Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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.

35 comments:

Kevin Rice said...

The post season run by the Bentworth boys basketball team was an exciting time and top sports highlight for me in 2008. Coach Kennedy has done a fine job with the program and last year's team was exceptional. Good things lie ahead on the hardwood at Bentworth.

Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that a Washington County team winning a baseball state championship took a backseat to Avella Football? Lets be honest, yeah it was a feel good story, but at the end of the season Avella wasnt playing football...they were playing a running clock the entire game, they were playing 8 minute qtrs, they were playing with 10 kids, they were getting blown out everywhere they went...it was a mockery. Yeah i feel bad for those kids but you cant tell me that was a better story than a local team winning a state title in one of the 3 big sports in the state. sorry.

Anonymous said...

The Avella football story was a much better story than the always underachieving CM football team. Whats a better story, 14 kids that play thier hearts out to compete for their town or 80 kids that seemingly never show up and embarass their local town with no guts?

I agree, the Avella story is a much better story than a flash in the pan baseball team from a school district that just doesn't get it.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the New York Times did a story on C-M baseball.

Logan Must Go.... said...

Ringgold Basketball beating Bethel Park should be on there. That was a miracle they won a section game in AAAA.

Anonymous said...

I thought the CM march to the state championship should have been the top sports story in Washington county. No one had this team on their radar at the beginning of the baseball season .

Anonymous said...

The New York Times will NEVER do a story on Canon-Mac baseball. Avella football easily created more "watercooler" talk than Canon-Mac baseball. Plus, who cares about high school baseball. In Wash County, football is No. 1 and everything else is a distant second.

Anonymous said...

Yeah i agree the avella story is a lot more interesting than high school baseball so it does deserve to be the top story. It was a story that started out in the first week of high school football and every saturday morning i turned to the score section of the observer to see how "bad" the score was of the avella game. It was pretty embarrassing but it was pretty amazing how one coach and a few players had such heart to keep pushing and trying week in and week out. Losing is tough but when you know you are going to lose and keep trying thats pretty special. It was a good and insipiring story to follow to me since i am a fellow athlete.

Anonymous said...

oh the NY times this, the NY times that. So what? They are a freaking newspaper. They are not the end all/be all of media in the US. Who cares if they did a story about Avella Football? Do you think anyone that subscribes to and/or reads the NY Times remembers an article about Avella Football? The NY Times does hundreds upon hundreds of sympathy pieces each year, who cares? Everyone on this blog and in washington county do nothing but complain about the lack of good sports teams in this area and then one actually wins a state title in a major sport and they are supposed to take a backseat to an 0-9 football team that cant field a team? The only reason they were able to finish the season was because every team they played showed mercy on them and let them run the clock the entire game. For the health and safety of those kids the Avella season should have been stopped anyway. It was a joke.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone feel the need to bad mouth Avella Football? You make Canon Mac look bad. Those players have gold medals...They don't care who or what is the top OR sports story. Show a little class please. Guntown deserves it.
Bob Dump

mike_kovak said...

I think there is a distinction between an achievement and a story.

It is my belief that Canon-McMillan's PIAA baseball title was the top achievement of 2008. Avella football was the most captivating story.

I'm not sure if I agree with a previous post which stated baseball is the No. 3 sport in the state. Locally, it is the No. 1 sport in terms of success over the past 10 years but it does not draw the crowds or the following the football, basketball, wrestling and, at times, soccer does.

Anonymous said...

I would think that the story of the year would involve the CM seniors that lead the hard court team to unprecedented heights and then turned baseketball sneakers for baseball cleats and went on to win the PA Quad A state championships. The entire community rallied behind this senior class during the winter and spring sports schedule and if you are looking for national recognition, look no further than the 22nd National ranking bestowed upon them for their baseball accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

Actually, baseball is king in Washington County. This has nothing to do with what is the top story of the year.

Baseball teams in Washington County have fared much better than football teams over the past decade. Look up the numbers!

