Category Archives: Local Sports

PHOTOS: Great season by Mitey Mites, Midgets

The Ellwood City Little Wolverines mitey mite and midget teams both fell to their respective opponents at Geneva College Saturday afternoon in the WPYFL championship games.

The mitey mites ran into a hot Beaver Little Bobcats team, who took to the ground attack in a 26-0 victory over the Little Wolverines.  Ellwood City defeated Beaver earlier in the season, 14-6, which catalyzed a six-game winning streak heading into the title game.  Overall, the Little Wolverines finished as the runners-up with only three losses on the season (7-3).

The midgets, who dominated the regular season in every facet, also faced a formidable opponent in the Hopewell Vikings.  The Little Wolverines edged Hopewell, 8-0, earlier in the season.  The Little Vikings collected their third consecutive title in an overtime thriller, 19-18.  The Little Wolverines scored in overtime, then missed their extra point.  Hopewell scored, and ended the game by converting on their extra point opportunity.  Ellwood City finished the season as the runner-up with only one loss (9-1), giving up a mere 39 points total in those ten contests.

Congratulations to both teams on incredible seasons!

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Senior night for Ellwood City


The Ellwood City Wolverines came up short last week, and fell from the 2014 playoff race.

However, the season is not yet over as the seniors – football players, cheerleaders, and band members – still have work left to do. The Wolverines host the Beaver Bobcats tonight in their final game of the season, and, for the seniors, their Ellwood City careers.

With a win, Ellwood City will finish the season at 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the Midwestern Athletic Conference.  The Bobcats punched their ticket to the playoffs, but can advance their position with a win or tie, along with a loss by Beaver Falls to Aliquippa.

Kick-off for tonight’s contest at Helling Stadium is at 7 p.m.  Go and cheer on the seniors as they give one final performance after four years in front of the Friday night crowd.

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EC Mighty Mites and Midgets to play in title games

Provided by Western Pennsylvania Youth Football League website

Provided by Western Pennsylvania Youth Football League website

On Saturday, Oct. 25, two Ellwood City Little Wolverines football teams will play for the Western Pennsylvania Youth Football League championships at Geneva College.

The mitey mites squad (7-2), led by head coach Don Lutz, squares off against the Beaver Bobcats (8-2) for an 11 a.m. match-up at Reeves Stadium.  The team finished the season by shutting out both the Monaca Warriors and the Cornell Raiders by a combined score of 78-0.  Beaver lost to Hopewell Vikings and Ellwood City during the regular season.  It avenged its first loss by eliminating the Vikings in last Saturday’s playoff game to earn a championship berth.  Ellwood City aims to hold the Bobcats, who surrendered only 12 points in six consecutive wins going into the contest.

The Wolverines defeated Beaver 14-6 on Sept. 6.

The Ellwood City midget team (9-0), coached by Brad Welsh, stormed through the regular season by dominating every contest and will meet the Hopewell Vikings (9-1) at 1 p.m. at Reeves Field.  It allowed 12 points in its first game of the season to Cornell, then shut the next eight teams out.  The Wolverines scored 68 points twice, and 87 once, during that stretch, and outscored opponents 455-12 overall — an average of nearly 51 points-per-game.  The only team that came close to defeating Ellwood City, Hopewell, stands in the way of its perfect season.  The Vikings similarly dominated teams en route to the championship game, including a 44-6 playoff victory against Beaver last weekend.

The Wolverines defeated Hopewell 8-0 on Sept. 14.

For more information, please visit

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Three times a charm: Riverside earns third straight title

A fourth-down-and-inches stop with eight seconds to play ensured a third consecutive Tri-County Championship on Wednesday night for John Severn’s Riverside Middle School football team.  Strong defense and a couple of big runs gave the Panthers a 14-8 victory against the Mohawk Warriors at Riverside Memorial Stadium.

The Mohawk squad held a considerable size advantage on its offensive line, which produced a powerful running attack that put together a solid scoring drive early.  The quick touchdown, capped off by a two-point conversion, would be the last for the Warriors.  Riverside answered on its second drive of the contest as Ty Baker broke free for his first of two touchdowns.  The Panthers added a two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8.  With only seconds to play in the first half, Riverside thought it took the lead with a long touchdown pass reception to LeMarcus Cleckley, but a flag on the field negated the score and the teams remained knotted up heading into halftime.

