland, Berks Catholic, 6-9, sr, 20.5 ppg

Derrick Jones, Archbishop Carroll, 6-6, jr, 15.9 ppg

Nehemiah “Bud” Mack, Susquehanna Twp., 6-0, so, 17.8 ppg

Ja’Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti, 6-3, sr, 21.6 ppg

J.C. Show, Abington Heights, 6-3, sr, 17.7 ppg

SECOND TEAM

Ernest Aflakpui, Archbishop Carroll, 6-9, jr, 10.4 ppg

Milik Gantz, Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, 6-3, jr, 12.3 ppg

Dyllon Hudson-Emory, Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, 6-6, sr, 19.8 ppg

Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, Neumann-Goretti, 5-10 jr, 11.4 ppg

Tyrell Long, Philadelphia Bishop McDevitt, 6-5, sr, 21.5 ppg

Matty McConnell, Chartiers Valley, 6-0, jr, 21.8 ppg

Pat Smith, Archbishop Wood, 6-5, sr, 17.0 ppp

THIRD TEAM

Troy Harper, Neumann-Goretti, 6-3, sr, 12.2 ppg

Sean Lloyd, Imhotep Charter, 6-4, sr, 10.9 ppg

Gabe Mack, Susquehanna Twp., 5-10, sr, 10.9 ppg

Evan Maxwell, Abington Heights, 6-10, sr, 11.1 ppg

Sean O’Brien, Penn Charter, 6-2, sr, 18.5 ppg

James Suber, Philadelphia Electrical, 6-6, sr, 11.5 ppg

Austin Tilghman, Archbishop Carroll, 6-1, sr, 10.2 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ja’Quan Newton, Neumann-Goretti

COACH OF THE YEAR: Vince Rogers, Susquehanna Twp.

CLASS AA

FIRST TEAM

Dominick Antonelli, Trinity, 6-1, sr, 16.4 ppg

Dale Clancy, Seton-LaSalle, 5-9, sr, 15.6 ppg

Ahmad Gilbert, Constitution, 6-6, jr, 15.7 ppg

Jared Nickens, Westtown, 6-6, sr, 14.6 ppg

Tyriek Steward, Wilkes-Barre Meyers, 6-2, sr, 17.0 ppg

Kimar Williams, Constitution, 6-1, jr, 12.2 ppg

SECOND TEAM

Brian Graytok, Greensburg Central Catholic, 6-1, sr, 17.5 ppg

Tim Guers, Germantown Academy, 6-3, jr, 16.9 ppg

Omar Little, Loyalsock, 6-0, jr, 16.2 ppg

Levi Masua, Seton-LaSalle, 6-5, sr, 10.8 ppg

Tannor Reed, Notre Dame-Green Pond, 6-2, sr, 22.6 ppg

Trey Staunch, West Middlesex, 6-3, jr, 21.8 ppg

Nemo Trexler, Bishop McCort, 6-5, sr, 19.7 ppg

THIRD TEAM

Connor Callejas, Holy Cross, 5-8, sr, 18.3 ppg

Kyle Datres, Loyalsock, 6-0, jr, 9.4 ppg

Brandon Gripp, Tyrone, 6-1, sr, 24.5 ppg

Jonathan Lawton, Friends Central, 6-1, jr, 23.7 ppg

Nick Lorenz, East Juniata, 6-1, sr, 24.6 ppg

Georgios Papagiannis, Westtown, 7-1, jr, 13.3 ppg

Josh Trumpy, Trinity, 6-6, 19.4 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ahmad Gilbert, Constitution

COACH OF THE YEAR: Robert Moore, Constitution

CLASS A

FIRST TEAM

Samir Doughty, Math, Civics & Sciences, 6-4, jr, 17.3 ppg

Alize Johnson, St. John Neumann, 6-5, sr, 24.3 ppg

Terry Larrier, Phelps, 6-8, sr, 21.0 ppg

Elijah Minnie, Lincoln Park Charter, 6-9, sr, 15.8 ppg

Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park Charter, 6-7, so, 24.3 ppg

Mike Watkins, Math, Civics & Sciences, 6-9, sr, 11.0 ppg

SECOND TEAM

Aondofa Anyam, Church Farm, 5-10, sr, 16.4 ppg

Cameron Grumley, Johnsonburg, 5-9, sr, 21.5 ppg

Cameron Johnson, Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 6-6, sr, 27.8 ppg

Brandon Martinazzi, Bishop Carroll, 5-9, jr, 20.1 ppg

Nick Miller, Western Beaver, 6-2, sr, 30.1 ppg

Montrel Morgan, New Hope Academy, 6-2, so, 19.1 ppg

Cole Peterson, Johnsonburg, 5-10, sr, 20.7 ppg

THIRD TEAM

Marcus Lee, Bishop Carroll, 6-6, sr 15.6 ppg

Dylan Mahmod, Mahanoy Area, 6-1, sr, 13.5 ppg

Eric Marbury, Pius X, 5-11 jr, 17.8 ppg

Dom Robb, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, 6-7, sr, 18.0 ppg

