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Alle-Kiski soccer notebook: Area teams begin section play this week

By Doug Gulasy
After the opening weekend of the 2014 WPIAL soccer season, Alle-Kiski Valley teams will begin section play this week. The majority of boys teams will play their section openers Tuesday, and most girls teams will play Wednesday. The Highlands girls will play their section opener Tuesday against Mars. “There’s a …
Jackson brothers lead way as Highlands rolls in Class AA debut over Ford City
By George Guido
Highlands used splash plays to make a big splash in its WPIAL Class AA debut Friday night at Ford City. Five touchdowns on plays of …
Natural rivalries, top-tier talent highlight realigned Allegheny Conference
By Bill Beckner Jr.
The stars have aligned. Or realigned, to be more exact. With the WPIAL fine-tuning its conferences and moving teams around like old furniture in a …
Highlands putting it on the line in Allegheny Conference
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Summer seven-on-seven workouts are for the skill players — quarterbacks, running backs and receivers — which seems to indicate the linemen aren’t skilled enough to …
Class AA breakdown: Revamped Allegheny Conference among many changes
By Bill West
Highlands coach Sam Albert wants his players to fixate on X’s and O’s, not A’s — as in Class AA instead of AAA. Realignment led …
Highlands WR serves as speedy complement to his RB brother
By Bill Beckner Jr.
From Pee Wees to Wasps, Jeremy Jackson made his mark in Highland Hornets youth football as a running back, routinely returning to the hive with …
High school notebook: Highlands’ Martin harbors unique pet
By Bill Beckner Jr.
While his teammates have traditional pets such as dogs, cats or fish, Highlands junior football player Levontae Martin has a more exotic choice of companion. …
Alle-Kiski Valley HS notebook: Highlands sophomore guard comes home
By Bill Beckner Jr.
If Mitch Dezort is going to become the next Micah Mason like he hopes, it would seem much more appropriate that he does so in …
High school football coaches put premium on safety of their players
By Matt Grubba
While one local team deals with tragedy, the PIAA and area football coaches are still hard at work with player safety as the top priority. …
Highlands swimmer thrives on national stage
By Bill West
All the pomp that came with the finals of the YMCA Swimming National Long Course Championships last week in Indianapolis added to Bailey Bonnett’s usual …
High school notebook: Former Valley coach bridges rivalry
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Chad Walsh will get to experience life on both sides of the bridge. Valley’s football coach for the past two seasons, Walsh is now serving as an assistant at Highlands. Although they haven’t met since 2011, Valley and Highlands play the “Battle for the Bridge” game — the winner gaining …
Alle-Kiski schools realign for 2-year cycle
By George Guido
Every two years, the PIAA reclassifies schools in more than 20 sports. Via this method, the PIAA takes the number of schools in a given sport and divides that total by the number of classifications. Here is where Alle-Kiski Valley schools will be competing the next two  years. The exception …
Travel softball players willing to sacrifice summer activities to showcase talent
By Bill Beckner Jr.
There’s a reason it’s called travel softball. Miles are just a number for the players, coaches and followers who flock from town to town and …
New Highlands AD has passion for position
By Bill Beckner Jr.
A mellow-mooded realist who toils in positivity and doesn’t fear failure, Chuck Debor is more concerned with the frame than the big picture as he …
Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Highlands hires new AD
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Highlands hired Chuck Debor as its new athletic director Monday night. Debor, 52, who served the same position from 1992-95, is a former head football coach at Highlands. He replaces Matt Bonislawski, who was not retained when the position was made part-time and restructured to where the AD must have …
Elizabeth Forward softball team edges Highlands, 3-2
By George Guido
Undeterred by Highlands’ game-tying home run in the top of the seventh inning, the Elizabeth Forward softball team scored a run in the bottom of the inning for a WPIAL Class AAA first-round victory. Mercedesz Boyce scored on Lauren Cain’s single for a 3-2 victory over the Golden Rams at …
Alle-Kiski Valley spotlight athletes: Knoch’s Cole Shinsky, Highlands’ Cassidy Runyan
By D.j. Vasil
Cole Shinsky Class: Sophomore School: Knoch Sport: Baseball Report card: Shinsky helped Knoch reach the WPIAL playoffs as a hitter and pitcher. He’s delivered three …
Valley-area WPIAL softball capsules: Highlands faces Elizabeth Forward; Leechburg takes on South Side Beaver
By Tribune-Review
Thursday’s games Class AAA First round No. 10 seed Highlands (7-4)  vs. No. 7 Elizabeth Forward (11-5) 2 p.m. at Hempfield Winner plays: No. 2 …
Guido: NCAA does Cager Classic favor
By George Guido
The Cager Classic all-star game got some unexpected good news recently. The NCAA discontinued a regulation prohibiting an athlete from participating in more than two all-star games. This will bode well for the Cager Classic, which has been at Highlands for the last 18 seasons. There have been times when …

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