High school notebook: Springdale's Dugan headed to Millersville

| Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Alle-Kiski Valley's second all-time leading rusher was in no rush to make his college decision.

But now that he's decided, Springdale's Sean Dugan, the Valley News Dispatch Defensive Player of the Year, can unwind between weightlifting sessions.

Dugan has committed to play at Division II Millersville University (Pa.), which plays in the PSAC East Division and is located just outside Lancaster. He was offered a partial scholarship, which clinched the deal.

“It would have been nice for me to get the decision over with a while ago, but I'm glad I waited this long for the partial scholarship to come along,” Dugan said. “I lost sleep over this, so I am glad it is done with, and I feel like I can finally relax and enjoy my senior year.”

A four-year starter, Dugan was the Class A Eastern Conference Offensive and Defensive player of the year this past season.

He also considered preferred walk-on opportunities with Liberty, where his brother, Colin, is a strength and conditioning coach, Gannon and Clarion.

Dickinson College also offered Dugan a chance to earn a roster spot.

“There are a lot of coaches in the PSAC that are going to be scratching their heads, saying, ‘Maybe he wasn't a step slow,' or ‘Maybe he is big enough,' ” Springdale coach Dave Leasure said. “(Former Springdale) Coach (Chuck) Wagner told me when I took over that Sean was one of the best he's ever coached in 50 years. Coach knew what he was talking about.

“I don't think Springdale has ever retired a jersey number or how they feel about doing it. But I can tell you as long as I'm at Springdale No. 27 is staying on a hanger.”

Dugan was recuited to play outside linebacker or free safety. He was doubly dominant at Springdale as a running back and linebacker.

He rushed for 1,738 yards and 19 touchdowns and had 92 tackles and 3 12 sacks as the Dynamos reached the WPIAL playoffs for an Alle-Kiski-record 11th straight time.

“I am ready to go in and give it all I have and become a leader right off the bat,” Dugan said. “I am a defensive guy; its in my blood.”

Dugan's career rushing total of 4,262 yards ranks second in the area to 1998 Riverview grad's Lucas Heakins (4,276).

Slain let go?

St. Joseph has opened its girls varsity basketball coaching position, which was held by Dan Slain for the past four seasons.

No reason was given for the decision, but St. Joseph sent an email to the Valley News Dispatch saying it is accepting resumes until March 27.

Slain said he plans to reapply.

St. Joseph had a record of 49-45 under Slain with four WPIAL Class A playoff appearances, including three trips to the quarterfinals. St. Joseph upset No. 5 seed Quigley Catholic in the first round this season.

On the Mark

Burrell assistant girls basketball coach Mark Ziemianski, the father of head coach Meghan Ziemianski, won't be at practice Thursday as the Bucs prepare for the PIAA quarterfinals.

That's because he'll be at the Big East Tournament in New York City. Ziemianski bought tickets in advance and didn't want to give them up.

He plans to fly back Friday and coach Burrell that night against Bishop Canevin at North Hills.

Elite company

Though he is the fifth Burrell wrestler to win a PIAA title, senior 182-pounder Dakota DesLauriers became the first to do it in unbeaten fashion.

DesLauriers (36-0), who missed the first month of the season with mononucleosis, returned in time to win a Powerade Christmas Tournament title and then continued his run through the PIAA Class AA finals, where he edged Muncy's Troy Hembury, 3-1, last weekend.

He joined a list of undefeated state champions from the Alle-Kiski Valley that also includes Fox Chapel's Leo Wisniewski (23-0 at heavyweight in 1978); Plum's Steve Cassidy (32-0, 140, 1990), Brian Cipollone (34-0, 152, 1991) and Bill Closson (33-0, 275, 1993); Highlands' Bill Spencer (36-0, 103, 2003); and Kittanning's Jason Nolf, who went 44-0 as a 103-pounder in 2011 and finished 45-0 as a 132-pounder this season.

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