- Grove City, Pennsylvania


November 14, 2012

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Mercer County teams are in control

OPINION — WE ALL KNOW the dislike between Sharon and Farrell, Grove City and Hickory, Reynolds and Greenville, West Middlesex and Sharpsville, West Middlesex and Kennedy Catholic.

Mercer County sports fans know these rivalries all too well.

We can argue until the cows come home about which rivalry is better or more intense and never come to a consensus.

There are a couple things all of will agree on whether you live in Hermitage, Grove City, Sandy Lake or Transfer — Mercer County football teams are generally better than their northern counterparts and we love it when our teams shut their fans up.

Our eight Class A and AA football teams took their 8 northern tier foes to the woodshed last weekend to the tune of 367-96.

One word sums that up: DOMINATION!

“That’s a testament to the coaching staffs in our region,” Grove City coach Jeff Bell said after his Eagles crushed North East.

 “I think that prepares us for the playoffs. By the time you’re in the playoffs, you’re ready.”

Is there anything better than knowing that the District 10 Class A and AA champions will reside within Mercer County’s borders?

The only bad thing for fans of Mercer County is we won’t be able to break out the brooms again this weekend, because four of our teams have to lose — because they’re playing another Mercer County team.

“Now, we have to knock each other out,” Bell said. “In Mercer County, you better have a good coaching staff. You won’t be able to compete (if you don’t). It’s loaded. I don’t care if it’s A, AA or AAA. You better have a good coaching staff or you’ll be in trouble.”

No truer words have been spoken.

Mercer County football is loaded. I wouldn’t be surprised if some other county teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs (ie. Reynolds and Mercer) could have won their playoff openers this year as well.

Bell’s words about the coaching staffs in Mercer County were very accurate as well.

Wilmington’s Terry Verrelli and Sharpsville’s Paul Piccirilli are rock solid coaching legends and will someday soon find themselves in the Mercer County Hall of Fame.

Grove City’s Jeff Bell has over 100 wins at the helm of Grove City and has, like the aforementioned coaches, coached in Hershey for a state title.

West Middlesex’ Jason McElhaney has kept the Big Reds among the county’s best Single-A teams as has Brian Herrick at Greenville in AA.

Dan York has been a solid perennial playoff contender at Lakeview and Jarrett Samuels has guided Farrell to the PIAA Western Finals three times during his brief career.

Hickory’s Bill Brest is no slouch either, having guided the Hornets to at least one playoff win in each of his seasons as head coach.

As fun as sweeping Erie County was last weekend, I have a feeling this weekend is going to be just as fun, watching 8 Mercer County A and AA teams duke it out on the march for a D-10 title.

It’s just too bad four of them will have to go home.

Agree, disagree or just want to comment? Contact Corey at

Text Only
  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Up and down week for Sodeman

    LAST FRIDAY I headed south to add I-77 Raceway Park to my track attended list, which made for 162nd track all-time.  I-77 is located south of Ripley, West Virginia just off Interstate 77.  This season, I-77 moved from the crowded Saturday night line-up to Friday night racing and teamed up with Ohio Valley Speedway.  I-77 normally runs Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, E-Mods, Mod Lites, and 4-Cylinder Mini Stocks.  With the Sprint Cars on the schedule, I decided to make the trip and they were joined by the Super Late Models, Semi-Late Models, and E-Mods.

    July 21, 2014

  • THE CHECKERED FLAG: Blaney still running hot on area tracks

    LAST THURSDAY I headed southwest to Atomic Speedway, formerly known as KC Raceway.  The 1/3-mile high-banked dirt oval is located an hour south of Columbus, Ohio just off Route 23 near Alma.  It was my first visit in a couple years.  A big crowd turned out on Independence Day Eve as the All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars were back along with the Super Late Models and E-Mods.  The Ohio Speedweek event the week before drew a huge 62-car field and Thursday’s event drew 33.
    After an astounding Speedweek winning the final three races and four of six, Dale Blaney returned to the track that he last got defeated at.  On the Speedweek show, Jac Haudenschild made the winning pass of Blaney, while Blaney finished second.  Last Thursday, even a seventh starting spot didn’t derail Blaney for long.  The Hartford, Ohio racer worked his way to the front and made the winning pass of race-long leader Tim Shaffer on lap 16.  One caution three laps from the finish was all that slowed Blaney’s run to another $5,000 payday.  It was Blaney’s fourth straight win, sixth of the season, and all-time leading 105th of his career with the All Stars.

    July 13, 2014

  • EXTRA INNINGS: Bucs fans loved Burnett, but let's leave him in Philly

    THERE IS NO no doubt that A.J. Burnett made a huge impact during his two seasons with the Pirates.
    When he arrived in the spring of 2012, so did hope for fans wearied by teams that hadn’t seen a winning record in 20 summers.
    While he certainly did not turn the tide by himself, he turned the wheel. His swagger sometimes didn’t play well with management, but even the Buc brass had to appreciate the new culture that Burnett helped his teammates create.

    July 9, 2014

  • NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U

    Slippery Rock University rode a length-of-the-field scoring drive by its offense and a goal-line stand by its No. 1-ranked defense late in the first half of action Saturday to a 17-3 win over 14th-ranked visiting California (Pa.).

    October 19, 2011

  • steez pc.jpg NFL: Steelers top Jags as Mendenhall makes return

    Mike Tomlin isn’t ready to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are back. Not after watching his team sleepwalk through the second half against Jacksonville on Sunday.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • wheldon, dan pc.jpg IndyCar Racing: Crash takes Wheldon’s life

    Every race car driver heads onto the track understanding this race could be the last and hoping it won’t be. On Sunday, IndyCar drivers got a harsh reminder when the worst happened to one of their own.

    October 19, 2011 3 Photos

  • pens pc.jpg NHL: Sabres beat Penguins 3-2

    The Buffalo Sabres have had trouble with the Pittsburgh Penguins whether Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play or not.

    October 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • canadiens logo pc.jpg NHL Quick glance: Montreal at Pittsburgh

    A breakdown of the National Hockey League game Thursday night between the Pittsburgh Penguins and visiting Montreal Canadiens.

    October 19, 2011 4 Photos

  • High School Highlights: Oct. 19, 2011

    A look at the last few days in local high school fall sports action.

    October 19, 2011

  • washington, ron pc.jpg Leading Off: Oct. 19, 2011

    News and notes from the local, regional and national sports scene.

    October 19, 2011 5 Photos

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide