Valley athletes expected to sign with colleges next week
Wednesday begins the NCAA's early college signing period for several sports, including baseball, softball, volleyball and golf.
Several A-K senior recruits are expected to sign with Division I schools.
Two are from Riverview — Anthony Malky (Akron/ baseball) and Arden Fisher (Robert Morris/volleyball).
Fox Chapel will have three signees: Elly Wagner (North Carolina/softball; Ashley DeMoss (Marshall/golf) and Natalie Bonaroti (Marist/lacrosse).
Teams to watch
Keep an eye on three A-K football teams next season. Apollo-Ridge, Highlands and Kiski Area return a host of starters.
Highlands will lose just three seniors, including one starter, while Apollo-Ridge loses seven seniors and returns nearly its entire offense and Kiski Area returns most of its skill position players.
Apollo-Ridge (Class A) and Kiski Area (Class AAAA) made the WPIAL playoffs, while Highlands (Class AAA) barely missed qualifying by a tiebreaker.
Kiski Area hadn't been to the playoffs since 2006; Apollo-Ridge since 2007.
Burrell senior quarterback James Liput was hoping to help get his team deeper into the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, but the Buccaneers lost to Mt. Pleasant in the first round. In somewhat of a consolation, Liput broke a passing record in the 48-28 loss.
Liput's 23 completions broke the single-game mark set by his head coach, Kevin Horwatt, in 1995. Liput finished 23-for-35 for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Burrell standout running back/linebacker Cole Bush could end up in the Ivy League. He recently visited Bucknell and plans to visit Penn on Saturday — both unofficial visits. He has an official visit planned to Brown in December. Bush's 7.8 yards-per-carry average is impressive but so is his grade-point average (4.1).
Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn, who played tight end and linebacker this season, is getting Division I attention as well. Michigan State, Tennessee and Akron have shown interest. Teammates Joey Brungo (WR/DB) and Adam Mitcheson (kicker) also are getting looks from Division I schools. All three players will be seniors next year.
Last year's Valley News Dispatch Girls Basketball Player of the Year, Mary Andrejko, has left St. Vincent College to enroll in nursing school at Community College of Allegheny County. Andrejko, a Riverview grad, has not counted out a return to basketball at a different school in the future. She averaged 21.6 points per game last season to lead WPIAL Class A.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.