Borland moves into coaching ranks

| Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

Former St. Joseph swimmer Kegan Borland wanted to become a coach one day, but he never figured it would happen this soon.

Borland, a 22-year-old Vandergrift native, is the interim head coach at Shady Side Academy. John Landreth is on sabbatical for a year, so Borland is coaching and teaching at the Fox Chapel school.

Borland swam for national power Kenyon College, a Division III program. He won two national titles in the 1,650-yard freestyle. In high school, he won two WPIAL 500-yard freestyle titles in Class AA.

"I knew that I wanted to teach after college, and I didn't really want to leave swimming behind," he said. "So, this was truly perfect for me, and I'm really enjoying it."

Coach searches

Fox Chapel and Apollo-Ridge are in the final stages of interviewing potential football coaches.

Fox Chapel's next school-board meeting is tonight. Apollo-Ridge's next voting meeting is Jan. 24.

St. Joseph's getting healthier

The St. Joseph's boys basketball team is hoping to get a pair of key players back in the lineup in the coming weeks.

Junior Mike Connelly could be out another two weeks with a sprained ankle. During Friday's game, he was on crutches but walked with a therapeutic boot.

Senior Nick Farrell, the sixth man, was elbowed in the mouth against Valley and had some teeth loosened. He could be fitted for a mouth guard soon.

Games to watch

Plum's boys basketball team already has one big upset this season: 52-48 over former Class AAAA No. 5 McKeesport.

This Friday, the Mustangs will be looking to knock off Gateway (9-2, 2-1), which was No. 1 at one point this season, on the road. Gateway's losses came against North Allegheny and Franklin Regional. The latter could be motivation for Plum (5-6, 2-1), which beat the Gators twice last season in Section 2-AAAA.

Plum junior guard Nolan Cressler, who scored 46 points Saturday, is averaging 28.

Highlands (6-5, 4-0) also has a big Section 1-AAA game coming Tuesday at Mars (9-1, 4-0). Highlands' Micah Mason and Mars' Christian Locher have posted games of 40-plus points this season, and both have more than 1,000 career points.

Another game to watch Friday is Norwin (6-2, 3-1) at Kiski Area (6-4, 3-1) in Section 1-AAAA.

Mat fireworks

Burrell (8-0) and Kiski Area (8-0), wrestling rivals for years, will meet again Friday. There aren't many nonsection matches that draw as much attention or fanfare.

One individual match to watch will be at 215 pounds: Kiski Area's Bill Emerick will look to avenge a 1-0 loss to Brian Beattie in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association tournament semifinals.

Another is at 189: Matt McCutcheon of Kiski Area will look to make it two wins in a row against Jay Taylor. McCutcheon won their first meeting, 10-2, also in the WCCA tournament.

Player to watch

Knoch has a sophomore hockey player who is turning some heads in the PIHL. Michael Rykaczewski, a forward, has 15 goals and eight assists for the Knights.

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