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High school notebook: Kiski Area basketball coach Rideout resigns

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Friday, March 8, 2013, 10:06 p.m.

Citing a need to be closer to family members while also cutting back on travel time, Harry Rideout resigned as Kiski Area boys basketball coach after four seasons.

Rideout, 46, guided the Cavaliers to their first section title since 2002 this season. He finished 67-51 with three playoff appearances.

“Kiski Area is really too far away from where I need to be,” said Rideout, who lives in Upper St. Clair.

“There were some family reasons that popped up, and I need to be closer to home. My parents are in their 80s. I have some responsibilities to them.”

Rideout also has 2-year-old triplet daughters.

He informed his seniors of his decision Thursday.

Kiski Area was the third coaching stop for Rideout. He was head coach at South Side Beaver for four years and an assistant at Mt. Lebanon for four more before coming to Kiski Area.

“I don't see myself coaching again any time soon,” Rideout said. “My wife probably finds that hard to believe. I have been coaching for 20 years.

“I love Kiski Area. There are just things that happened that put stress on my time. Family comes first.”

Spags to riches

Championship-game memories tend make their way around the Spagnolo's dinner table. There are plenty to share among the Burrell family.

Four siblings — and dad — all have been to WPIAL title games in recent years.

Current senior Peter, a guard on the basketball team, helped the Bucs reach the WPIAL finals for the first time in 34 years. His brother, Tom, a junior reserve guard, also is a member of the team, which begin the state playoffs Saturday.

Their sister, Nina, was a key shortstop on Burrell's softball team that won a WPIAL championship in 2011.

Big brother Phil, meanwhile, was on the Burrell baseball team that reached the PIAA finals in 2008.

“Nina let's the rest of them have it because she's the only one that won,” said Mike Spagnolo, the proud father who doesn't flaunt his own WPIAL gold medal, which he won while coaching the Burrell softball team in 2011.

Nina and Mike also made the WPIAL finals the previous season.

Mike played in the Philadelphia Phillies' minor-league system for two years.

Armstrong update

The Armstrong School Board is expected to approve its new high school's official colors, royal blue and orange, at a meeting Monday.

The new high school — a merger between Ford City and Kittanning — is to be built off Buffington Drive in Manor Township.

Kirk Lorigan, principal of West Shamokin High School and co-chairman of the committee, said the committee surveyed the student body and narrowed down its choices to two color combinations that would be accessible and affordable for uniform designs: black and light blue; and royal blue and orange. Lorigan also said the committee has made progress in choosing a school mascot.

They've come up with 10 possibilities: the Blitz, Miners, Raptors, Renegades, Riverdogs, Riverhawks, Storm, Thunder, Vipers and Warhawks.

Records fall

Record-breaking performances by relay teams were a common theme for Alle-Kiski schools at last week's WPIAL swimming championships at Pitt's Trees Pool.

Fox Chapel's boys 400-yard freestyle relay of Scott Sterrett, Ryan Foster, Noah Cagley and Zihan Su broke a record that stood since 1979 with a time of 3:15.01.

Meanwhile, Plum's girls 200 free relay of Channing Nolan, Mia Pietropola, Katie Gore and Hannah Adamski posted a time of 1:41.59 to break a school record from 1992.

Freeport's girls 400-yard freestyle relay of Bria Otwell, Riley Farneth, Rebecca Dudek and Zoe Pawlak broke a school mark with a time of 3:49.34.

And Burrell's boys' 200-yard freestyle relay broke a school record that stood since 2003. The new top time of 1:32.05 belongs to Ross Walker, Josh Wertkin, Ben Johnson and T.J. Swigart.

Tim Karan contributed to this report. Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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