“The scoring dried up in the second quarter,” Severn added.

The third quarter also produced no points for either side, but halfway through the fourth, the Panthers stuck from long distance.  Riverside running back Ty Baker broke free of several tackles and charged his way to the end zone from 60-plus yards out to put his team up 14-8  with nearly five minutes remaining in the game .

“The run was sprung by superb blocking off the left side of the line [from] (Eli) Schweiger, (Jarrett) Speer, [and] (Michael) Brosenitsch, with (LeMarcus) Cleckley and (Gerard) Rippy coming out of the backfield,” Severn explained.  “Baker shrugged off multiple tackles before pulling away. ”

The Panthers missed the two-point conversion after Baker’s second score of the evening, which left Mohawk with one last opportunity to take the game.

The Warriors threatened late with a strong drive that ended abruptly at the Panthers’ 5-yard-line when defensive coordinator Dave Piecuch’s defense, which remained solid throughout the contest, capped off the undefeated season with a fourth-and-inches stop.

“The defense turned in a stellar performance,” Severn said.  “[They] stopped Mohawk on the opening drive of the second half.  [We] controlled the clock in the third quarter by marching the ball down field before stalling out inside the Mohawk 10-yard-line.  [Then,] the defense got another critical stop on the ensuing drive to set up a game-winning touchdown run, [and] came up with yet another stop on fourth down and inches with eight seconds remaining to seal the victory.”

Riverside finished the season with six wins and two ties.  For the second consecutive year, the Panthers defeated a team in the title game that they failed to defeat in the regular season.  On Oct. 15, the squads played to a 6-6 tie.

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RHS middle school football aims for 3-peat

Riverside Middle School Football team in last year's Tri-County Championship game

Riverside Middle School Football team in last year’s Tri-County Championship game

Tonight, the Riverside Middle School Panthers (5-0-2) will host the Mohawk Warriors (5-1-1) at Riverside Memorial Stadium in the Tri-County Championship game.  A win for the Panthers will mark a third consecutive title.

For a second straight year, Riverside will play a team that they failed to defeat in the regular season.  The Panthers avenged their only loss by defeating the Laurel Spartans in the 2013 title game.  Earlier this season, Mohawk and Riverside played to a 6-6 tie, which left both teams with unfinished business.  The difference between that game and tonight’s is that one team will obtain resolve.

Proceeds from the game will be put towards college scholarships in the tri-county area.  Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students.  Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

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PHOTOS: Sophomores, juniors win on EC Powderpuff weekend

Last Saturday, Lincoln High School hosted a set of football games at Helling Stadium that had no playoff implications.  However, pride and charity were on the line.

In the 4 p.m. game, the Sophomore powderpuff team offered the Freshman squad a similar welcome to powderpuff football that it was given a year ago in a 50-8 loss to the current Junior team.  Maddie Morella and Taylor Petrak both found the end zone, while Erika Wally added a field goal to boost the Sophomores to victory over the Freshman girls, 25-16.  Alexis Casuccio and Danica Teodoro scored for the Freshman in the loss.

At 6 p.m., the Juniors sent the Seniors off with a not-so-pleasant farewell.  Allie McKelvey, Karrington Ketterer, Cortni Prine and Mallory Swogger all broke the plane in a 30-14 trouncing of the Senior team.  Maddie DeLisio and Amber Leech each added a touchdown for the Seniors.

Though two teams lost, everyone achieved a greater goal as a portion of the proceeds from the powderpuff football games went to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation and the Lincoln High School Club Hope to assist with a local family with cancer treatment.  The girls all wore pink on their uniforms in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


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Free wrestling clinic for EC students

Coach Craig Alberts instructing young wrestlers at the 2013 wrestling clinic.

Coach Craig Alberts instructing young wrestlers at the 2013 wrestling clinic.

Coach Craig Alberts and the Ellwood City Wolverines wrestling team will host a free two-day wrestling clinic for students on Tuesday, Oct. 28 and Wednesday, Oct. 29  in the Lincoln High School small gym.  The events will run from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on both evenings.

The clinic is open to all students K-6 interested in learning the basic rules and techniques of wrestling.  Participants should wear t-shirts with gym shorts or sweatpants.  Wrestling shoes are NOT required for this clinic.

