Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coaching milestones

Carmichaels boys basketball coach Don Williams became the third active boys coach from Washington and Greene counties to join the 400-win club after the Mikes defeated Geibel, 81-38, Tuesday night.

Williams has been the Mikes coach for 33 years. He joins Washington's Ron Faust and California's Phil Pergola as boys coaches with at least 400 career victories. Pergola won his 500th game during the 2007-08 season. Faust won his 500th game five games into this year.

Several other coaches have already hits career victory milestones this season.

  • Canon-McMillan boys coach Rick Bell picked up win No. 300 last week.
  • Avella girls coach Jim Matalik has 301 career victories.

Top ten stories

The Observer-Reporter sports staff compiled its list of the Top 10 local sports stories of 2008 for last Sunday's edition. Here's a quick list of the Top 10:

1. Avella football makes headlines
2. Canon-McMillan wins PIAA Class AAAA baseball championship
3. Saga of Waynesburg University running back Robert Heller
4. Peters Township's boys and girls soccer success
5. High school football's Black Friday (0-9 in the playoffs)
6. Wild Things miss playoffs for first time
7. Coleman Scott wins NCAA wrestling championship
8. Burgettstown's Dan Conley wins PIAA wrestling title
9. Mike Friedman makes Olympic cycling team
10. Success of small college football teams

According to O-R sports editor Chris Dugan, this year marked the first time that the sports staff unanimously voted the same story No. 1. (Earlier in the decade, Pittsburgh-based sports stories were included in the list.)

I'd like to hear what sports stories readers followed during 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Local basketball rankings

The No. 1 spot in the boys rankings will be on the line this Friday when Peters Township plays at Washington in a non-section game between two good basketball teams.

Boys rankings
1. Peters Township (AAAA) 6-1
2. Washington (AA) 8-1
3. South Fayette (AA) 4-3
4. Charleroi (AA) 8-1
5. Fort Cherry (AA) 7-1

Girls rankings
1. Peters Township (AAAA) 6-3
2. Fort Cherry (A) 7-1
3. Washington (AA) 6-3
4. Monessen (A) 6-3
5. Trinity (AAAA) 3-4

O-R girls basketball rankings

Class AAAA
1. Mt. Lebanon 8-0
2. Butler 7-0
3. Bethel Park 8-0
4. Norwin 7-2
5. Fox Chapel 5-1

Class AAA
1. West Mifflin 7-2
2. Hopewell 6-1
3. Mars 7-1
4. Hampton 6-1
5. South Park 7-1

Class AA
1. Sto-Rox 9-0
2. Avonworth 7-0
3. Beaver 9-0
4. Ford City 9-0
5. East Allegheny 9-0

Class A
1. North Catholic 4-3
2. Vincentian Academy 6-2
3. Fort Cherry 6-1
4. Monessen 5-3
5. Winchester Thurston 6-2

My apologies

Just wanted to apologize for the recent lack of activity on the site. I've been without Internet the past several days in an attempt to do some drilling through concrete walls and install an electrical outlet in a room without one.

All the work finally paid off when I was able to connect to Internet today with quite the sense of pride.

The task couldn't help but make me think about the number of odd jobs I've learned since buying a house. Never knew a thing about plumbing, wiring, etc. for most of my life. Figuring things out on your own can be frustrating but, when it works out, it can also be fun.

Anyway, keep checking back as I plan on getting caught up on all the posts I've missed the last few days. The Varsity Letters will have local basketball rankings (boys and girls), WPIAL girls basketball rankings, a little bit of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and, who knows, maybe an All Points Bulletin.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Burned out

Just read an interesting piece on ESPN.com about Elena Delle Donne, who, less than a year ago, was considered the top girls high school basketball player in the country. Delle Donne originally planned to play basketball at UConn. Now, she's playing volleyball at Delaware.


