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Rams' Bekavec to Colonials

| Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

Simon Bekavec, Ringgold's star running back last season, is headed to Robert Morris University.

Bekavec, however, may have a hard time cracking the Colonials' backfield.

For starters, the Colonials return Myles Russ, a standout from Boca Raton, Fla., who ran for 1,300 yards last season as a sophomore.

Coach Joe Walton also recruited two of the WPIAL's better running backs in 2008: East Allegheny's Monte Ashby and Keystone Oaks' Dion Wiegand.

Ashby ran for 1,611 yards and 21 touchdowns for East Allegheny and finished with 4,699 career rushing yards. He played his last two years at East Allegheny after transferring from Duquesne, which closed.

Wiegand rushed for 1,297 yards for Keystone Oaks, which started 8-0 before losing its regular season finale to Seton-LaSalle and to Ford City in the first round of he WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

A 6-0, 205-pounder, Bekavec just missed Ringgold's 1,000-yard club with 973 yards.

He finished with 122 yards on 14 carries in the Rams' 35-7 playoff loss at Blackhawk, but was on the sidelines with most of the other starters for the final five minutes.

Bekavec's top game was against Belle Vernon Area, when he rushed for 290 yards on 23 carries, completed a 50-yard pass and scored two touchdowns in a 33-13 Rams' victory at Joe Montana Stadium in the showdown for third place in the Big Seven.

Bekavec is pretty familiar with Robert Morris since he made trips there to see his older cousin, Misty Bekavec, play basketball for the Lady Colonials. She went to McKeesport High and was a teammate of Swin Cash, who later starred at Connecticut and now plays for the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

Speaking of basketball stars, Ringgold's Emily Schartner finished fourth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,271 career points.

The only Lady Rams ahead of Schartner are Brittany Warren (1,676), Kristen Lancas (1,443) and Melissa Lazzari (1,350).

Monessen native Ron Tyburski, who's in his 16th year as a college basketball official, will be working a television game tonight for the second straight night.

He has Robert Morris' 8 p.m. men's contest with Sacred Heart on Fox Sports.

Last night Tyburski had the Penn State at Purdue contest on the Big Ten Network.

One of his officiating partners was Ted Valentine, who called the technical foul on Bobby Knight that led to the coach throwing a chair across the floor in Indiana's loss to Purdue back in 1985.

And thanks to Ben Kelley, of Belle Vernon, who says whines are the products of sour grapes!

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