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Area gridder Rebels' standout

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2002

Cleaning out the notebook:

The area flavor isn't missing at Hersheypark Stadium today in one of the PIAA football championship games afterall.

Monongahela's Phil Vitalbo is a captain for unbeaten Seton-LaSalle, which faces Mount Carmel in today's Class AA title contest at noon.

A 6-2, 215 pound senior, Vitalbo is a two-way starter at tight end and inside linebacker.

"His work ethic is unbelievable," said Seton LaSalle coach Lou Cerro. "He's a weight room warrior and very quick."

Vitalbo, who played fullback last year, is the Rebels' second leading tackler and also has caught a dozen passes from Anthony Doria including two for touchdowns.

Vitalbo came up with one of the big plays in Seton-LaSalle's 42-18 victory over Forest Hills in last Friday's Western final at Altoona's Mansion Park when his blocked punt resulted in a touchdown with 15 seconds left in the first half to give the Rebels a 20-12 lead.

Among the colleges that have shown interest in Vitalbo are Slippery Rock, Washington and Jefferson, Westminster and Davidson.

He's the son of former Mon Valley Cathlic and Waybesburg College standout Mike Vitalbo.

This has been a week of mixed emotions for the elder Vitalbo whose mother, Julia, died earlier this week.

Joe Ravasio, the former Ringgold High girls basketball coach, didn't stay away from the game for long.

He's helping Jerry Conboy with the Seton LaSalle High girls' team.

  • In case you missed it, the Tony Thomas, who was killed last week in Brownsville, was the same one who started for Ringgold's 1995 PIAA Class AAAA basketball championship team and was their leading scorer the following year.

    Thomas entered the lineup when 6-11 Ty Leonard left late in the season.

  • Don't be surprised if Ringgold and Monessen's boys, the Mon Valley Shooutout finalists, collide in another basketball tournament this month.

    Both teams are in the annual three-day Charleroi event which is scheduled Dec. 26-28.

  • Overlooked earlier in the week was a record set by Belle Vernon Area High's boys basketball team.

    The Leps' 69-23 defeat at Laurel Highlands was their lowest point output ever.

    The previous low was a 67-29 defeat at McGuffey in the 1991-92 campaign. Vince Graham, who was a freshman at the time, topped the Leps with 13 points.

    Ironically, BVA beat the Highlandrs,84-71, in their first meeting.

  • Lanny Frattare, the long-time voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, will make a guest appearance at Bellmar Middle School Thursday.

    Frattare will speak to Ross Farmer's baseball exploratory group at 2 p.m. and also be treated to principal Steve Russell's presidential memorabilia collection.

  • And thanks to George Novak of California who says people who wait for something to turn up might start with their own shirtsleeves!

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