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Kiski Area great McKillop joins Leechburg staff

| Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, 10:50 p.m.

One of the most feared linebackers in Kiski Area history who later became a force at defensive end for Pitt and coached at Duquesne University has brought his expertise to ... Leechburg?

It's true.

A rising coach, Kiski graduate Chris McKillop has joined the Blue Devils' staff as a volunteer assistant. He will coach defensive ends, linemen and linebackers this season.

“Chris has been a great addition,” head coach Mark George said. “I have known him since he was 9 years old and I coached him in youth football. I have followed his career.”

McKillop, 27, who graduated from Pitt in 2007 after starting for three years, was a defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at Duquesne University as a graduate assistant.

He said he currently is in between jobs, but is enthusiastic about helping Leechburg.

So far, McKillop has been impressed with the team's work ethic.

“The kids have responded to me like you would not believe,” he said. “At the high school level, you can't get too meticulous, but I tell them, a standard is a standard. If you're told to run to a cone and plant on your left foot, then that's is exactly what you do.”

McKillop recently completed a summer internship at the University of Tennessee. He also worked a month as a volunteer assistant with the Buffalo Bills, where his younger brother, Scott, is a first-year linebacker.

Former Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt is the Bills' defensive coordinator.

McKillop also has coached special teams at West Virginia Wesleyan as a football intern.

At the tail end of his playing days in 2008, McKillop was invited to the New York Jets' mini camp and had a couple of Arena League tryouts before that league shut down in 2009.

“I know I am not going to be in the NFL as a player,” McKillop said. “So I will have to make it to the NFL as a coach.”

Showcase-bound

Plum incoming junior Melissa Leclair has been selected to compete in the sixth annual Queen of Diamonds Showcase South set for Aug. 24-25 at Winthrop University.

Last season for Plum, Leclair hit .340 with 12 RBI and a home run. She plays third base.

Leclair also plays travel ball for the Pittsburgh Spirit Tschannen and shoots for the school's rifle team.

She is the second local player selected for the Showcase South. Deer Lakes first baseman Sierra Sarver also was picked.

Soccer rule change

Look for some WPIAL soccer games to end earlier this season.

The PIAA will implement a new mercy rule, similar to the 35-point rule in basketball, where the clock will run continuously after a team takes a seven-goal lead.

Recruiting

Recent Riverview graduate Erin Kennedy, a three-sport standout, will continue her volleyball career at Westminster.

A 5-foot-9 setter, Kennedy also was a key guard on the basketball team and a center fielder for the softball team.

• Plum's Alex Reynolds will play golf at Point Park.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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