Fox Chapel standout turns focus to AAU
Erin Mathias will turn her attention to the AAU circuit after a whirlwind freshman season punctuated with a verbal commitment to Duke. Fox Chapel's 6-foot-3 center will play for the Western Pennsylvania Bruins, coached by Seton-La Salle assistant Ron Mumbry.
There's no question the AAU scene has helped Mathias' stock.
"I played my first year (in high school), and I played AAU," Fox Chapel coach Meaghan Meabon said. "It's totally different than high school, but this year was a great experience for Erin. She stepped into her role nicely. She can take that experience into next year. She is only going to get better. And we have a nine-player nucleus to build around."
Mathias could have a busy summer. In addition to AAU, she has been invited to try out for the U.S.16-and-under team in May in Colorado Springs. About 200 girls will try out for 20 spots; of the 200, 34 were by invitation only, including Mathias.
Mathias is looking forward to her sophomore season at Fox Chapel — after another AAU campaign.
"I feel like there's a little pressure off," she said, "now that I know I am committed."
Kiski Area baseball player Logan Brown will face his former teammates Monday when the Cavaliers host Central Catholic. Brown, a junior, is originally from Leechburg, but he transferred to Central Catholic for his freshman and sophomore seasons before returning to Kiski Area.
"I was tired of that drive," he said. "It was an hour each way."
An outfielder/closer, Brown is getting some Division I attention. Youngstown State has made him a scholarship offer.
ESPN to feature La Roche
The La Roche men's basketball team will be featured in a segment Monday on ESPN's NCAA preview show, which begins at 6 p.m.
ESPN cameras followed La Roche after its coach, Scott Lang, died in December. La Roche persevered, winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title and making the Division III Tournament for the first time.
Former Fox Chapel coach Harry Jenkins since has been named coach of the Redhawks, who went 18-2 under his tutelage. Jenkins, who lives in Indiana Township, coached Fox Chapel for 25 years, most recently in 2005.
Six A-K athletes were nominated for the Judge John Driscoll Excellence Awards, given annually to one male and one female student-athlete from Westmoreland County. The local nominees are Dave Yakopec and Travis McKillop of Burrell, Felicia Reid and Ryan Kennedy of Kiski Area, and Allison Rayburn and Christopher Capo of Valley.
Two student-athletes from 18 county schools are nominated, and 11 finalists are chosen before the winners are picked. They will be announced during a banquet April 26 at Ferrante's Lakeview on Route 30 near Greensburg.
Knoch is firing up the grill again for March Madness.
Knoch's boys basketball boosters will have their traditional "Steak Night" event at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hotel Saxonburg. It is a gathering of fans to watch the NCAA basketball championship game, and past events have drawn more than 100 people.
A $40 fee includes a steak dinner and refreshments. For more information, contact Tom Gallagher at 724-312-4472 or Ron Junk at 412-670-6446.
Burrell starts the season as the top-ranked Class AA baseball and softball team in the WPIAL by the Tribune-Review News Service. In baseball, Freeport is No. 8, and Ford City is No. 9. Leechburg is No. 8 in Class A. Valley softball is No. 2 in Class AAA. ... Section 4-AAA baseball is off to a 1-10 start. ... Kiski Area basketball player Celena Meighan will continue her career at Pitt-Greensburg.