Articles

10/23/09

By JIM RUMBLE

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.

10/23/09

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.

10/23/09

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.

10/17/09

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.

10/16/09

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.

10/16/09

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.

10/16/09

By JIM RUMBLE

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."

10/16/09

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.

10/10/09

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.

10/9/09

Two senior Avon-worth athletes shared the spotlight in an Oct. 2 assembly when KDKA awarded Molly Frew the "Extra Effort Award," and ESPN Radio 1250 named Jimmy Zubik “Athlete of the Week.”

Introducing Molly, KDKA news personality Bob Pompeani said that Molly "…exemplifies all that can be expected from a star athlete."

Basketball coach Bob Schulz described Molly as "…an outstanding athlete with a tremendous work ethic," adding, "…and she's always smiling!"

In addition to basketball, Molly runs cross country and plays softball.

The award included a $200 check for the school.

10/9/09

Two senior Avon-worth athletes shared the spotlight in an Oct. 2 assembly when KDKA awarded Molly Frew the "Extra Effort Award," and ESPN Radio 1250 named Jimmy Zubik “Athlete of the Week.”

Introducing Molly, KDKA news personality Bob Pompeani said that Molly "…exemplifies all that can be expected from a star athlete."

Basketball coach Bob Schulz described Molly as "…an outstanding athlete with a tremendous work ethic," adding, "…and she's always smiling!"

In addition to basketball, Molly runs cross country and plays softball.

The award included a $200 check for the school.

10/9/09

Four members of the Avonworth cross country team picked up medals during the Grove City Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 3.

Senior captains Scott Beatty and Matt Grzywinski placed 11th and 24th respectively for the boys’ team. For the girls’ team, senior captain Molly Frew finished in 12th place, and sophomore Rachel Shenck placed 23rd.

10/9/09

By JIM RUMBLE

Having to face the #4-ranked AA team proved to be too much to handle for the Northgate Flames when they traveled to South Fayette last Friday.

In a game that was decided before the first half ended, Lions quarterback Christian Brumbaugh threw for 209 yards, including five touchdowns, while leading his team in a rout over the Flames, 40-7.

"That's the best team we've played,” said head coach Mike Pipak. “That quarterback was unbelievable - he put the ball on the money. We had coverage at times and he stuck it in where we couldn't get to it."

10/9/09

Senior Avonworth basketball player Tara Gallupe signed a letter of intent last Monday to attend Walsh University in Canton, OH, where she will pursue a degree in bioinformatics while also playing for the Division II Cavaliers.

Tara has played both forward and center for Avonworth for the past four years under the guidance of former head coach Julie Tullar and current coach Bob Schulz.

10/3/09

No one was leaving the game early when Avonworth hosted Springdale Friday night. The two evenly matched teams battled it out until the final seconds of a game that proved frustrating for the Antelopes.

The red defense forced four turnovers, while the offense moved within 10 yards of the goal line several times without being able to capitalize.

Springdale put the first score on the board just before halftime, and led 7-0 until less than two minutes remained in the game. Avonworth's Jimmy Zubik ran in for the 'Lopes' first and only score.

10/2/09

First team, second team, it didn’t seem to matter as the Avonworth Antelopes rolled over the Wilkinsburg Tigers last Friday, 41-12.

"We got a lot of people playing tonight," head coach Jason Kekseo said after the game.

The section away game started slow, with only seven points scored in the first quarter, but picked up quick in the second. By halftime, Avonworth led the Tigers 34-0.

Four different Antelopes scored touchdowns in the victory that improves the 'Lopes’ record to 4-0 overall, and 2-0 in section play.

10/2/09

By JIM RUMBLE

It’s bad enough when you have to face a bigger and stronger opponent almost every other week in the Century Conference, but when you throw in a couple of calls that could have gone your way and add to that some mistakes of your own, well that creates the perfect recipe for failure.

That was the predicament the Northgate football team found themselves in when they hosted Keystone Oaks last Friday. The Flames were defeated 47-14.

“They’re a big team,” head coach Mike Pipak said of the Eagles.

9/26/09

With nary an anarchist in sight, the Flames and the Antelopes focused their collective attentions Friday night on winning some football games. The effort worked out well for the 'Lopes, who remain undefeated, but not so well for Northgate, which remains winless.

The Avonworth team navigated their way around G-20 detours and road closures to reach Wilkinsburg, where they pulled down a 41-12 win. Jimmy Zubik continued his impressive play, scoring three touchdowns that included one on an interception. Jake Szolis, Mike Simmons and Brian Vales had touchdowns as well.

9/25/09

Last Friday’s game featured two Century Conference teams in search of their first win of the season when the Northgate Flames played host to the South Park Eagles. Although the Flames turned in their best effort of the season, they were on the losing end of the 13-7 final score.

9/25/09

Avonworth's first section game of the season against Brentwood went down to the wire, and the 'Lopes defense was asked to come up big late in the game.

9/19/09

Last night's high school football games went full force into the final moments of the games, unlike past weeks when the local teams' fates were pretty much decided shortly after half time.

9/18/09

Someone once said, “You’re never as good as you think you are when you’re playing well and you’re not as bad as they think you are when you’re playing poorly.” Let’s just hope that is the situation following the Northgate Flames football team’s second overwhelming loss of the season last Friday at Steel Valley.

The Flames were powerless in stopping Steel Valley’s ground game, which accumulated 316 yards. They picked up their second consecutive defeat as they were pounded by the Ironmen 47-19.

9/18/09

After what Avonworth varsity football head coach Jason Kekseo called a "great week of practice," the 'Lopes found themselves in a back-and fourth-battle last week against the Neshannock Lancers.

The first half of the non-section game was close. It wasn't until late in the third quarter that the 'Lopes took control of the game.

Avonworth did, however, win its first away game of the season 34-19, advancing to 2-0 overall on the year.