VND high school notebook: Wagner plans return to Springdale

Riverview assistant football coach Chuck Wagner walks the sidelines against Apollo-Ridge during their game on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
Riverview assistant football coach Chuck Wagner walks the sidelines against Apollo-Ridge during their game on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
Photo by Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
| Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, 9:33 p.m.

As sure as he knows he is right-handed, Chuck Wagner knows he needs football in his life.

And what a better place to continue his extended coaching career than at the place with which he's most associated?

The 79-year-old Wagner, who retired from Springdale in 2011 after 19 seasons as head coach and 50 overall on the sidelines, is plans to join the Dynamos staff as a volunteer assistant.

He did the same at Riverview last season but parted ways when Todd Massack resigned.

Pending approval from the school board, he'll be back on the sidelines at the place he helped turn into a WPIAL Class A power.

“I am looking forward to it,” Wagner said. “I have some strong ties there, and I miss being around (Springdale) very much. I still have some memorabilia there (in an office).”

Wagner won 270 games during stints at Oakmont, Riverview, Fox Chapel and Springdale, leading Springdale to a WPIAL title in 2003 and a runner-up in 2007. He guided the Dynamos to 10 straight playoff appearances, which reached 11 when Dave Leasure took over the program and stands as an Alle-Kiski record.

If Wagner returns, he'll reunite with longtime friend and coaching mate Pappy Boulton.

“When you do something for so long and leave, you miss it,” Wagner said.

Football recruiting

Springdale senior lineman Robbie Korzon committed to play at Clarion. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder was an Eastern Conference second-teamer pick as an offensive lineman.

Korzon also considered Clarion, Gannon, Mercyhurst and Washington & Jefferson.

He'll join another former Springdale standout, junior running back Chris Liberto, on the Clarion roster.

• Ford City senior kicker and punter Tyler Blaniar gave a verbal commitment to IUP. The All-Allegheny Conference first-teamer averaged 35.2 yards per punt last season and hit 14 of 16 extra points and 2 of 3 field goals.

He also considered California (Pa.).

• Fox Chapel senior Nigel Garnett committed to California (Pa.). He was recruited as a cornerback but also stood out as a running back. He's a two-time all-conference pick at defensive back in the Quad North.

Bordonaro ranked

Burrell junior point guard Sydney Bordonaro put on a show Saturday with a career-high 35 points and six 3-pointers in a 63-61 win over Mt. Pleasant that clinched a 22-0 regular season for her team. Bordonaro's game is drawing praise.

She is among the top backcourt players in the country, according to ESPN. The network's women's basketball site rates her as the No. 45 guard among players in the Class of 2015. Although she is listed as “undeclared,” Bordonaro has committed to Pepperdine.

Local playoff field set

The WPIAL will announce basketball playoff pairings starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree.

The Alle-Kiski playoff field is set.

Boys qualifiers: Fox Chapel, Plum and Kiski Area in Class AAAA; Kittanning and Knoch in Class AAA; Apollo-Ridge and Burrell in Class AA; and St. Joseph in Class A.

Girls qualifiers: Fox Chapel and Plum in Class AAAA; Kittanning and Freeport in Class AAA; Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Ford City and Riverview in Class AA; and St. Joseph in Class A.

Hold the phone

There will be no Ron Classic after all.

The Knoch and Plum boys basketball teams opted to cancel their nonsection game Monday night to prevent injuries heading into the playoffs. The game would have matched two of the top defensive teams in the WPIAL, not to mention longtime coaching friends, Ron McNabb of Knoch and Plum's Ron Richards.

McNabb was Richards' assistant for two years before coming to Knoch.

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

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