Alle-Kiski high school notebook: Wagner, Boulton back on sidelines at Springdale
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Foes for a short time but friends forever, Chuck Wagner and Don “Pappy” Boulton will reunite on the Springdale football coaching staff this season.
The 79-year-olds who went to high school together at Oakmont were approved as assistants by the Allegheny Valley School Board. They coached against one another last year when Wagner was an assistant at Riverview.
Boulton is a long-time defensive coach for the Dynamos, for whom Wagner was a head coach for 19 years. He retired in 2011.
Wagner, according to Dynamos coach Dave Leasure, will be more than a consultant. Leasure said the veteran coach will assist with quarterbacks and running backs.
“He's there every day with a big smile on his face, anxious to work with the kids. He's really had a huge impact for us,” Leasure said. “He works on form-running with the kids every week to try to improve our team speed.”
Wagner has 270 career wins, fourth all-time in the WPIAL, and led Springdale to a WPIAL Class A title in 2003. He and Boulton helped guide the Dynamos to an Alle-Kiski record 10 straight WPIAL playoff appearances, a streak that was stopped at 11.
“Coach brings a ‘can do' attitude.” Leasure said. “I don't believe I've met a more optimistic person in my life. We are going to face some major challenges this year (in the new-look Class A Eastern Conference). Any time I bring up some weaknesses we have, coach Wagner is the first guy to bring up our strengths. I believe our kids like that the most about him.”
Leasure enjoyed having Boulton on his staff in the past but thinks the combination of Boulton and Wagner can give his team a unique presence and a settling influence.
“They are two of the best football coaches this area has ever seen,” Leasure said. “More than that, they are truly two of the finest men you could ever know.”
Kiski Area rising junior Tyler Worthing already is on the Division I radar for rugby, but with his Young Guns Wrestling Club winning a national title recently at the prestigious Disney Duals, top-tier college wrestling coaches also are starting to swarm.
Young Guns is recognized as one of the top developmental programs in the country. Since the win, Worthing, who won the WPIAL Class AAA title last season at 220 pounds, has heard from Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, North Carolina, Duke and Drexel.
A bruising prop in rugby, Worthing has interest from UCLA, Penn State, Michigan, Navy, Ohio State and Kutztown.
Although he's been asked numerous times to play football, Worthing said he won't attempt to add more to an already bustling schedule.
Tursky gets Hall call
Long-time Kiski Area wrestling coach Chuck Tursky will be inducted into the Slippery Rock University Athletic Hall of Fame in September.
Tursky, who after last season was honored with the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Pennsylvania Chapter, has coached for 35 years. A Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame member, Tursky has a WPIAL-record 491 dual-meet wins to go with two WPIAL Class AAA team championships and 16 section titles.
At Kiski Area, he is 445-79-1 in 28 seasons.
While at Slippery Rock, he was a two-time PSAC runner-up.
One to watch
Keep an eye on Plum volleyball player Khaynen Yocca. The 6-foot-6 senior-to-be made the All-WPIAL second team for the Mustangs and is beginning to draw higher-level college attention. George Mason and Penn State have shown early interest in the middle hitter.
The inaugural Toney Clemons Steel City 7-on-7 Football Showcase is set to noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Players in grades 7 to 9 will participate.
Registration for the event is full.
Clemons, a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers and a Valley grad, will attend along with other NFL players.
Pylon Sports, operated by former Valley football standout Baron Flenory, is running the event and hopes to make it a regular stop.
Participants are asked to bring canned goods as part of a drive for a local food bank.
WPXI will host its annual Skylights Media Day for WPIAL football teams from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Heinz Field. Local teams scheduled to attend the optional event are Apollo-Ridge, Fox Chapel, Freeport, Highlands, Plum, Riverview and Springdale.
Generally, the media event is for picture-taking, interviews and elbow-bumping before teams assemble for training camp ion August.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.
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