For any further questions regarding the wrestling clinic, please contact Alberts at

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Riverside still controls own destiny after loss

2014GridIron-AD-RHSOne win.

That’s all that Tom Liberty’s team needs to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs this year after a miserable 2013 campaign that yielded just that…one win.  Last Friday night, Riverside (3-3 Big Seven, 4-4 overall) ran into a team that gave them flashbacks of last season in Shenango.  The Wildcats torched the Panthers for 517 rushing yards, including 282 by junior running back Tyler Root, in Shenango’s 45-21 victory at Riverside Memorial Stadium.

Explosive plays set the tone in the conference match-up.  Quarterback Jason Dambach connected with Logan Sheridan for a 69-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter for the Panthers after Root stormed to the end zone twice on runs of 61 and 74 yards.  In the third quarter, Sheridan blew past the Wildcats’ defense for a 70-yard touchdown run that pulled the Panthers within ten, but Root responded with an 80-yard burst of his own that put the game out of reach.  In all, five plays went for 61-plus yards between the teams.

The loss puts Riverside in a must-win situation this Friday when the team hosts another Big Seven foe, Vincentian Academy (2-5 Big Seven, 2-6 overall).  The Royals defeated Rochester last Friday, 31-22 after dropping five consecutive contests.  A win puts Riverside in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

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Down and Out: Loss drops EC from playoff contention

The Wolverines took an early third quarter lead against Laurel on Friday night, then watched the Spartans counter with 17 unanswered points to eliminate Ellwood City from playoff contention, 27-14.

After a touchdown drive to start the second half, Ellwood City (3-4 MAC, 4-4 overall) seemingly seized momentum with a huge red zone stop at the 2-yard-line on fourth down.  After taking over on downs, the Wolverines coughed up the football inside their own 10-yard-line, and a Laurel defender took the loose ball to the end zone.  The score solidified the win for the Spartans (3-4 MAC, 3-5), who also watched their playoffs chances slip away as Beaver defeated Freedom, 51-19.

It was a bittersweet night for junior running back Nick Ioanilli, who surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau for the season with an 86-yard performance, but threw a costly fourth quarter interception with the Wolverines already down 24-14.

The Wolverines hope to play spoiler this Friday against the Beaver Bobcats, who can clinch a second-place finish in the Midwestern American Conference with a win and a Beaver Falls loss.  With a win, the Wolverines can also finish the season above .500 for the first time since 2011.  Kick-off is at 7:00 p.m. at Helling Stadium.

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Playoff updates: Ellwood City and Riverside

Last Friday, the Ellwood City Wolverines (3-3, 4-3) survived a scare by holding off a feisty Mohawk team.  The Warriors climbed within two points of the Wolverines in the fourth quarter, but a later touchdown solidified the victory for Ellwood City who remains in playoff contention.

2014GridIron-AD-LHSWhile the win kept the Wolverines alive in the playoff hunt, the team does not control its own destiny and will have a tough road ahead.

Ellwood City gets in if:

The Wolverines defeat Laurel and Beaver, and Beaver Falls loses at least one of its last two games (Aliquippa, New Brighton).

@ Laurel (2-4, 2-5) on 10/17

  • Ellwood City is 3-0 on the road; Laurel is 2-1 at home
  • Both teams defeated Mohawk and Freedom
  • Ellwood City defeated Summit Academy (0-7); Laurel plays Summit Academy on 10/24

vs. Beaver (4-2, 5-2 overall) on 10/24

  • Beaver defeated Laurel 40-7 last week


The Riverside football squad holds its playoff destiny in its own hands as a single victory over the remaining two weeks secures a playoff birth for the Panthers.

The Panthers first test will be a tough one beginning tonight as they host Shenango (5-2 overall) in a Big Seven showdown.

2014GridIron-AD-RHSRiverside will look to the air attack again this week and ride the strong arm of junior quarterback Jason Dambach who is coming off an impressive aerial performance last week.  For the season, Dambach is averaging just over 200 yards passing per game and has 10 touchdown passes.

Riverside gets in if:

The Panthers win one of its remaining two games.  Panthers host Shenango 10/17 and a 1-win Vincentian Academy 10/24


Union, Vincentian Academy, and Western Beaver each lose at least one of their two remaining games.  All three teams have four section losses.


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