O-R boys basketball rankings

Class AAAA
1. Central Catholic 6-1
2. Mt. Lebanon 7-1
3. Latrobe 7-1
4. Upper St. Clair 8-1
5. Fox Chapel 9-1

Class AAA
1. Chartiers Valley 8-0
2. Hampton 6-2
3. Thomas Jefferson 6-1
4. Moon 6-3
5. Ambridge 5-3

Class AA
1. Beaver Falls 6-1
2. North Catholic 6-0
3. Quaker Valley 6-1
4. Greensburg Central Catholic 6-2
5. Washington 8-1

Class A
1. Serra Catholic 7-0
2. Sewickley Academy 4-2
3. Clairton 1-0
4. OLSH 5-2
5. Lincoln Park 5-3

Boys scoring leaders

Here's the first look at the 2008-09 boys basketball scoring leaders, compiled by O-R staff writer Doug Street:

Through Dec. 25
Player, Team Games Points Ave.
Zach Bellhy, Fort Cherry 8 212 26.5
Ryne Niemiec, Beth-Center 5 118 23.6
Cole Heckman, Avella 8 175 21.9
Nick Wilcox, Peters Twp. 6 131 21.8
Nick Bryant, Washington 9 178 19.8
Eli Obade, Charleroi 7 122 17.4
Dave Bassi, Ringgold 8 135 16.9
Kiante Davis, Canon-Mac 6 98 16.3
Kevin Bielecki, Burgettstown 9 142 15.8
Levi Whited, Beth-Center 6 95 15.8
Derek McIlvaine, Char-Houston 10 156 15.6
Mike Lamberti, S. Fayette 4 62 15.5
Kurt Bonnet, Canon-Mac 8 119 14.9
Cody Turner, Fort Cherry 8 117 14.6
Ian McCombs, Carmichaels 8 113 14.1
Nate Bellhy, Fort Cherry 8 110 13.8
Josh Carlisle, Avella 8 110 13.8
Josh Valentic, Trinity 10 134 13.4
Terrance Stepoli, Monessen 7 94 13.4
Craig Wolcott, Peters Twp. 6 78 13.0
Ben Carson, Caliornia 4 50 12.5
Robert Anderson, Washington 9 112 12.4
Pat Zedreck, S. Fayette 4 49 12.2
Dylan Bongiorni, Burgettstown 9 108 12.0
Josh Green, Carmichaels 8 94 11.8
Mark Jones, Char-Houston 10 114 11.4
Nick Tasz, Burgettstown 9 93 11.0
C.J. Gottardi, Avella 8 85 10.6
Joby Lapkowicz, Carmichaels 8 85 10.6
Chad Hagan, Canon-Mac 8 84 10.5
Tyler Henry, S. Fayette 4 42 10.5
Taylor Andrisko, Charleroi 7 73 10.4
Ryan Scott, Char-Houston 10 103 10.3
Joe Silko, S. Fayette 4 41 10.3
Will Glendenning, Canon-Mac 7 71 10.1
Clay Roman, Bentworth 5 50 10.0
Jason Jansante, Bentworth 5 50 10.0

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

The Varsity Letters wishes everyone a Happy Holidays. Have fun. Be safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O-R girls basketball rankings

Class AAAA
1. Mt. Lebanon 8-0
2. Butler 6-0
3. Bethel Park 7-0
4. Norwin 6-2
5. Fox Chapel 4-1

Class AAA
1. West Mifflin 7-1
2. Hopewell 6-1
3. Mars 7-1
4. Hampton 6-1
5. South Park 7-1

Class AA
1. Sto-Rox 9-0
2. Avonworth 7-0
3. Beaver 8-0
4. Ford City 8-0
5. East Allegheny 7-0

Class A
1. North Catholic 4-3
2. Vincentian Academy 6-2
3. Monessen 5-2
4. Fort Cherry 6-1
5. Quigley Catholic 5-1

Monday, December 22, 2008

Banas named all-state

Chartiers-Houston senior Brad Banas, who played quarterback, running back, receiver, punter and linebacker, was named to the Associated Press Pennsylvania Class A all-state team as a first-team linebacker.
For the second consecutive year, Banas was selected to the Black Hills Conference Media All-Star Team as a running back and punter. He was also named to the Observer-Reporter’s Elite 11 the past two years.
As a senior, he rushed for 1,155 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. At quarterback, Banas completed 19 of 44 passes for 421 yards and five touchdowns. He even caught nine passes for 110 yards.
Playing most of the year with a broken thumb, which limited his time at quarterback, Banas made 72 tackles and had two quarterback sacks, two recovered fumbles, two forced fumbles and five pass break-ups.

The good, the bad, the ugly - boys edition

The Good
Peters Township, led by first-team all-district senior Nick Wilcox, is off to a 2-0 start in Section 4-AAAA and a 5-1 mark overall. The Indians have shown the ability to win close defensive games and put up points against lesser teams. PT hosts McKeesport on Tuesday in an intriguing non-section contest.

