Despite an impressive showing by Avonworth's defense, the Antelopes' season came to an end in the WPIAL quarterfinals Friday night.

A powerful Clairton team, which outscored opponents by hundreds of points this past season, was held to just 24 points. Unfortunately, that was 24 more than Avonworth would be able to score.

The Antelopes were unable to capitalize on five Clairton turnovers, as penalties helped keep the Red out of the end zone. Jeff Wehner had two fumble recoveries, Ryan Shmid had one, and Brian Vales made two interceptions.


Northgate School Board's athletic committee would like to hire a third coach for the softball team.

Athletic committee chairman David Natale reported at the Monday school board meeting that it was nearly impossible for the two existing coaches to handle both the varsity and junior varsity programs, which was one of the reasons the J.V. team was eliminated last year.

He said the committee would like to hire a second assistant coach.


The Avonworth School Board hired a number of coaches at its regular meeting on Nov. 9.

Michael Boyd was hired as the ninth grade assistant boys’ basketball coach for the 2009-10 school year.

The board also hired Scott Huffmeyer and Mike Donovan as varsity boys' assistant basketball coaches. The two will share a supplemental contract.

Todd Galluppe was hired as the eighth grade boys' basketball coach.


Avonworth running back Jimmy Zubik is the Class A Eastern Conference offensive player of the year. He also was named first team running back for the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Other first team selections include offensive tackle Milton Loop, defensive lineman Mike Simmons, and linebacker Eddie Kurtz.

Second team selections include tight end Ben Kramer, offensive guard Matt Mamich and kicker Houston Hunt. Defensive second team selections are Mamich and Jeff Wehner.


Several Northgate athletes have received post-season recognition.

Varsity girls' volleyball team members Erica Benny and Amanda Silay were named to the first team all-section, while Karianne Hoover and Amber Sharlow were picked for the second team.

From the varsity football team, Josh Schultheis was named interior lineman for the second team all-section, and received an honorable mention as a tight end. Pat Carr was named second team linebacker, and Mark Wilson received an honorable mention as a wide receiver.


The Avonworth and Northgate girls' basketball teams will be part of a research study this year that could help protect future players from injury.

Northgate School Board member David Natale reported at the board's Nov. 9 committee of the whole meeting that Dr. Sani Akhaven of Allegheny General Hospital has devised a jump training program that will help build core strength and reduce the occurrence of ACL injuries.


For the first time in roughly 30 years, Northgate’s girls’ varsity cross country team participated in the state championships in Hershey last weekend. While the team itself placed 17th out of 24 teams in AA competition, Bridgit Walters placed 15th in a crowd of 291 runners and took home her first state medal. Members of the cross country team who competedare Amanda Silay, Savannah Paladin, Carolyn Denes, Rachel Rieg, Kim Senko, Allison Gusew and Bridgit Walters.


Girls at Northgate's middle school may be able to play softball this spring.

Northgate School Board athletic committee chairman David Natale said that athletic director Bryan Kyle was discussing with Avonworth the possibility of middle school softball, already in place at the neighboring school district, becoming a co-op sport.


The Monaca Indians never had a chance to repeat their 2008 playoff performance against Avonworth. The Beaver Valley team was shut out by the Antelopes 27-0 Friday night at Lenzner Field.

The Indians could not contain Jimmy Zubik, who rushed for two touchdowns and caught a pass for a third. Ryan Schmid scored the 'Lopes' fourth TD of the evening.

The game also featured some nice defensive plays, including an interception by Brian Vales.

Avonworth will play Clairton in the next round of the playoffs this coming Friday, location to be announced.


The WPIAL Class A Eastern Conference title was on the line last Friday night at J.C. Stone Field as the Avonworth Antelopes met the North Catholic Trojans in the final game of the regular season.

After a scoreless first half, the Trojans came out of the locker room ready to play and went on to beat Avonworth 17-7 and take home the conference title.

"We didn't come out to play in the second half," head coach Jason Kekseo said after the game.



Another dismal season came to a close for the Northgate football team as they were overpowered at Sto Rox last Friday, 51-12.

The Flames, who finished the season 1-8, had some chances early on, but couldn't take advantage as the Vikings pretty much decided the outcome by moving to a 24-0 halftime lead.

"We moved the ball real well all night, we just couldn't finish down at the end, especially early in the game," coach Mike Pipak said afterwards.


The Avonworth Antelopes are now focused on the WPIAL playoffs after suffering a disappointing loss to North Catholic Friday night.

The 'Lopes held their own against the undefeated home team throughout the first half, with neither team scoring. In the second half, however, penalties helped keep the 'Lopes out of the end zone. An 80-yard kick off return by Jimmy Zubik set up the only Avonworth touchdown of the night by quarterback Tom Turnbull. Kicker Houston Hunt added the extra point.

North Catholic picked up two touchdowns and a field goal to win 17-7.


The Riverview Raiders’ hopes for a win last week were put to sleep early by a heavy dose of Avonworth's running game, and the defense held a shut-out until the fourth quarter to give Avonworth the win, 41-8, on senior night.

