TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Guido: WPIAL tweaks basketball schedules

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'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, July 3, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
 

Ordinarily, with 2013 being an odd-numbered year, the WPIAL doesn't have to worry about section alignments since this is the second of a two-year cycle.

Instead, the league had to tweak two Class AA basketball sections resulting from the closure of Elderton High School a year ago this week.

When Elderton was shuttered, the WPIAL schedules and section alignments already were published. Schools had to scramble to fill open dates.

Burrell, for instance, didn't play its first Section 1-AA boys game until the third night of section play Dec. 21 due to an open date and an odd number of section teams because of Elderton's absence.

Now, the WPIAL has redesigned the Section 1-AA boys and girls schedule to accommodate a six-team grouping.

Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Ford City, Summit Academy and West Shamokin will tip-off boys action Dec. 21 and each school will play a 10-game section schedule concluding Jan. 31.

In girls play, Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Ford City, Leechburg and West Shamokin will start section action Dec. 20 and play a 10-game section slate ending Jan. 30.

If you think that's early to finish section play, you're right. Section 1-AA games will end before the Super Bowl is played.

Section 1-AA teams, however, can schedule nonsection games until Feb. 10.

Johnsonburg joy

With the high school sports year wrapped up, it's a good time to give a shout-out to tiny Johnsonburg High School, a District 9 school in Elk County.

In the past few months, Johnsonburg made the PIAA Class A basketball finals in Hershey after an exhilarating run that included a huge upset over Lincoln Park.

Johnsonburg's tallest player was 6-foot-1, and Lincoln Park featured three starters 6-5 or taller.

In baseball, Johnsonburg won the state Class A title over Canton, 5-0, at University Park. That came after victories over WPIAL champion Western Beaver, Bishop McCort and California en route to Medlar Park.

What made these runs remarkable is Johnsonburg's size. The town is about the size of Leechburg with 2,312 residents. The high school has 113 boys and 78 girls in the top three grades.

It's small town America at its best.

Motorists know when they arrive in Johnsonburg — there's the unmistakable odor of the paper plant, the community's largest employer for over a century.

I had relatives in Johnsonburg for years and vacationed there as a child.

I can recall sitting on my Uncle Tony Butera's front porch and commenting on the smell from the paper plant. He would say, “he stink-a, that-a mean we work,” in the manner which proud immigrants assigned gender to places and things in broken English.

The paper plant is still there. Among other things, it manufactures the special coated paper used in the Harry Potter series.

With four different ownerships in the past 22 years, the plant is little more than a corporate plaything.

A notable absence on the sports menu for Johnsonburg is football. The school is too small for the gridiron and it, instead, co-ops with nearby Ridgway High School.

Some feel Johnsonburg's days are numbered as the cost of running a small district raises the possibility of being absorbed by Ridgway or St Marys.

Whatever happens in the future, nothing will take away the memories of the 2012-13 sports year.

George Guido is a freelance writer. His scholastic column appears Wednesdays.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  3. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  4. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  5. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  6. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  7. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  8. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  9. Legos, computer programming draw students to Elizabeth Forward summer tech camp
  10. Woman crashes car at Pittsburgh federal building after high-speed chase
  11. 4-D Theater debuts at Kennywood