The Bad
Canon-McMillan played without two starters during Saturday's 40-point loss to Washington at Burgettstown in the Chuckie Mahoney Classic. The Big Macs went 3-for-35 (8.6 percent) from three-point range and scored a combined four points during the second and third quarters.

The Ugly
Looks like the West Greene Pioneers are in for a long season. At 0-6, West Greene is averaging a WPIAL worst 14.8 points per game - the next lowest average is 40.3 points (St. Joseph) - and were held under 10 points twice.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

APB, Where are they now?

This week's All Points Bulletin is inspired by the all-state football teams and the handy Pennsylvania Football News Resource Guide.

The Varsity Letters is looking for former Ringgold High School football standout Vernon Kirk, a first-team all-state linebacker at Ringgold in 1983. In those days, the Associated Press released one all-state team for all classifications.

Kirk played at Pitt from 1986-88, a time when the Panthers were a NFL factory. The tight end was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the ninth round of the 1989 NFL Draft. He tested positive for anabolic steroids in 1989 and received a four-game suspension. The Steelers signed Kirk in 1990 but he is not included on their all-time roster.

Anyone knowing Kirk's whereabouts is urged to contact the Varsity Letters.

All-state football

Canon-McMillan junior Mike Hull became the third football player from Washington County to be named to an Associated Press Pennsylvania All-State team when he earned first-team Class AAAA honors on Saturday.

Hull, a Penn State recruit and the Observer-Reporter 2008 Player of the Year, is one of five linebackers on the first team.

In an interesting side, Hull is the first Big Macs player to make AP first-team all-state since 1983 when Sean Stopperich was named as an offensive lineman. Stopperich was an USA Today All-American that year and went to Southern Methodist (SMU), then an elite program. Stopperich received payments, among other things, to attend SMU and it was these violations which eventually led the NCAA to give SMU's football program the Death Penalty. SMU did not play football in 1987 and 1988.

Stopperich, who died in 1995, transferred to Temple after he agreed to cooperate with the NCAA during its investigation to recruiting violations at SMU.

A day before Hull's selection, Trinity junior Ken Wilkins was named Class AAA first team as a defensive lineman and offensive lineman Nate Lojek earned second-team honors.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Williams approaching milestone

Carmichaels boys basketball coach Don Williams picked up career victory No. 397 over Geibel Thursday night.

Williams has been the Mikes head basketball coach since the mid 1970s and can become the third active coach from Washington and Greene counties to reach 400 career victories - Washington's Ron Faust and California's Phil Pergola are the others. Faust and Pergola each have more than 500 wins.

Carmichaels is 6-2 overall with a 2-0 mark in Section 2-A. Undefeated against Class A teams, the Mikes could get Williams to win No. 400 on Jan. 9 at Bentworth.

Local basketball rankings

The Varsity Letters welcomes two teams - Fort Cherry and Chartiers-Houston - to its local boys basketball rankings. The Rangers are 6-0 and can improve on the win total tonight with a tough home game against Seton-La Salle. Chartiers-Houston is also off to strong start. The Bucs' eight-point loss to Wash High is the Prexies' smallest margin of victory this season.

Boys rankings
1. Washington (AA) 6-0
2. South Fayette (AA) 3-1
3. Peters Township (AAAA) 5-1
4. Fort Cherry (AA) 6-0
5. Chartiers-Houston (AA) 6-2

Girls rankings
1. Peters Township (AAAA) 5-1
2. Trinity (AAAA) 3-3
3. Fort Cherry (A) 5-1
4. South Fayette (AA) 4-2
5. Monessen (A) 4-2

Two big boys games tonight as South Fayette travels to undefeated Nort Catholic and Wash High goes to Monessen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

O-R girls basketball rankings

Class AAAA
1. Mt. Lebanon 6-0
2. Butler 5-0
3. Bethel Park 5-0
4. Peters Township 4-1
5. Norwin 4-2

Class AAA
1. West Mifflin
2. Hopewell 4-1
3. New Castle 4-0
4. Mars 4-1
5. Hampton 4-1

Class AA
1. Sto-Rox 6-0
2. Avonworth 5-0
3. Beaver 5-0
4. Ford City 6-0
5. East Allegheny 4-0

Class A
1. North Catholic 2-3
2. Vincentian Academy 3-2
3. Rochester 4-1
4. Monessen 3-2
5. Fort Cherry 5-1

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

O-R boys basketball rankings

There was considerable movement in Class AAAA as the only team to hold onto its spot from last week was No. 1 North Allegheny. In Class AA, Washington jumped to No. 3 after beating South Fayette while Quaker Valley moved into No. 2 after beating previously ranked Aliquippa.

