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High school notebook: Kiski Valley rugby team tackles debut

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Steven Dietz | For the Tribune-Review
Freeport's Brendan Lynch of the West team drives against Burrell's Pete Spagnolo during the Cager Classic on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Highlands.
Top high school sports
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 1:11 a.m.

The Kiski Valley Rugby Club didn't take long to make its presence known.

The team took early control and downed South Pittsburgh, 38-5, in the opening match of its inaugural season on Saturday at Cooper's Lake Campground in Slippery Rock.

Kris Smith and Luke Poydence had two tries apiece, and John Bazella was 4 for 6 on conversions.

Coach Seth Erwin said he wanted his team to play a smash-mouth style, and that's what it did in the opener.

“It was amazing,” Erwin said. “Before (the match) our nerves were (shaky), but then they played like a team with years of experience.”

Batiz moves on

Ford City senior gymnast Courtney Batiz took fourth place all-around at the USAG Pennsylvania State Level 9 meet in Williamsport over the weekend and moves onto a Regional qualifier April 12-14 at Ursinus College.

Batiz won gold in the floor exercise and silver on bars this season at the WPIAL meet in the Diamond Division.

Antone close

Kiski Area senior three-sport standout Maddie Antone said she will likely commit to Winthrop for softball. A star shortstop, she also has college attention for basketball and volleyball.

A Cager first

West guard Brendan Lynch of Freeport was one of the best players on the court at Saturday's Cager Classic all-star basketball game at Highlands. His 22-point effort earned him West MVP honors.

Freeport never had a boys MVP in 16 previous years at the Cager.

Only one Freeport girl has won a Cager MVP, D'aaisha Fish in 1997, the event's first year.

One of the area's top quarterbacks the past three years, Lynch said he'll likely play football in college.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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