Baseball teams have won way more WPIAL titles and have produce more WPIAL semifinalist and finalist than football, to be sure.

If football is king in Washington County, that isn't saying much.

Big Shot ROd said...

I think the story of the year should Rodney Taylor being the president of Ringgold Travel Basketball.

Kevin Rice said...

Hey Anonymous, not the Anonymous that seems to make sense and use reason to participate in this discussion- the other Anonymous. The one that is whining about CM not being the top sports story (it is hard to keep track of these people that don't identify themselves). Take off the blue and gold glasses for a minute. After listing (in his view) the top sports stories of the year, Mike wrote: "I'd like to hear what sports stories readers followed during 2008.". Instead of adding other stories to the discussion (like I did), all you have contributed to this is crying about the lack of recognition your Mac's have received in being Mike's #2. Why don't you start a Blog so you can gush over CM sports? Your whining is really boring.

Anonymous said...

"one actually wins a state title in a major sport"

I'm sorry, but high school baseball is not and never will be a major sport.

Anonymous said...

In hindsight I guess CM winning at ANYTHING besides wrestling should be a huge story. Its not like their fans should know how to act so I guess these comments should be no big surprise.

mike_kovak said...

To clarify, the Top 10 list was the Observer-Reporter's not a personal list.

Kevin Rice said...

Are there any other sports stories you would add to the O-R list Mike?

R. Keith Taylor said...

Whomever called me Hot Shot Rod, I dont need the praise. I am just running the league because no one else will.

mike_kovak said...

My personal list closely reflects that of the O-R list. I believe I voted for all 10 stories that were in the top 10, but in a slightly different order after the top two.

Some others I considered were Ron Faust's final year and winning his 500th game, the arrest of former Avella boys basketball coach Joe Johnson and the influx of Division I signings in the non-revenue sports.

CM STUDDA said...

Rodney are you planning on taking the Washington Sr High basketball job???

I heard you were in the running.

R. Keith Taylor said...

lol

CM Studda said...

Ok who is getting the job at Washington. Someone posts on here before that Rodney Taylor brother of Yancey Taylor from Ringgold is taking the job. I would think with thsoe bloodlines it woudl be a good fit.

Would someone please post something reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Word is Mike Maltony, the High's girls coach is the one
who will replace Faust.

Rangold Wams said...

Is Bean Heller playing football next year???????? From the looks of it he is done. I doubt Mt. Union would take on his baggage.

R. Keith Taylor said...

I am not related to Yancey. I don't feel I am ready for a Varsity program yet.

CM Studda said...

My fault I thought I read on one of these blogs you were related to Yancey.

Everyone on this blog thinks your ready I hear them blowing you up all the time like your going to be the next Rick Bell.

CM Studda

Anonymous said...

who's Yancey Taylor? He said he was best friends with Evgeni Malkin tho...

D Town Boyz said...

Yancey Taylor knows everyone.

R. Keith Taylor said...

Rick Bell is good people. You always know that when you play Canon-Mac, you are going have a ball game. He COACHES his teams. He is animated and directs his players to the best of their talents. I hope that when it is all said and done I can be half the coach he is. He is a great coach. I would not mind coaching in his system to learn his ways. (Yancey Taylor does know everyone too.)

D Town Boyz said...

If you notice about Rick Bell though he is always positive. He doesnt just yell and rip the kids apart.

Anonymous said...

being positive too much can be a pretty bad thing too... kids should not be happy if they lose to montour or squeak by canevin...

only yancey i ever heard of is thigpen

mike_kovak said...

Rick Bell is one of the best basketball coaches around. Period. Always positive. Always looking for ways to improve. Always coaching and doing what he can to help his players and students.

CV ALUM said...

That anon post was just ridiculous no one is happy when they lose. Ripping your players apart and screaming at them doesnt always get the best out of kids who are 18and younger. It usually doesnt get the best out of any older either.