Class AAAA
1. North Allegheny 3-0
2. Central Catholic 3-0
3. Gateway 2-0
4. Mt. Lebanon 3-1
5. Latrobe 3-1

Class AAA
1. Chartiers Valley 5-0
2. Uniontown 4-0
3. Mars 3-0
4. Hampton 3-1
5. Thomas Jefferson 1-0

Class AA
1. Beaver Falls 4-0
2. Quaker Valley 5-0
3. Washington 5-0
4. South Fayette 2-1
5. North Catholic 3-0

Class A
1. Serra Catholic 5-0
2. Sewickley Academy 3-1
3. Clairton 0-0
4. OLSH 4-2
5. Lincoln Park 2-3

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Faust wins No. 500

In the feature game of Hoopfest at Trinity High School between Wash High and Trinity, the Prexies won 69-37 to give head coach Ron Faust his 500th career victory. Faust becomes just the second coach from Washington County to earn 500 wins. Phil Pergola, with Ringgold and currently California, is the other.

In Faust's 28 years, the Prexies have won 16 section titles, four WPIAL championships and two state titles (1984, 1986). Faust is in his final year as coach, teacher and athletic director at Wash High.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Local basketball rankings

Each Friday, we're going to rank the top five boys and girls teams from within the Observer-Reporter coverage area.

Boys rankings
1. Washington (Class AA) 3-0
2. South Fayette (Class AA) 1-1
3. Peters Township (Class AAAA) 2-1
4. Canon-McMillan (Class AAAA) 1-1
5. Monessen (Class AA) 1-2

Girls rankings
1. Peters Township (Class AAAA) 3-1
2. South Fayette (Class AA) 3-0
3. Trinity (Class AAAA) 2-1
4. Fort Cherry (Class A) 4-0
5. Monessen (Class A) 3-1

Shaler basketball coach dies


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kuhns to Waynesburg

As reported by the Observer-Reporter, the Central Greene School Board has hired Joe Kuhns as the varsity football coach at Waynesburg High School. Kuhns, 38, spent the past seven years as the head football coach at California High School.

Kuhns guided the Trojans to the WPIAL Class A playoffs in each of those seven years and made two quarterfinals appearances. He also coached Donte Valentino, the leading rusher in California's history and a member of the WPIAL 4,000-yard club.

He replaces Scott Orndoff, who picked up one win in two years at Waynesburg. Kuhns went 38-33 at California.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

APB, Where are they now?

Thanks to the readers who informed the varsity Letters that former Ringgold High School girls basketball standout Brittany Warren is a proud Duquesne U grad and working in accounting.

This week, TVL is issuing an All Points Bulletin for former Burgettstown boys player Jason Young. A 1,000-point scorer during his days with the Blue Devils (early 2000's), Young was a double-double machine.

Anyone with information on Taylor's whereabouts is urged to contact the Varsity Letters.

Monday, December 8, 2008

O-R boys basketball rankings

1. North Allegheny 2-0
2. Hempfield 2-0
3. Mt. Lebanon 2-0
4. McKeesport 1-1
5. Central Catholic 2-0

Class AAA
1. Chartiers Valley 2-0
2. Hampton 2-0
3. Greensburg-Salem 2-0
4. Blackhawk 1-1
5. Hopewell 1-1

Class AA
1. Beaver Falls 2-0
2. Aliquippa 1-0
3. South Fayette 1-0
4. North Catholic 2-0
5. Washington 2-0

Class A
1. Serra Catholic 2-0
2. Clairton 0-0
3. Sewickley Academy 1-1
4. Cornell 2-0
5. Lincoln Park 0-2

O-R girls basketball rankings

Welcome to the first edition of the Observer-Reporter WPIAL girls basketball rankings. The boys rankings will follow.

