EXTRA INNINGS: Steelers still in playoff hunt — sure they are!
FACING REALITY NOT HAPPENING: Fast forward to Feb. 3, 2014. It’s the day after the Broncos and Seahawks got together for a little football game in New Jersey…and the Pittsburgh media have released their weekly Monday morning missive explaining how the Steelers can still make the 2013 playoffs.
By the end of September, the team had lost all eight games played in 2013. True, the first four were August exhibition games, but it was déjà vu after dropping their first four regular season games. Scalpers really had to work to dump those unwanted tickets.
By the first week of November, the Steelers found themselves burdened with a 2-6 mark. A three-game win streak (albeit with two of those wins against embarrassments known to all as the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns) got the playoff possibilities drooling from talk show hosts, newspaper columnists, and bloggers, each one requiring the smallest of miracles, not large ones, mind you, just semi-marvels.
Sailors make 1st PIAA playoff start
While Saturday will serve as his Sailors’ first foray into the PIAA playoffs, Lakeview High head football coach Dan York is going along for the ride, taking it all in stride.
Stopping shy of stifling a yawn, York calmly said, “We consider the playoffs the playoffs. When you make the playoffs out of our region (1-A), you’ve already gone up against some of the better teams in the state. So whether it’s the districts or state, it’s still the playoffs.”
Lakeview wins 1st ever D-10 football title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
While Sharpsville’s program has the pedigree — 8 championships and 14 title tilt appearances, plus the 1997 PIAA plateau — Lakeview launched its 1st crown since the district football playoffs’ 1985 inception.
EXTRA INNINGS: St. Louis shuffles the Cards, stacks the deck?
WHILE THE rest of the National League Central Division sits back and watches, St. Louis has shuffled the Cards with two trades, stacking the deck to become the favorite to repeat in 2014.
Although St. Louis won both its division and league pennant in 2013, outfield defense and shortstop offense worried the Cardinals throughout the season.
Last Thursday, the Cards shipped third baseman David Freese to the Angels for center fielder Peter Bourjos, considered by more than a few experts to be the best defensive centerfielder in baseball.
Lakeview tops Mercer, moves to Class A title game
NEW WILMINGTON — Pat McClearn lived Lakeview High football program’s previous gridiron glory days. Unfortunately for him on Friday night he was on the business end of the current Sailors’ resurgence.
McClearn and his Mercer High Mustangs were eliminated by Lakeview from the District 10 Class A semifinals, 52-21.
Slippery Rock ousted from D-10 playoffs
The undefeated season of head coach Brendan Hathaway and the Slippery Rock Rockets (10-1) came to an end on Friday with a 35-15 loss to General McLane at Slippery Rock University.
“Nothing that happened on this field tonight was from a lack of effort and I’m proud of them for that,” said Hathaway following the District 10 Class AAA semifinal game.
The Region 6-AAA champion Rockets were led by junior quarterback Jake Whitmer, who ran for 123 yards and scored both of Slippery Rock’s touchdowns. He also threw for 82 yards. Junior Travis Lauster rushed for 73 yards and senior Frank Conlon ran for 58.
EXTRA INNINGS: Clutch 'Cutch' clutches MVP trophy
PITTSBURGH PIRATES centerfielder Andrew McCutchen makes it “The Magnificent Seven.”
McCutchen is the seventh player in Pirates history to be named the National League’s most valuable player.
It took 33 years after Paul Waner became the first Bucco MVP in 1927 for Dick Groat to become the second in 1960. Roberto Clemente won in 1966, Dave Parker in 1978, Willie Stargell in 1979 (tied with St. Louis’ Keith Hernandez), and Barry Bonds in 1990 and 1992.
Lakeview set for rematch with Mercer
The Lakeview Sailors have lost only one game this season — to their neighboring rival, the Mercer Mustangs in Week 4 of the regular season, 19-8.
The two teams will meet again on Friday in the District 10 semifinals in hopes of making it to the championship game against the winner of yet another Mercer County rivalry — Sharpsville vs. West Middlesex.
Senior All-Star soccer matches Saturday
The 2013 Western Pa. Senior All-Star Soccer matches will be held on Saturday at Grove City High School’s Forker Field.
The boys game will start at 11 a.m. while the girls will play at 1 p.m. The event is hosted by the Grove City Soccer Boosters and it is the 2nd year in a row the games will be played in GC.
The annual games highlight sportsmanship, soccer skills and community-wide support. Players from 16 different schools are scheduled to compete Saturday.
Mercer rolls past the Spa
ERIE – The Mercer Mustangs used a timely combination of big plays on offense and stout defense Friday night to earn a 35-14 victory over Cambridge Springs in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The victory sends Mercer into the District 10 semifinals Friday night at Wilmington High Stadium. Mercer will face conference rival Lakeview (10-1) which rolled past Maplewood, 61-6.
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