Category Archives: Local Sports

PHOTOS: Senior Night for Ellwood City tennis team

On Monday night, the Lincoln High School tennis team celebrated Senior Night against the cross-town-rival Riverside Panthers at Ewing Park.

The teams split the first four matches — Riverside won a singles and doubles, while Ellwood City took two singles — but the Panthers took the final doubles match while sealed the victory for the girls in green, 3-2.

Though the meet did not end in favor of the home team, Ellwood City seniors got to enjoy one last outing in Ewing Park.

Check out photos from the match, and a few group shots of the seniors.

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Home Sweet Home: Wolverines handle Burgettstown

The Ellwood City Wolverines were not such gracious hosts during their homecoming celebration Friday night at Helling Stadium.  Junior running back Nick Ioanilli sprang for five touchdown runs, and compiled 219 on a mere 21 carries as the Wolverines (3-2) vanquished the visiting Blue Devils, 40-13.

Ioanilli, who added two receptions for 52 yards to his stat sheet, followed an offensive line that pushed the Blue Devils defenders all over the field throughout the entirety of the evening.  The running game was so dominant, that Wolverines’ quarterback D.J. Barrett threw only two passes in four quarters.  In all, Ellwood City amassed 336 rushing yards on 53 totes (6.34 yards-per-carry).  Ioanilli finished with 271 of the team’s 395 yards.

During halftime, the 2014 Lincoln High School Homecoming Court was introduced, and a winner emerged as Olivia Pigza (picture/profile below) was crowned as the Homecoming Queen.

The Wolverines play host to Beaver Falls next Friday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.


eIMG_9029Olivia Pigza, escorted by Ricie Scott, is the daughter of Justin and Melissa Pigza. Olivia is a Varsity cheerleader who is also a 4-year letterman and co-captain for the Varsity Golf team. Olivia is President of the March of Dimes club, Secretary of Peer Leadership, and Editor-in-Chief of the Lincoln High School student newspaper. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Senior High Student Council, Caring Team, and the Ellwood City Culture Club. Olivia is a 2-time UCA All-American Cheerleader and was also selected as a UCA Pin-it-Forward award recipient.  She was awarded the High O’Brien Leadership award, Presidential Academic Achievement Award, and 9th grade Leadership Award. Olivia represents Lincoln High School at the monthly Extreme Leadership Institute held at the Grove City Intermediate Unit. She is a High Honor roll student who participates in the Gifted Enrichment Program and is in the top 10 for the Class of 2015. Upon graduation, Olivia plans to attend Penn State University to study Bio-Behavioral Health, with plans to continue her education at pharmacy school.

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PHOTOS: Riverside Homecoming Court for 2014

riverside homecoming

Riverside High School proudly presents the Homecoming Court for the 2014 school year. The winner will be announced Friday, Sept. 26, when the Panthers football team plays host to the North Catholic Trojans at Riverside Memorial Stadium.

This year, seven members of the court, including foreign exchange student Miia Roininen from Finland, look for the chance to succeed last year’s Homecoming Queen, Sidney Weber.

Pictured in the top row (left to right):  Kaine Fidell, Mariah Sturges, Mia Radevski, and Miia Roininen.  Bottom row:  Harley Brandt, Morgan Lutz, and Cortney Harden.

The staff wishes all of the girls the best of luck!


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PHOTOS: LHS Ioanilli, RHS Dambach have standout games

Ellwood City junior Nick Ioanilli put an early mark on Ellwood City’s 51-14 victory over Freedom Area Friday night, accounting for three first half touchdowns including an interception return on defense.

Ioanilli collected a fourth score in the second half, a 40-yard touchdown run, that pressed his game total to nearly 200 yards rushing.

Freedom’s Dean Ward collected his second touchdown of the contest in the third quarter to pull the Bulldogs within one score, but the Wolverines collected the next five scores, including a safety and a second interception return for touchdown, to pull away in the contest.

The Wolverines evened up their season record at 2-2 and will next host Burgettstown on Friday night at 7:00pm as part of homecoming festivities.

