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Guido: Springdale RB Dugan nearing milestone

Veteran coach Gene Collodi stands wit the three generations of Merediths whom he has coached. From left: Chuck Meredith III (Burrell), Chuck Meredith Sr (Arnold), Collodi, and Chuck Meredith Jr (Burrell).

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Rush chairmen

The top five rushers in Alle-Kiski history:

Player School Years Career yards

Lucas Heakins Riverview 1996-98 4,276

Brandon Williams Valley 1995-97 4,212

Kenny Keller Bell Twp. 1948-51 3,941

Wayne Mundekis Springdale 2002-05 3,874

Tyler Henderson Burrell 2003-05 3,831

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By George Guido
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 12:36 a.m.

Springdale running back Sean Dugan is approaching a couple of notable career rushing marks.

The four-year letterman goes into Friday's game at Avonworth with 3,513 career yards and is nearing the Springdale all-time record of 3,874 yards set by Wayne Mundekis (2002-05).

Dugan also has a shot at becoming the third local player to eclipse the 4,000-yard career rushing mark.

The Dynamos could have at least four games left. If Springdale makes the WPIAL playoffs (and the Dynamos magic number is one) or plays a 10th-week nonconference game, Dugan would need to average about 122 yards rushing per game to hit 4,000.

New state rushing mark

A new state rushing record was set Sept. 28, as Alex Cooley of Eastern York High School rushed for 500 yards, along with eight touchdowns, on 26 carries in a 62-37 victory over Hanover.

It broke the state record of 488 yards set by Stephen Blose of Harbor Creek in 2005.

The WPIAL record for rushing yardage in a game is 455 yards, set by Connellsville's Marcus Furman in 2000.

The Alle-Kiski Valley record was set five years ago Thursday.

On Oct. 11, 2007, Valley's Tracy Booker-Durand carried the ball 54 times for 388 yards, as the Vikings defeated Carrick, 20-8.

Collodi in 'Rock hall

Local veteran football coach Gene Collodi was inducted in the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 29. The 1958 Ken High graduate was enshrined along with six former athletes.

A member of Ken High's 1957 undefeated team, Collodi played guard and linebacker at Slippery Rock.

He was co-captain of The Rock's 1961 PSAC Western Division champion and played in the Gem Bowl, an all-star game for Pennsylvania and Ohio small college standouts. In '62, he began a four-decade coaching career as a student assistant with the Rockets.

Collodi was the last head football coach at Arnold High School and the first at Valley. He also had head coaching stints at Wilkinsburg and Burrell and was an assistant at Karns City, Plum and Burrell.

One of the highlights of his coaching career was as defensive coordinator for the 1986 Burrell team, the only time a school has shut out opponents in all three tiers of the WPIAL playoffs.

Collodi, inducted into the A-K Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, is a volunteer assistant for Burrell.

Girardi inducted

Another Ken High grad, Joe Girardi, was inducted posthumously into the Baker (Kan.) University Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday.

Girardi died in an auto accident Dec. 7, 1982, in Winslow, Ariz., shortly after taking the head coaching job at Show Low (Ariz.) High School.

A 1961 Ken High graduate, Girardi played at Eastern Arizona, entered the coaching ranks at Blue Ridge High School and led the Yellowjackets to Arizona regional and state titles.

Girardi went on to coach at Baker, compiling a 25-15-1 record in four seasons.

Baker made the Boot Hill Bowl in 1978, the school's first-ever postseason football berth.

Girardi left Baker in 1982 to return to high school coaching, this time at Show Low.

Girardi had three nephews who played quarterback locally: Domenick and Michael at Valley: and David, most recently at Geneva College.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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