Boys' Ice Hockey - Latrobe
The Latrobe boys' hockey team entered this season fully
aware of what was in store. "We're definitely the target,"
coach Dan Ridder says. "Everyone wants to beat Latrobe
and wants to measure up against us." But it's going to take a
very talented team to upend the defending PIHL Class AA
champs. Latrobe features some of the state's most talented
players in all aspects of the game. Offensively, the Wildcats
rely on players such as senior captain Mike McCurdy. "He's
definitely a leader on and off the ice," Ridder says. "He loves
going into the boards to win one-on-one battles, but he has
a unique ability to be a sharpshooter, too." Senior forward
JeffJoe Regula, another great offensive player, is best
known for his speed. "He's a highly skilled player, and he
leads by example,"Ridder says. "When he gets the puck, he's
in the offensive zone in no time." Senior Ryan LaDuke and
his sophomore brother Zach are among other scoring
threats. Defensively, seniors Robert Himler and Tommy
Ridge are anchors at the blue line and complement each
other nicely. "They're very similar," Ridder says. "They're
both very physical but they're good offensive players as
well." Senior netminder Nick Loyacona, who has tended the
pipes since he was a freshman, is a rock in goal for the
Wildcats. "He's the backbone of the team," Ridder says. "We
focus on defense first and then work on our offense."
Girls' Soccer - Mt. Lebanon
Led by ESPN RISE All-Area pick Samantha Kovarik, the Mt. Lebanon girls' soccer team earned an upset win over Peters
Township to claim the WPIAL title — the sixth in team history. Kovarik scored twice in the Class AAA championship
match as her team earned a 3-2 victory on Nov. 1. The Blue Devils put six seniors on the Post-Gazette All-Area list, including
goaltender Jenna Villa and defender Julie Dumbaugh.
Boys' Cross Country - North Allegheny
The third-place finish at the PIAA state championships didn't sit well with the North Allegheny boys' cross country
team. Fortunately, the boys were able to make up for the disappointing finish by qualifying for a trip to the Nike Cross
Nationals in Oregon. Despite being ranked near the bottom, the boys finished 12th in the nation, led by sophomore
Ryan Gil. Seniors Chase Broussard and Pat Morgan also ran very well.
Girls' Golf - Shady Side
After narrowly beating a host of opponents in the WPIAL championship, Shady Side stormed the state tournament
and claimed a PIAA title as well. The Indians edged Mount St. Joseph by just three strokes en route to the title, led by
two fantastic freshmen — Kendall Allen and Michelle Bucklew. Allen finished fifth in the individual tournament. Senior
Brittany Andrews and junior Lauren Laufe rounded out the team scoring.
BREAK OUT TEAMS
FOOTBALL – NEW CASTLE
Keith Keene, a junior this season, will lead New Castle to big things next year.
GIRLS'TENNIS – QUAKER VALLEY
Junior Noella Richman could contend for a WPIAL singles title next year.
BOYS' SOCCER – BALDWIN
Post-Gazette South All-Star Akrangelo James, a junior forward, scored 17 goals this year.
GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY – KNOCH
Sophomore Jolene Kunkel's Top-15 finish at state will be a great starting point next season.