Dambach leads air attack as Panthers defeat Rochester

Panthers quarterback Jason Dambach finished with over 250 yards and three touchdowns through the air to help Riverside trounce Rochester 26-12 Friday night.

Dambach hooked up long-distance twice with Logan Sheridan in the first half of play, connecting on touchdown passes of 52-yards and 47-yards to give the Panthers their early lead.

The Panther offense accounted for almost 400 yards of total offense on the evening and held the Rams to just 234 yards.

With the victory, Riverside improved to 3-1 overall on the season and with next host North Catholic on Friday night as part of their homecoming festivities.

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Riverside weekly sports schedule

The following is the time/date information for Riverside High School sports teams from Sept. 16 to Sept. 20.  Events are subject to change.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 16
    8:30 a.m. Girls Varsity Tennis @ MAC Championships
    9 a.m. Boys Varsity Golf Section Qualifiers @ Green Meadows Golf Course
    3:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Golf @ Union Area MS/HS POSTPONED
    3:30 p.m. Coed Varsity Cross Country @ Beaver Falls High School with Neshannock
    7 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer @ Beaver County Christian High
  • Wednesday, Sept. 17
    11 a.m. Boys Varsity Golf @ MAC Championships
    3:30 p.m. Girls Varsity Tennis v. Central Valley
    4 p.m. Boys Middle School Football v. Laurel High School
    4 p.m. Girls Varsity Soccer v. Our Lady Sacred Heart
  • Thursday, Sept. 18
    3 p.m. Boys Varsity Golf v. Shenango High School
    3:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Soccer v. Sewickley Academy
    3:30 p.m. Girls Middle School Basketball @ Union Area MS/HS
    4 p.m. Girls Varsity Soccer @ Freedom Area JR/SR High School
  • Friday, Sept. 19
    7:30 p.m. Boys Varsity Football @ Rochester Area High School
  • Saturday, Sept. 20
    11 a.m. Boys Varsity Soccer @ Neshannock High School
    10 a.m. Boys Junior Varsity Football v. Rochester Area High School
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PHOTOS: Quips Show Little Mercy In Victory Over EC

Aliquippa has always proven to be a test for the past couple years in WPIAL AA play.  In fact, more like the past 20 plus years.  This trend continued as the Wolverines had no answer for the Quips offense, as well as a breakthrough against the Quips defense as well.

The game started off with a beautiful and comfortable temperature after last weeks’ high temps.  The Quips received the opening kickoff and did not look back as a long drive was capped off by a 5 yard rushing touchdown by DiMontae Bronaugh as well as a 2 point running conversion by Darrien Fields: 8-0 Quips.

From there, the rest of the game was in favor of the Quips, as the Quips were able to score the next 36 points of the game, taking a 44-0 lead over the Wolverines into the fourth.

With the running clock (35 point mercy rule), the Wolverines took late drive from the 49 yard line of the Quips after a fumble recovery and at least showed some success in the running game.  With 4:03 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines took their last shot at the endzone on a fourth down play and scored a 7 yard touchdown via the air, by Andrew O’Brien to Toby Kelly.  A Devin Cortez PAT also added to score, to make the final score of the game 44-7 in favor of the Quips.

Ellwood City, 1-2 (1-2) now takes on Freedom 0-3 (0-3) at Freedom High School this week to hopefully bounce back in the Midwestern Conference and get back .500 overall.

Below are some of the statistical highlights for the Wolverines for the game:

First Downs: 6
Rushing Yards: 106
Passing Yards: 10
Time of Possession: 26:35
Turnover Margin: 0 (2 For and 2 Against)

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PHOTOS: Early Deficit Costly, Wolverines Fall to Lions

After a week where the Wolverine football team looked like they were on their way to having a good start to the young 2014 campaign, a familiar foe came into Helling Stadium and lit up the score board as New Brighton routed Ellwood City 38-13 in section play.

The game started off with a kickoff that set the tone for the entire game: New Brighton’s Darrion Gilmore took the opening kick from 15 yard line and didn’t look back as the scoring started off with an opening 85 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Elite kicker Gavin Pritchard added the extra point to give the Lions the early lead 7-0.

