Trib Cup: Spring sports leaders sparked by title runs
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Another school year has concluded and as usual WPIAL athletes impressed high school sports fans with superior individual and team performances.
North Allegheny (Class AAAA), Beaver (Class AAA), Shady Side Academy (Class AA) and Sewickley Academy (Class A) soared to their top of their respective classifications with deep playoff runs and championships in the bunches. These four schools closed out the spring's Trib Total Media/WPXI High School Sports standings tops in their classifications.
There are no “jocks” at North Allegheny. Athletic director Bob Bozzuto will be sure to pound that point across.
“Jocks are stereotyped as being stupid,” Bozzuto said. “We prefer the term “scholar-athletes” and at North Allegheny they are just that.”
North Allegheny has proven throughout the 2013-14 school year that they can get it done in the classroom and in their respective athletic fields. As a whole, the student body of academic athletes have boasted a 3.5 grade-point average. Bozzuto gushes when describing the dedication the student body shows throughout the year.
“Everybody did a tremendous job,” he said. “Historically, we've been very good in the spring.
“Again, it's nice to see our young people work very, very hard and stay focused in representing their school and community with dignity and class.”
Beaver athletic director Pat Mcdanel was pleased to fill the school's trophy case this spring. He said the hard work was felt each day walking through the school's hallways.
“I'm very proud with our boys track team and our softball team both winning WPIAL championships,” he said. “It was definitely a great honor for both to do that.
“They, along with all of our sports teams worked hard this year.”
Mcdanel is in his first year as the school's AD, but he's a graduate of the program and understands its rich tradition. He attributes much of the success to the bond and trust that the athletes have with their coaches.
“Our baseball and softball teams are great programs with a rich tradition as well as our track program,” he said. “I think our coaches do a great job preparing them in the offseason to get them ready for competition.
“The kids just bought into the coach's philosophies and stood by them the whole way and it paid off for them this year.”
Shady Side Academy proved it's talent on the field, as well this spring. The Indians featured a WPIAL and PIAA champion boys tennis team, a WPIAL champion boys lacrosse team and a WPIAL semifinalist girls lacrosse team, among other talented spring programs.
“It's a great victory for this team,” Shady Side tennis coach Thomas Mercer said after his team defeated Conestoga in the PIAA championship match. “We lost to these guys the last two years here. Coming back, we knew we had a good team. Nearly everybody was the same. So we felt we had a good chance.”
The boys lacrosse team, led by Dan Marous' third quarter hat trick, knocked off defending champion Mt. Lebanon, 7-2, to claim its first ever Division I title.
“Dan's our senior captain and it filtered down from there,” Shady Side coach Michael Williams said. “Once Dan started getting going, everyone started going. We got loose, had fun and played our kind of game.”
Recognition of any kind is welcomed by Sewickley Academy athletic director Win Palmer. He could not show praise for one individual group, rather he said it's a district-wide effort by athletes, coaches and administrators that helps his small school excel.
“I am so proud of what our student-athletes and coaches have done and of the support our administration has given them,” Palmer said. “I think the spirit and attitude of our students is incredible. We're a top tier academic school and kids are putting in great work in academics, but also in the arts and athletics.”
Palmer said the coaching staffs are a dedicated group that follow three principles that allow them to have success.
“No. 1, our coaches appreciate the mission of our school and support it to the same extent that teachers do,” he said. “Second, the coaches are knowledgeable, and No. 3, they are tremendous in the ways they motivate, teach, guide and discipline our students.
“If you talk to 99 percent of students, they'd say our coaches are so fair in their evaluation of our students. If kids know coaches are fair, you have a great chance of having a successful team.”
Brian Graham is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Family of man accused of shooting St. Clair officer say allegations don’t fit his character
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Week 12 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Community comes together to mourn death of St. Clair police officer
- Muslim civil rights group seeks investigation into shooting of Pittsburgh taxi driver
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall