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Eastern Michigan recruit makes lasting impression at Penn Ohio game

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Alexa Xenakis surpassed the 1,000-point milestone last season as a senior at Keystone Oaks and is headed to play at Point Park next year. Photo by Randy Jarosz

'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 Staff Reports
Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 12:34 a.m.

Dustin Creel had one more game to play before he heads off to Eastern Michigan to play wide receiver for the Eagles.

Even though Mother Nature didn't cooperate — with a nearly hour-and-a-half lightning delay — the Western Beaver graduate displayed his Division I talent to the wet crowd at Springfield Local High School in Ohio on Friday night at the 33rd annual Penn-Ohio All-Star Football Classic.

Creel, who had more than 700 rushing yards and more than 400 receiving yards as a senior last fall, scored the Pennsylvania team's only touchdown in a 19-7 loss to the Ohio all-stars.

He gave his team a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a 34-yard pass from West Allegheny's Dylan Bongiorni, a Mercyhurst recruit who was named the Pennsylvania MVP.

Creel, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, finished with three catches for 52 yards to lead Pennsylvania.

Big East bound

After mulling offers from Duquesne, Cornell, UMass, Navy, Robert Morris and Tulane, The Kiski School's Major Canady made a verbal commitment Thursday to continue his basketball career at South Florida.

The rising senior, who was born in Atlanta and grew up in North Carolina, visited Virginia Tech last week but fell in love with the South Florida campus and program, according to Kiski School coach Daryn Freedman.

Canady, a 6-foot-3 point guard, averaged 12.3 points, 15.3 assists, 12.3 blocks and 10.5 steals per game for the independent prep school last season and helped lead the team to a 24-6 record.

“He's a kid who fills the stat sheet every game,” Kiski School coach Daryn Freedman said. “He does a lot. He's a creator who can also score.”

Guard play

Point Park University announced a pair of signings from WPIAL girls basketball players last week, as Keystone Oaks grad Alexa Xenakis and Baldwin's Carly Corcoran will join the program as freshmen next season.

Xenakis, the second leading scorer in KO history, is a 5-6 guard who averaged 15.2 points.

Corcoran is a 5-6 guard who averaged 8.5 points and four rebounds per game while starting all 27 games for the Highlanders.

Coaching news

Elizabeth Forward has hired Gerald Grayson, 64, to lead its boys varsity basketball team. Grayson, who replaces Bob Yasko, coached U.S. Olympian Swin Cash and the 1998 WPIAL title team at McKeesport and also coached girls teams at Duquesne.

Grayson will be the fifth coach (Jim Nesser, Mike Mihalov, Brian Znavor, Yasko) at Elizabeth Forward since 2007.

“It was intriguing to me because I always wanted to coach boys,” said Grayson, whose only coaching experience with boys was 30 years ago with the McKeesport ninth-grade team. “I am really excited with the people and the school. They have been great to me. Everybody wants to help. I don't even know those people and they have accepted me.”

Westmoreland County Junior Amateur

Led by rising senior Will Wears, members of the Latrobe golf team claimed the team title at the Westmoreland County Junior Amateur Tournament last week at Latrobe Country Club.

Wears shot a 4-over-par 76 to win the individual title, edging teammate Jake Reed (78). Fellow Latrobe golfers who chipped in for the final score included Cameron Roth (80), Ben Biss (83), Chad Kissell (85), Matt Jodis (90), Andrew Martin (96). The top three scores counted toward the team tally.

Penn-Trafford was second, led by Dan Maier (85) and Max Doran (87).

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