Class AAAA
1. Mt. Lebanon 2-0
2. Butler 2-0
3. Bethel Park 2-0
4. Peters Township 1-1
5. Shaler 2-0

Class AAA
1. Hampton 2-0
2. Hopewell 1-1
3. West Mifflin 2-0
4. New Castle 2-0
5. Chartiers Valley 1-1

Class AA
1. Sto-Rox 2-0
2. Avonworth 2-0
3. Seton-La Salle 2-0
4. Greensburg Central Catholic 1-1
5. OLSH 1-1

Class A
1. Winchester Thurston 1-0
2. North Catholic 0-2
3. Monessen 1-1
4. Mt. Alvernia 0-1
5. Quigley Catholic 2-0

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Streak snapped

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s longest active high school football winning streak — and fourth longest ever — came to an end Saturday in Tennessee when Hillsboro beat Maryville 10-7 for the Class 4A state championship.
Jacob Noe kicked a 20-yard field goal with 8:52 left, and the Burros (13-2) held on to hand Maryville (14-1) its first loss since Nov. 28, 2003. The Rebels came into the game as four-time defending champions and had won 74 consecutive games.
Maryville owned the nation’s longest active streak less than 24 hours. South Panola (Miss.) had its winning streak snapped at 89 when Meridian won the Mississippi Class 5A title in overtime Friday night.
De La Salle (Calif) holds the record with 151 in a row from 1992-2004. Charlotte (N.C.) Independence won 109 in a row from 2000-2007.

Headed to Hershey

Caught the final minutes of regulation in addition to all three overtimes on the drive to work as Bethel Park clinched its first appearance in the PIAA Class AAAA football championship with a 38-35 victory over Wilson-West Lawn Saturday.

Kudos to Black Hawks coach Jeff Metheny, whose first head coaching job was at Waynesburg High School.

As a former BP resident, it's nice to see the Black Hawks reach the title game and it's always good to see the WPIAL well represented next weekend at Hersheypark Stadium. Bethel Park plays Bethlehem Liberty Saturday at 7 p.m.

My only gripe from the game was that, during the final minutes of regulation, the WEAE-AM radio announcers continued to talk about the possibility of overtime. For those of us who had just tuned in, we went the better part of 10 minutes before hearing the score. I asked the radio for the score on at least three occasions.

Congratulations also goes to Thomas Jefferson, who will play for its third PIAA Class AAA championship. The Jaguars play Archbishop Wood Friday at 7 p.m.

Clairton makes its first PIAA Class A championship appearance and faces defending champs Steelton-Highspire Friday at 1 p.m. Steel-High is led by Jeremiah Young, the PIAA's all-time leading rusher. The WPIAL hasn't won a Class A title since Rochester in 2001.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Corley to retire

Major Corley, Monessen High School's long-time girls basketball coach, informed the school district Thursday that he will retire at the end of the 2008-09 season.

Corley, who enters his 23rd season tonight as Monessen plays Greater Latrobe, owns a career record of 440-143, an eye-popping .755 win-percentage.

Under Corley's direction, Monessen has played in nine WPIAL Class A championship games and won titles in 1995, 2004 and 2006. In 2004, Monessen won the PIAA championship and a school-record 29 games.

A total of four Division I players – Gina Naccarato (Duquesne), Tish Williams (WVU/St. Francis (Pa.), Charel Allen (Notre Dame) and Christina Chukwuedo (Bucknell) – have played for Corley.

Monessen will celebrate Corley's career on Jan. 29, 2009 when Monessen hosts Mapletown at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recruiting frenzy

Anyone reading the Wednesday sports section of the Observer-Reporter may have noticed two stories on local athletes headed to Division I programs to play sports.

Peters Township's Greg Weimer will play soccer at Virginia Tech.

Chartiers-Houston's Karlyn Timko will play tennis at Marshall.

Weimer and Timko are part of a flurry of local recruiting activity of late. A few posters enjoy knocking the state of area high school football, but there's no denying Washington and Greene counties are supplying Division I teams with student-athletes.

Other recent recruits include:

Canon-McMillan Mike Hull, a junior who committed to Penn State for football;

Ringgold pitcher Corey Young, who will play at Lafayette;

Carmichaels infielder Chuck Gasti (Cleveland State);

Canon-McMillan infielder Matt Pierpont (Winthrop);

Canon-McMillan girls soccer player Taylor Schram (Penn State);

McMurray resident and former Peters Township tennis players Alison Riske (Vanderbilt);

Waynesburg golfer Rachel Rohanna (Ohio State);

Peters Township basketball player Emily Correal (William & Mary);

Wash High girls basketball player Jocelyn Floyd (Duquesne);

and Ringgold girls basketball player Emily Schartner (New Jersey Institute of Technology).

