High school notebook: Boulton making Springdale return
Following in the footsteps of his long-time friend and coaching partner Chuck Wagner, Don “Pappy” Boulton is shunning retirement and returning to the football sidelines.
Boulton, who was Wagner's assistant at Springdale for 19 seasons, is returning to Springdale to coach linebackers.
Wagner, 78, is coming back to be an assistant at Riverview. He retired in 2011 after 50 seasons in coaching. He was a head coach at Oakmont, Riverview, Fox Chapel and Springdale.
Boulton, 78, didn't hesitate to leave when Wagner stepped down.
The defensive coordinator for the Dynamos during a string of 10 straight WPIAL playoff appearances — a steak that is now 11 — Boulton was approved to return last week.
“I can't begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed getting to know him,” Springdale second-year head coach Dave Leasure said of Boulton, whose nickname was born in 1959 when he was the only player on the Slippery Rock football roster with a baby son. “He is truly an icon in local high school coaching and deservedly so. Our players love and respect him a great deal.
“He will add so much to our program not just from an Xs and Os standpoint, but more importantly, helping kids learn life lessons that will help them long after their playing days are over.”
A date to mark on the calendar is Oct. 26, the final night of the regular season, when Riverview hosts Springdale, and Boulton gets to go against Wagner.
Kiski Area senior Shane Kuhn has his first football scholarship offer. Youngstown State has reached out to the 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end/linebacker.
Meanwhile, former Deer Lakes player Jarred Fragapane, who will be a senior at North Catholic, picked up an offer from Lafayette. The 6-3, 220-pounder is a fullback and linebacker.
Among the other incoming senior Division I prospects in the Valley are Knoch tackle Connor Shinsky, Highlands linebacker Allan Cratsenberg, Fox Chapel quarterback Brandon Mitchell and Kiski Area wide receiver Joey Brungo.
Incoming senior Gabi Lassinger became the first girls soccer player from Knoch to commit to a Division I college last week when she pledged to Lafayette.
She caps a trio of local girls who are taking their games to that level of competition.
Fox Chapel incoming senior Lauren Kelly, a defender, is headed to Winthrop, while recent Oakland Catholic grad Kailey Joyce, an Oakmont native, has committed to Cornell. She is a midfielder.
Deer Lakes softball standout Sierra “CiCi” Sarver, who just finished her junior season, is getting Division I college attention.
A potential scholarship offer, however, fell through due to circumstances Sarver could not control. She thought an offer was on the way from Tennessee Tech, but a coaching change there — 14-year coach Tony Acheson resigned — set back those plans. Sarver hopes to gain recognition from other schools while playing travel ball.
No Ks is OK
Knoch's Sarah Steedle may have been the most patient softball hitter in the A-K Valley this past season. The senior second baseman had 67 at-bats as the Knights' No. 2 hitter, but did not strike out in any of them.
“That's a pretty remarkable thing, especially with that many at-bats,” Knoch coach Tim Knappenberger said.
Steedle walked eight times and had four sacrifices to her credit.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.