Valentine Sangoyami, Erie First Christian, 6-11, sr, 12.8 ppg

Ryan Wolf, Vincentian, 5-9, jr, 25.3 ppg

Anthony Wright-Downing, Sankofa Freedom, 6-2, sr, 25.1 ppg

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Maverick Rowan, Lincoln Park Charter (pictured)Maverick Rowan

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mark Javens, Lincoln Park Charter 

GIRLS

CLASS AAAA

First team

Jackie Benitez, Poncono Mountain West, 5-9, Jr., 23.3

Aminah “Mia” Farmer, Cardinal O’Hara, 5-9, Sr., 17.0

Kelly Jekot, Cumberland Valley, 5-11, So., 14.4

Alex Louin, Mount St. Joseph’s, 6-0, Sr., 17.0

Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel, 6-3, Sr., 16.5

Nicole Munger, Central Bucks West, 5-9, Jr., 15.5

Sammy Stipa, Spring-Ford, 5-5, Sr., 13.6

Second team

Cecily Carl, Mechanicsburg, 6-3, Jr., 16.3

Adashia Franklyn, Bayard Rustin, 6-1, Sr., 14.8

Alayah Hall, Dover, 5-7, Sr., 17.7

Kyla Irwin, State College, 6-1, So., 19.8

Maria Palarino, Penn-Trafford, 5-10, Jr., 18.3

Maddie Torresin, Cumberland Valley, 6-1, Sr., 15.4

Third team

Sajanna Bethea, Pennsbury, 6-0, Sr., 16.8

Carly Brew, Wilson (West Lawn), 5-11, Sr., 13.5

Sierra Fordham, Allderdice, 5-5, Sr., 22.9

Darby Lee, Altoona, 6-1, Sr., 16.2

Ashley Jones, Cheltenham, 5-7, Fr., 21.9

Avery Marz, Wilson (West Lawn), 5-7, Sr., 12.6

Vicky Tumasz, North Penn, 5-6, Sr., 15.0Erin Mathias

Player of the year -- Erin Mathias, Fox Chapel (pictured)

Coach of the year -- Bill Wolf, Cumberland Valley

CLASS AAA

First team

Nikki Arbanas, Hickory, 5-7, Sr., 19.6

Tricia Byrne, Scranton Prep, 5-7, Sr., 15.8

Alexis Lewis, Holy Redeemer, 5-9, Jr., 27.0

Alyssa Monaghan, Bonner-Prendergast, 5-7, Jr., 17.5

Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk, 5-5, Jr., 21.6

Megan Smith, West Perry, 6-0, Sr., 20.7

Kalista Walters, Bethlehem Catholic, 6-0, Jr., 21.2

Second team

Seairra Barrett, Central Valley, 6-0, Sr., 24.5

Cami Boehner, Gettysburg, 5-7, Sr., 21.9

Quieterriua Gross, Meyers, 5-11, Sr., 22.3

Amber Renz, Danville, 6-0, So., 21.5

Carly Richardson, Palmyra, 5-11, Sr., 10.0

Angelina Starr, Franklin, 5-9, Sr., 21.3

Halie Torris, South Park, 5-11, Sr., 16.4

Third team

Aubree Brown, Archbishop Wood, 6-0, Jr., 8.1

Bailey Greenberg, Archbishop Wood, 5-11, So., 10.0

Madeline McDonald, Southern Lehigh, 5-11, Sr., 16.7

Allison McGrath, South Park, 5-10, So., 17.2

Maddie Ritsick, Crestwood, 5-11, So., 18.7

Chelsea Woods, Freire Charter, 6-0, Sr., 32.6

Chassidy OmogrossoPlayer of the year -- Chassidy Omogrosso, Blackhawk (pictured)

Coach of the year -- Steve Lodovico, Blackhawk 

CLASS AA

First team

Sydney Bordonaro, Burrell, 5-7, Jr., 16.1

Ciana Cryor, Neumann-Goretti, 5-5, Jr., 12.5

Megan Eripret, Salisbury, 6-3, Jr., 22.5

Naje Gibson, Seton-LaSalle, 6-0, Sr., 11.1

Sianna Martin, Neumann-Goretti, 5-8, Jr., 12.2

Cassidy Walsh, Seton-LaSalle, 5-9, Jr., 11.1

Sammie Weiss, McGuffey, 5-11, Jr., 23.4

Second team

Ella Awojobo, Neumann-Goretti, 6-0, Sr., 7.9

Maddie Comly, Delone Catholic, 5-7, Jr., 18.5

Yacine Diop, Seton-LaSalle, 5-10, Sr., 14.0

Becky Evans, Pine Grove, 5-3, Sr., 21.6

Lori Horton, Williamson, 6-3, Sr., 16.5

Reighly Melochick, Minersville, 5-7, Sr., 19.8

Emily Merryman, Cranberry, 5-5, Sr., 26.7

Third team

Carolyn Appleby, Greensburg Central Catholic, 5-5, Jr., 20.7

LeAnn Gibson, Karns City, 5-9, So., 16.4

Brooke Hinderliter, Redbank Valley, 5-8, So., 19.8

Margaret Anne Hubbell, Germantown Academy, 5-10, Sr., 17.9

Chelsey Koren, Blairsville, 5-11, Jr., 20.8

Mariah Maciejewski, Dunmore, 5-10, Jr., 12.3

Steph Shamburg, Warrior Run, 6-0, Sr., 15.5Naje Gibson

Player of the year -- Naje Gibson, Seton-LaSalle (pictured)