From there, the Wolverines continued to struggle on giving up the “big play” by allowing Lions running back Scott Florence run right up the middle for a 64 yard scamper to the endzone to stretch the early lead.

The Wolverines did show some signs of light by coming back with 2:34 to play in the 1st quarter where running back River Kelly went 1 yard on a fumble recovery of his own into the endzone secured 6 points plus a good PAT by Paul Lutz for the Wolverines.

The score by the Wolverines didn’t last long as Florence once again took the rock up the middle for a 40 yard rushing touchdown to silence the crowd

Heading into the second quarter, the Wolverines were looking for a good response to hopefully cut the lead down before halftime. This was not the case – two scores by Lions, another Florence run for 34 yards plus a good PAT Pritchard and a last second field goal with time expired for the half of 29 yards by Pritchard, extended the lead for the Lions to 31-7 at half.

The Wolverines seemed completely out of sync on defense and the offense was having trouble staying consistent. However, late in the 3rd quarter the Wolverines added a long score of their own by running back Nick Ioanilli running outside the right side for a 70 yard touchdown run, with the kick failed to make the score 31-13.

Ioanilli was a brightspot offensively for the Wolverines, finishing with 180 yards rushing on only 15 carries on the night for the Wolverines team the compiled nearly 400 yards of offense in defeat.

The final score of the night in the 3rd quarter was by Payton Fath, the New Brighton quarterback, who ran the ball himself and scampered outside left for a long 56 yard touchdown to seal the final on the scoarboard – 38-13 Lions.

The last quarter was mainly a stat enhancer for the Wolverines as they substituted in several players on offense and was able to move the ball.

Although the game ended in favor of the Lions, the Wolverines showed great pride and made the second half a little more closer on the board as well as in stat column. Next up for the 1-1 (1-1) Wolverines is the 2-0 (2-0) Quips of Aliquippa, as the home game continues to add to a hard schedule.

Here are some of the key stats for the Wolverines:

Individual Totals:
D.J. Barrett 4/17/2 75 Yds.
Rushing: Nick Ioanilli 15 carries 180 yards 1 TD, 4 Receptions for 75 Yds. 255 Total Yds. of offense

Team Totals:
Rushing: 49 carries for 312 Yds.
Passing: 4 Completions for 75 Yds.
Total Yards: 387
Possession: 30:07


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Wolverines Show No Give, Win Opener: 35-0

Saturday was a test of conditioning, composure, and overall strength in the trenches for the Ellwood City football squad.  Sure enough Coach Phillips had his Wolverines in a great situation to do such on the field.  From having three days of conditioning for the heat as well as the long days of two-a-days and such other practices, the young Ellwood City Wolverines were able to take what was given on the practice field and apply it to the real field: Game 1 vs. Summit Academy.

Wolverine Nick Ioanilli avoids a would-be tackler.

Wolverine Nick Ioanilli avoids a would-be tackler.

The game started off slowly for both teams where EC as well as SA had multiple chances on drives to move the ball.  It was a continued struggle to move the ball until the Wolverines Paul Lutz took a hand-off up the middle of the line for 57 yards and broke 5 tackles to take the ball across the goal line – touchdown Ellwood City 7-0.

The second quarter consisted of only an early touchdown by an amazing play setup by the EC coaching staff where quarterback D.J. Barrett took the snap, handed the ball off to Lutz, who then lateraled the ball to running back Nick Ioanilli, who then finally threw the ball to a wide open Mario Street in the end zone for a 35 yard touchdown pass – EC 13-0 at half.

When the third quarter started, the stadium had a feel that EC was ready to open up the game and sure enough, a Nick Ioanilli 82 yard kickoff return for touchdown helped proved such as the Wolverine lead stretched to 19-0.  With this in mind, EC wanted to pour it on with another quick score only a minute later where Nick Ioanilli and the Wolverines took a turnover and ran the ball for 7 yards for a touchdown followed up by a 2 point conversion run by Barrett – EC 27-0.

At this point, the game was all but out of reach with the last score by Mario Street who scampered in from 20 yards out to make the game a 35-point running clock game.