And just because it was senior night didn't mean only the upperclassmen played. Head coach Jason Kekseo said that every member of the team that was dressed to play saw game time.



Northgate football coach Mike Pipak has stated throughout the season how hard his team plays and the effort that they put in, even in defeat. Well, all of their hard work finally paid off. The Flames defeated Quaker Valley at home last Friday, 12-8.

"We did the things that we had to do defensively. Offensively, we moved the ball then sputtered a little," Pipak said after the game. He added, "This team really deserved to win with all of their hard work. They battled all night long."


The victory bell at Alumni Field got a work-out Friday night as the Northgate Flames pulled out a win over Quaker Valley, 12-8.

Pat Carr was the star of the Senior Night game, scoring both of the Flames' touchdowns and then intercepting a pass in the end zone to stop the Quakers' last minute attempt to win the game.



Terrible would be the word to describe the cold, damp and rainy conditions that prevailed when the Northgate Flames played Bishop Canevin at Dormont Stadium last Friday.

It also would be used to describe Northgate’s field position on almost all of their offensive possessions, a situation that helped the Crusaders easily whip the Flames 31-0.

While registering two field goals, Canevin kicker Drake Greer boomed almost all of his kick-offs into the end zone or at the goal line to force the Flames’ offense to play on a much longer field.


Northgate High School is hoping that next year its athletic teams will be competing in Class A instead of AA.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) makes class assignments every two years based on the number of boys and girls in grades 9-11. Northgate's current count of 176 boys and 141 girls would have been low enough two years ago to put the school's teams into Class A, competing against schools of a similar size instead of the larger AA schools. Northgate exceeded the last cut-off level by some six boys.


Bad field conditions, cold weather and a light drizzle slowed down the 'Lopes’ offense last week against Leechburg. But that didn't matter. The defense came up with two scores on turnovers and carried Avonworth to their sixth win of the season, 21-6.

The game was the 'Lopes' first of the season on a muddy grass field, and it showed. Avonworth's offense was unable to put any points on the board until the final play from scrimmage in the first half.

Head coach Jason Kekseo said that the bad weather and "terrible field conditions" were not conducive to their fast-paced offense.


Both local high school football teams took to the road for another rainy Friday night of competition.

Avonworth returned home victorious, beating Leechburg 21-6. It was a night for underclassmen to shine. Both sophomore Brian Vales and junior Ryan Schmid returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Vales added another score via a reception.

Northgate struggled with bad field position, turnovers and penalties in the Flames' 31-0 loss to Bishop Canevin. Pat Carr took a pass from QB John Girvin some 90 yards across the goal line, only to have the TD called back due to a holding penalty.


Except for one quick score, it took almost the whole first half of last Friday's section match-up against the Carlynton Cougars for Avonworth's offense to finally get its engine going.

Nonetheless, on the wheels of Jimmy Zubik, the 'Lopes picked up the shut-out win at Lenzner Field, 27-0, and improved to 5-1 on the season.

"We came together as a team in the second half," head coach Jason Kekseo said.

The match-up marked the most intense, hard-hitting game of the year, with both sides playing until, and sometimes after, every whistle.


A Bellevue native and Northgate High School graduate has been named head basketball coach at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville.

Matthew Driscoll will lead the Division I, Atlantic Sun Conference, team in its first game on Nov. 14 against Notre Dame.

Driscoll began his career in 1988 as the head coach at Northgate. He served as head coach at LaRoche College 1993-97, and was an assistant at Baylor for six years. He also coached at Clemson and Wyoming universities.

Driscoll is a 1992 graduate of Slippery Rock, and is married with two sons.



In a clash between winless teams, the Northgate Flames' comeback attempt came up short when they traveled to Cornell last Friday.

After spotting the Raiders 13 first half points, the Flames put forth a courageous effort in the second, but couldn't get it done in the end as they suffered their sixth loss of the season 20-12.

After the game coach Mike Pipak said, "I'm so proud of our kids - they sucked it up and played so hard in the second half." He added, "We had our chances and just couldn't finish at the end."


Northgate's ninth grade boys' basketball team will be absorbed into the varsity/junior varsity program, at least for the coming season.

School board athletic committee chairman David Natale reported at the board's Oct. 12 committee of the whole meeting that although 11 boys had signed up for the ninth grade team, there was concern that the school would not be able to field both varsity and junior varsity teams. Natale said that the committee was attempting to avoid what happened last year, when several varsity players had to play both JV and varsity games.


Local football fans who survived a rainy first half got to see the real action in Friday night's games.

Avonworth found that the Carlynton Cougars came to play, as the visitors limited the Antelopes to seven first half points, keeping quarterback Tom Turnbull scrambling and targeting receiver Jimmy Zubik.

The Cougars couldn't hold the 'Lopes forever, however. The second half saw three Red touchdowns. Zubik scored three TDs on the night, while Turnbull added another and Brian Vales brought down an interception.

The final score was 27-0 Avonworth.