GARY BURKE BACK on a basketball team’s bench benefits Lakeview High and the rest of us. And it provides lesson that there’s definitely a distinction between retiring and resigning.

A week removed from the 2018 campaign’s conclusion, two of Mercer County’s most successful coaches — Sharon’s Jim Wildman and Hickory’s Bill Brest — have stepped away from their programs.

HERSHEY –Thursday’s PIAA Class 1A championship game was the end of a journey for Farrell High’s football team ... and the end of the trail for upstart Lackawanna.

New Grove City High wrestling coach Wes Phipps announced that the program will honor long-time coach Marty Ruley with a short ceremony prior to the home match with Mercer Wednesday.

THE 2018 Buck Season Opener looked like one of those occasions when we would shoot 3 or more big bucks on the first day, just like we did in 2016, 2012, and 2009. We travelled to camp more often this year and went out spotlighting at night many times, always recording dozens of deer sighting…

 SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – The Slippery Rock University football team saw its season come to an end Saturday with a 21-17 defeat at No. 11 Notre Dame College (Ohio) in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The District 10 All-Region teams in boys and girls soccer and girls volleyball have been announced. Voted on by the coaches, the list was compiled by the Erie Times-News.

SIXTY years ago, “Damn Yankees” was a smash Broadway hit. One of the best-known songs from the musical about the downtrodden Washington Senators that never can beat the New York Yankees is “Heart.”

GROVE CITY – Grove City College rolled to a 42-15 Presidents’ Athletic Conference win over Thiel on Saturday in the 35th annual Mercer County Cup Game at Robert E. Thorn Field.

NEW WILMINGTON – After forging Farrell football to a 4th consecutive District 10 Class 1A crown, enjoyment for Jarrett Samuels was short-lived. By the time most people read this, Samuels’ Steelers staff will be studying Shade, Farrell’s 1st-round PIAA playoff opponent.

SLIPPERY ROCK —  It wasn’t as easy as Sam Mowrey would’ve liked it, but his Grove City football team is headed back to the District 10 title game.

HERSHEY – Paced by Class 2A medalist Jonah Powell, Mercer County’s contingent collected a cache of medals at the annual PIAA Cross Country Championships.

PLAYERS wearing jerseys with Pittsburgh on the front have not appeared in the post-season in the past three years. And the Pirates have not played in a World Series for 39 seasons.

MEADVILLE – The Mercer High boys soccer team of 4th-year Coach Chris Ellis suffered a tough 2-1 loss to Iroquois on Tuesday night in the District 10 Class 1A championship match at Bender Field.

Caleb Kolb made a name for himself on the mat at Grove City High School and at the University of Nebraska.

Grove City and Farrell both closed out the regular season with perfect 9-0 records on Friday. The Steelers’ Christian Lewis became the school’s all-time leading rusher in a 46-0 win over Greenville, while Grove City routed the Bulldogs in Meadville, 56-6.

 GREENVILLE – There was a brand, new layout for this season’s Mercer County Cross Country Invitational, but essentially the same, old results ... with a surprising twist.

GREENSBURG – The Grove City College women’s tennis team captured the program’s 30th all-time Presidents’ Athletic Conference title Saturday by earning a 5-1 win over third-seeded Westminster in the championship match of the inaugural PAC Championship Tournament at Greensburg Racquet Club.

GROVE CITY — The Pittsburgh Steelers may not have won a football game Sunday afternoon (bye week), but plenty of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio at-risk youth and veterans did.

The local racing season all but came to a close last weekend with the running of the 10th annual “Steel City Stampede” at Lernerville Speedway. A total of 264 race cars competed over the two days amongst the 12 divisions and adding in the 57 Enduro cars brought the total to 321!

Last spring’s projections were not kind to the Pirates. Some prognosticators even had Pittsburgh landing in the NL Central Division’s basement, behind even the struggling Reds.

West Middlesex’s Alex Kachulis and Kennedy Catholic’s R.J. Pozzuto advanced to the PIAA Class 2A Golf Tournament with their performances on Monday at the West Regional at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville.

MEADVILLE – Hickory’s Kyra Woods, Kennedy Catholic’s R.J. Pozzuto, Wilmington’s Matt Kinkela, Brett Beith of Lakeview and Alex Kachulis of West Middlesex advanced to the West Regional with their performances Saturday in the District 10 Class 2A Golf Championships at The Country Club of Meadville.

• Grove City 47, Brashear 31 – At Forker Field, the undefeated state ranked Eagles improved to 4-0 with the win home victory against Brashear – one of the largest Class 5A schools in the PIAA.

SHARON Speedway completed the 2018 season one night earlier than scheduled after unexpected all day rain showers last Saturday washed out night two of the annual “Apple Festival Nationals”. On Friday night, the Big-Block Modifieds, “Mark Marcucci Memorial” for Mod Lites, and Dwarf Cars kicke…