Coach of the year -- Spencer Stefko, Seton-LaSalle 

CLASS A

First team

Tamesha “Sox” Alexander, Shipley, 5-6, Sr., 9.2

Lauren Carey, Old Forge, 5-7, Sr., 13.2

Macey Hollenshead, Southern Fulton, 5-6, Sr., 17.0

Maria Morgan, Bucktail, 5-7, Jr., 27.5

Megan Trenholm, St. John Neumann, 5-7, Sr., 17.4

Brenna Wise, Vincentian, 6-1, Jr., 19.5

Second team

Lili Benzel, Bishop Guilfoyle, 5-8, Fr., 18.6

Angelica Bertola, Notre Dame (East Stroudsburg), 5-4, Sr., 22.7

Madi Bower, Millville, 5-11, Jr., 25.4

Madison Johnson, Keystone, 5-9, Jr., 16.9

Becca Lathrop, Port Allegany, 5-9, Sr., 16.4

Emma Spinelli, Shade, 5-2, So., 22.4

Third team

Jana Goodman, Phil-Mont Christian, 6-1, Sr., 16.8

Keyen Green, Phil-Mont Christian, 6-1, So., 13.7

Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph’s (Pittsburgh), 6-1, Sr., 23.6

Taylor Hood, Kennedy Catholic, 5-5, Sr., 12.2

Olivia McCabe, Portage, 6-1, Sr., 14.5

Bronwyne Mellott, McConnellsburg, 5-10, Fr., 22.2Brenna Wise

Maci Thornton, Clarion, 5-5, Jr., 15.6

Player of the year -- Brenna Wise, Vincentian (pictured)

Coach of the year -- Ron Moncrief, Vincentian

 

 

 

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Cable, Walker-Kimbrough to have historical meeting in Final Four

Written by Mike White on .

Much was made last week of how former Pittsburgh-area high school basketball players were showing up at many places in the NCAA Sweet 16.

Arizona's Sean and Dayton's Archie Miller (Blackhawk) were the first brothers to coach in the Sweet 16 the same year. Arizona's T.J. McConnell (Chartiers Valley) and Iowa State's DeAndre Kane (Schenley) were two point guards in the Sweet 16 who attended high schools 12 miles apart. Kentucky coach John Calipari (Moon) was another former WPIAL player who had a team in the Sweet 16.

Well now there is a rather notable happening involving two former WPIAL girls players in the NCAA women's Final Four. In fact, Madison Cable and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough might very well be making history.

Cable is a redshirt sophomore for Notre Dame. Walker-Kimbrough is a freshman for the University of Maryland women's team. Their teams will meet in the Final Four Sunday.

There are no records, or rosters, to prove it. But I'd be willing to bet that this is the first time two former WPIAL players have met in the women's Final 4. In fact, I wonder if it has ever happened with two former WPIAL boys players. And for a remember when moment? Check the picture below. It's when Cable and Walker-Kimbrough were on the Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 team in 2011. Cable, then a senior, is in the middle. Walker-Kimbrough, only a sophomore at the time, is on the far right. I wonder if that photo shoot was the last time they were together?

Fabulous 5

Neither Cable or Walker-Kimbrough start, but both play key roles for their teams.

Walker-Kimbrough had been selected the ACC freshman of the week earlier this season. She is Madison CableMaryland's third-leading scorer, averaging 9.6 points a game. She plays 17 minutes a game and also averages 2.9 rebounds. She shoots 48 percent from the floor and has 23 3-pointers.

Cable plays 14 minutes a game. She is averaging 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds a game. She is shooting an impressive 52 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range for the undefeated Fighting Irish. She has the best 3-point shooting percentage on the team.

Walker-Kimbrough and Cable were both former Post-Gazette Players of the Year and both former P-G Athletes of the Year.

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Plum's Adamski, Vincentian's Cortese off to terrific starts

Written by Mike White on .

Talk about good starts. For Plum softball player Hannah Adamski and Vincentian baseball player Jay Cortese, it's more like torrid starts.

Adamski's start has been on the unbelievable side. She has been up 11 times in three games and has eight hits. But get this: She has seven home runs. And she's only a sophomore.

Adamski hit three home runs in the first game and two in each of the next two games. All of them were over the fence. No inside-the-park jobs. She's a darn good athlete,  too. She qualified for the PIAA swimming championships earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Cortese has had quite the two days. Yesterday, he pitched a one-hitter and struck out 12 against Karns City. Today against Springdale, he hit for the cycle and had nine RBIs. He was 5 for 5 with a single, triple, home run and two doubles.

Cortese also is a good athlete. He was a starter on Vincentian's basketball team that made it to the WPIAL Class A semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

 

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