It's an impressive list, one that does not include a pair of Division II recruits in Carmichaels' Joby Lapkowicz (Slippery Rock, baseball) and Beth-Center's Ryne Niemiec (Cal U, basketball).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The good, the bad, the ugly – boys preseason edition

A quick look at some story lines for the upcoming boys basketball season.

The Good
Several of the area's top teams return a slew of starters. Peters Township, Monessen, South Fayette, Washington and Carmichaels all have top scorers back and each is excited about its chances for the upcoming season.

Coaches in Section 2-A aren't likely to be overly upset about California's move up to Section 5-AA. The Trojans have dominated the section after Monessen moved into 5-AA. The veteran lineups at Carmichaels and Beth-Center are the early favorites.

Wash High coach Ron Faust needs five wins to reach 50 in his career. California coach Phil Pergola has won 511 games. Carmichaels coach Don Williams has coached the Mikes for 33 years.

The Bad
It might be difficult watching a few teams in Section 2-A defend Beth-Center's Ryne Niemiec, a consistent 22-point per game scorer at the Class AA level and a Califonia University of Pennsylvania recruit.

Bentworth lost four starters from a team which reached the PIAA Class A quarterfinals. Inexperience may hurt the Bearcats early, but a move to Section 2 and the potential on a 19-player roster will keep them in the playoff hunt.

The Ugly
Avella lost coach Joe Johnson after he was arrested in early October. Assistant coach Joe Hough takes over the Eagles, who return three starters and should once again field a competitive Class A team.

The Odd
On Jan. 13, 2009, Chartiers-Houston travels to Burgettstown in a Section 5-AA contest. The Bucs are coached by Jerry Cypher. The Blue Devils are coached by Brenden Cypher, Jerry's son and a 1,000-point scorer at C-H. The two meet again in the regular season finale on Feb. 6.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The good, the bad, the ugly – girls preseason edition

The following are a few story lines to follow during the 2008-09 local girls basketball season:

The Good
Three local players already made decisions to join Division I teams next year. Peters Township senior Emily Correal, the nation's No. 68 recruit according to ESPN HoopGurlz, is headed to William & Mary. Wash High senior Jocelyn Floyd will play at Duquesne. Ringgold senior Emily Schartner will play at New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Peters Township reached the WPIAL Class AAAA championship last year. In addition to the return of Correal and Lexi Kamphaus, the Indians will be coached by Pete Serio.

Last year was Mike Maltony's first as the head coach at Wash High. The Prexies were 24-3 and opened the year with 19 straight victories.

The Bad
Trinity went just 7-17 a year ago. That includes a 0-12 mark in Section 4-AAAA. Weeks before this year started, Becky Siembak resigned as head coach, after only one year. Luckily for the Hillers, she's been replaced by Jim Webb, who previously guided Trinity to the PIAA playoffs.

West Greene and Jefferson-Morgan combined to win five games.

The Ugly
The return of Bethany Warren (who attended Mount de Charmel last year) figured to bolster Ringgold's postseason chances as the Rams move back to Class AAAA. Two years ago, when Warren, Schartner and Alina Selby were all in the starting lineup, Ringgold qualified for the PIAA Class AAA tournament. Selby suffered a knee injury during volleyball season, and the Rams were dealt injuries to several other players. It figures to make things a little more challenge for new coach Nick Mandich, a successful head coach at Trinity and West Greene.

APB, Where are they now?

With the high school basketball season five days from tip-off, the Varsity Letters is starting to search for former high school basketball standouts from the area. This week, an All Points Bulletin is being issued for Brittany Warren, one of the better girls players in Ringgold history.

In high school, Warren was a do-it-all guard. She could score - as her 1,676 career points demonstrates, dish, dribble, rebound and defend. Warren also kept the Rams competitive and playoff-caliber.

The 5-9 Warren earned a scholarship to Robert Morris, where she started five games and averaged 18.6 points before transferring to Duquesne.

With the Dukes, Warren became a regular but a knee injury put a premature end to her senior season. Brittany's sister Bethany will be a senior forward/center on the Rams in 2008-09.

Anyone with information on Warren's whereabouts is urged to contact the Varsity Letters.