After the last score in the third quarter, Coach Phillips and the Wolverines knew the clock was running and the game was out of hand, replacing most of the offensive starters to make sure no late injuries or ejections would occur.

Overall, with a final score of 35-0, Ellwood City proved most reporters wrong when they were seemed to be the underdog of the day.

The next match up for Ellwood City 1-0 (1-0) will be a Friday contest versus New Brighton Lions home at Helling Stadium (7pm kickoff).


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Wolverine Football Tickets Go On Sale Today

Lincoln High School is back in session which means – Ellwood City Wolverines football season tickets are on sale!

2014GridIron-AD-LHSThe season tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday during the school hours in the high school office.

Tickets for five home games will be $30.00 for adult reserved seats, $20.00 for adult general admission, $5.00 for students, and free for residents of the district who are 62 or older.

Adult and student tickets will be $5.00 at the gate with adult reserved tickets $6.00 on game day.

Advance tickets will be $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for students.  These tickets can be purchased int he high school office during school hours on Fridays.

Ellwood City Senior Athletic Spotlight, Part 3 — August 19, 2014
Ellwood and Riverside Football Schedules Released — August 6, 2014

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Panther Alumni Soccer Team Comes Away With Victory

The Riverside Alumni Soccer Team sought revenge for losses at the hands of the Riverside High School 2014 high school team after losing the first two match-ups in 2012 and 2013 on Saturday. The game played at the Riverside Middle School soccer field under humid conditions was a test for the “oldsters”. They met the challenge and then some by defeating the high school booters 9-6.

10636044_10203737155741026_6645399441072204934_nThe Ridgely family was well represented on both teams. The elder Ridgelys, Austin and Logan who are now ‘alumni’ played their freshman brother, Nash Ridgely. Nash haD an unassisted goal for the high school team and older brothers combined for 4 pointsfor the Alumni.

Behind by 3 goals the current Riverside High School Soccer coach, Ben Huth, came in the game to score an unassisted goal to ruin the alumni’s possible shut out. He then added another unassisted goal in the 4th pd.

The following is the scoring by quarters (four 20 minute quarters):

1st Pd:
Alumni-Ray Nelson from Jimmy Wright            1-0
Alumni-Scott Donley from Austin Ridgely       2-0

2nd Pd: NO SCORING                           2-0

3RD Pd:
Alumni-Jimmy Wright from Brad Humble         3-0
Riverside High School- Ben Huth                              3-1
Alumni-Kris Richardson from DJ Tindall           4-1
Alumni-Kris Richardson from Ray Nelson         5-1

4th Pd:
Alumni-Ryan Householder from Ridgely            6-1
(Householder had and awesome header to score, reminiscent of high school days!)
Alumni-Logan Ridgely from Austin Ridgely       7-1
Alumni-John Strosnider from DJ Tindall               8-1
Riverside High School-Ben Huth                           8-2
Riverside High School-Nash Ridgely                   8-3
Alumni-Kris Richardson from R. Householder 9-3

FINAL SCORE: Alumni-9-High School 6

(Three goals were scored by the high school team the end of the fourth period. They were unrecorded since DJ Tindall played dual roles in the game, reffing the first half and playing the second half.)

10568839_10203737156301040_2717157312681929010_nMany thanks to alumni team members Greg Plutnicki for providing water, Adam Black for the music at halftime and the end of the game, and DJ Tindall for organizing the event, obtaining shirts, and reffing the first half of the game.

The Alumni team would like to wish the 2014 Riverside Fighting Panther Soccer team a very successful, upcoming season.

The following alumni played in the game:

  •             Ray Nelson
  •             DJ Tindall
  •             Adam Black
  •             Scott Donley
  •             Bryan Slavic
  •             Jason Kralic
  •             Dan Guevara
  •             Clint Francis
  •             Ryan Householder
  •             Jimmy Wright
  •             Austin Ridgely
  •             Logan Ridgely
  •             Brad Humble
  •             Kris Richardson
  •             Greg Plutnicki
  •             John Strosnider

For further information about the Alumni team and games contact DJ Tindall at

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