Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top five of the fall

With the fall sports season coming to its conclusion in the Washington-Greene region following Saturday's PIAA soccer finals, O-R staff writer Kevin Jacobsen and myself tossed around the teams we thought were the best of the fall season.

Here's a few we came up with and a couple more I added:

1. Peters Township boys soccer
WPIAL Class AAA champions. PIAA runners-up. Won seven straight postseason matches and produced three all-state players in Nick Wilcox, Christian Brandstetter and Greg Weimer (a Virginia Tech recruit).

2. Peters Township boys golf
WPIAL Division I team champions. PIAA runners-up. Finished second at the PIAA Western Regional. The unique thing about this team is no individual qualified for the PIAA boys championship.

3. Peters Township girls soccer
WPIAL Class AAA runners-up. PIAA runners-up. The Indians never played for a state title before. Seniors Ali Forbrich and Lauren Ray excelled. Sophomore Shelli Spamer is already one of the state's premier players.

4. Canon-McMillan boys cross country
Washington County champions. WPIAL Class AAA fifth-place finishers. The Big Macs missed qualifying for the PIAA team championships by one place. Senior Matt Gregory won the WPIAL championship and finished sixth at states, securing a place on the all-state team.

5. Avella football
From the New York Times to the Observer-Reporter, Avella drew headlines nationally and locally for playing through the season with as few as 10 players in some games. The Eagles never won a game, or came close, but the kids who stayed with the team from beginning to end displayed courage, passion and pride.


Hooper said...

Congratulations to all of the local teams for a thrilling Fall. Now it is up to the winter sports to carry the torch. Personally, I am excited for basketball season to start. I wonder if the Peters boys will continue to break through as a legitimate threat, especially now that their bitter rival (Canon-Mac) has only 1 returning starter. Should make for great drama.

Anonymous said...

i still think cm has a better team than peters. although only one starter is returning, there were a few younger guys from last year that didnt get much of a chance to play. peters will probably get dominated in the inside and the cm guards will simply be too quick for peters to match up with.

mike_kovak said...

Local Quad-A boys basketball should be interesting. Canon-McMillan and Peters Township are both playoff-caliber teams.

turtle said...

Mike, does any one local basketball coach stand out to you as being above the rest of the pack? You can approach this question from any of several angles: best x's and o's guy, most colorful personality, best at in-game adjustments, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Good to see cross country get some Love on this Blog. How did this thread turn into CM hoops?

Anonymous said...

I believe hooper congratulated the local fall sports teams and also decided to mention how he/she was looking forward to the winter sports. But I don't think it turned into CM hoops--- peters was mentioned 3 times as a main topic and turtle asked about local basketball coaches which could mean any team in wash/greene county.

mike_kovak said...

I've always said that the quality of boys basketball coaches in Washington and Greene Counties has been excellent. I've even written a column or two about it.

There are three "legends" in the area: Washington's Ron Faust, California's Phil Pergola and Carmichaels' Don Williams. Each is an excellent coach. Faust and Pergola are probably tied when it comes to most colorful personalities.

I always thought that Steve Luko, who coached at California for three years before Pergola took over, was an excellent coach. I talked to Luko during last basketball season and I know he's itching to get back into coaching. Here's hoping some school takes a chance on him soon.

Rick Bell of Canon-McMillan is another fine coach. I like the way Coach Bell adjusts during games and adopts different approaches based on opponent. He gets my vote for in-game adjustments.

The best X's and O's guy may be Trinity's Joe Dunn. He's a fantastic basketball teacher and I've never seen one Hillers player not improve under Dunn's direction. That may be the ultimate coaching complement.

I think Peters Township's Gary Goga is an emerging coaching talent. He orchestrated an excellent one-year turnaround last year.

Bentworth's Bob kennedy is another good one, as is the recently retired Ed Goetz.

Anonymous said...

anon, im sorry but not many people follow cross country. a cross country blog wouldnt be a very interesting read.

VCTMbrian said...

Does anyone know of any scholarship offers for Matt Gregory? Or where he is planning on going to school?

He is a bright kid, and one heck of a runner.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he'll go to Clairton.