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High school notebook: Kasperowicz to lead Pine-Richland football

| Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
Eric Kasperowicz, who starred at North Hills and Pitt, was the offensive coordinator at Pine-Richland. File photo

Former North Hills star Eric Kasperowicz, who joined Pine-Richland's staff two years ago with head coach aspirations, was hired Monday night to lead the Rams.

“It was well worth the wait, I'll tell you that,” said Kasperowicz, who also spent more than a decade as an assistant to Jack McCurry at North Hills. “I'm very excited for the opportunity.”

Kasperowicz, 36, was offensive coordinator the past two seasons under Clair Altemus, who retired as head coach in December. A star quarterback for North Hills who played linebacker at Pitt, Kasperowicz was named Pennsylvania's high school football player of the year in 1994 by USA Today and the Associated Press.

He teaches physical education classes at North Hills. But seeing a better opportunity to rise to head coach at Pine-Richland, Kasperowicz switched Quad North football staffs.

“I was loyal to Coach McCurry, and we had a great program going there,” he said, “but eventually, I wanted to break off and do my own thing.”

Holzshu retires

Paul Holzshu has retired as Shaler's boys basketball coach, ending a 40-year career that included high school and college jobs. Holzshu, 63, will remain athletic director. Before his five seasons coaching Shaler, Holzshu had coached at East Allegheny, Franklin Regional and Gateway, as well as Garrett Community College (Md.), West Liberty and Penn State New Kensington.

Top seeds still alive

The No. 1 seeds in all four classifications survived during the first and quarterfinal rounds of the WPIAL boys and girls basketball playoffs. New Castle (Class AAAA), Chartiers Valley (AAA), Beaver Falls (AA) and Lincoln Park (A) remain alive in the boys bracket, and Mt. Lebanon (AAAA), Blackhawk (AAA), Seton-La Salle (AA) and Vincentian (A) made it to the girls semifinals.

The Chartiers Valley boys moved on with a narrow 67-62 win over rival South Fayette. The Mt. Lebanon girls squeaked by Fox Chapel, 45-42. The other six quarterfinal games featuring top seeds were decided by at least 17 points.

Clash of champions

The MAC vs. OVAC Clash of Champions wrestling showdown, featuring the top senior finishers from the MAC wrestling tournament against the top senior finishers from the OVAC Tournament, will take place at 7 p.m. March 11 at West Allegheny.

The OVAC includes 43 schools in West Virginia and Ohio.

Representing the MAC, which will be coached by West Allegheny's Mike Johnson, will be Ambridge's Mike Roberts (106 pounds); South Side Beaver's Chris Flynn (113) and Nathan Reckner (120); Montour's Tyler Kim (126) and Travis Grando (138); Hopewell's Fillippo Crivelli (132), Damon Drositis (160), Michael Tempalski (170) and Damon Sims (285); Freedom's Boe Bonzo (145); Mars' Ryan McMahon (152), Austin Bitzer (182) and Johan Van Wyke (195); and West Allegheny's K.C. Teyssier (220).

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