Thursday, February 15, 2001

Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 15, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Page I Altoona Mirror LOCAL Thursday, February SPORTS AT A GLANCE Frazar shoots 63 to top leaderboard LA QUINTA, Calif. The way Harrison Frazar has played so far this year, he might soon become known for something other than being Justin Leonard's roommate at the University of Texas. If he can play like he did Wednesday, that something could be a PGA Tour winner. Frazar, continuing his strong early season play, shot a 9-under 63 to take a one- stroke lead Over a gaggle of other players as the 42nd Hope opened its five-day run on four birdie-friendly courses. Elsewhere in golf: Defending champion Jesper PviMvHc withdrew from the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic as the tournament was about to begin Wednesday because of the impending birth of his fourth child. DeGregorio released from hospital PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island basketball coach Jerry DeGregorio was hospitalized for exhaus- tion, one day after he said he would not return to the strug- gling team next season. DeGregorio, 38, was admit- ted to South County Hospital Tuesday night, then released Wednesday night. Elsewhere in basketball: Missouri guard Clmcnca Gilbert returned to action Wednesday follow- ing an "indefinite" suspension that ended up lasting just one game. T7K International Basketball x League absorbed two more teams from the defunct Continental Basketball Association, bringing the total of CBA teams in the league to five. Report: C.J. Leak transferring to Vols CHARLOTTE, Wake Forest quarterback C. J. Leak will transfer to Tennessee this summer and could begin spring practice in 2002, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday. Elsewhere in football: New Ohio State head coach Jim Tressef cdnfinned Wednesday that he wilt retain three members of the fired John Cooper's coaching staff. Running backs coach Tim Spencer, defensive line coach Jim Heacock and recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Bill Conley complete Tressd's coaching staff. South Carolina running back Dank Watson shoved a student ref- eree to the floor and threatened him during an intramural basketball game, campus police said. Coyotes'sale to Gretzky slowed again frequent hitches that have marked .Wayne Gretzky's return to hockey as an owner slowed the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes again Wednesday. Gretzky and partners Steve Elhnan and Jerry Mpyes spent the day in New York, trying to close the deal. Elsewhere in hockey: Buffalo general manager Darcy Regfer, credited for providing stability and noted for his shrewd trades, is on the verge of signing a six-year deal to remain with the Sabres. Don King plans title fight for China NEW King, who modestly compares his 30-year journey through box- ing with Mao Tse-tung's Long March, plans to pro- mote the first heavyweight title fight in China. "Mao really taught me how to survive in this King said Wednesday in announcing a match in Beijing featuring the winner of Evander Holyfield's WBA title defense against John Ruiz March 3. Elsewhere hi boxing: Robert Lee, the International Boxing Federation founder, was sen- tenced to almost two years in prison Wednesday for money laundering and tax evasion. Yesteryear 50 Years Ago Feb. 15, 1951: Jim Black of Altoona was named director of the 22nd-annual St. Francis College scholastic basketball tournament. 25 Years Ago Feb. 15, 1976: Bellwood-Antis received 18 points from Ken Sweeney and 17 from Scott Fair to beat 6449 and assume sole possession of first place in the Juniata Valley League. From Mirror staff and wire reports COLLEGE WRESTLING UPJ figures to be in national hunt again BY JOHN HAKTSOCK Mirror Sports Staff When Pat Pecora started his career as the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's wrestling coach back in 1977, times were tough. "We had only four or five kids on the team. I was recruiting out of the Pecora said with a chuck- le. "I was taking trays out of kids' hands and telling them that they could wrestle for us in that night's match." Over the last 25 years, it's been a case of famine to feast for Pecora and the UPJ program. Under Pecora, UPJ has won 14 NCAA East Regional champi- onships and two NCAA Division II national titles, in 1996 and 1999. "We've turned into one of the most solid Division n programs in the said Pecora, who has coached 79 AU-Americans, two NCAA champions and has amassed a career dual meet record of 316-91-3. Pecora, who has been named East Regional Coach of the Year 10 times and NCAA Division It Coach of the Year twice, will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the PIAA state tournament in Hershey March 10. But Pecora won't be there person- ally to accept the award. Instead, he hopes to be leading UPJ to another NCAA Division n national title in Greeley, Colo., March 9-10. "It's a very, very nice honor, and it's a shame I won't be said Pecora, who plans on asking either his family which includes wife Tracy and children Cristina, 13, Marco, 11, Marina, 7, and Nico, 5, or some of his former college wrestlers at UPJ who will be coach- ing at the PIAA tournament, to pick up the award for him. "I'll receive it during the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic (at the end of Pecora will lead UPJ into the East Regional Tournament at Longwood (Va.) College Feb. 23-24. The Mountain Cats are the defend- ing regional team champions. The top four finishers in each weight class at the regional will advance to the national tournament "We need to have a great regional tournament in order to have a chance to win the national Pecora said. "I feel that in order to Benton Buterbaugh (have a shot at winning the national you have to have at least eight guys qualify for the nationals. That's going to be tough." But not impossible for a UPJ team that was ranked sixth among Division n squads last week and sported a 124 dual meet record after Wednesday night's loss at Gannon University. "We faced some adversity early in the season, but we were able to over- come Pecora said. "Our guys have put together a pretty good sea- son." In the past three weeks, UPJ has racked up dual meet wins over Ashland (fourth-ranked in Division Virginia Tech (ranked in the top [RS OF THE WEEK Dell, Brubaker shine BY HERB WERNER Mirror Bowling Writer Bowler of the Week honors go to Fran Dell, with a 777 series, and Diane Brubaker, with a 634. Dell rolled games of 278-279-220 in the Wednesday Night Teacher's League at Pleasant Valley Bowl while Brubaker chalked up games of 203-210-221 in the Friday Early Mixed League at Holiday Bowl. "When I was warming up, the ball was hooking a Dell said. "So I put on a little more speed and the pins carried all night. I just couldn't seem to miss. Since I bowled my last 300 game, I've been getting a lot of nine counts, but they were falling this time." He bowls three nights a week and has a 793 series as well as eight 300 games. "I've been bowling pretty well this Brubaker really felt comfortable and I was having a good time. It was just a good night. I tried not to think about a 600 after the first two games, because I usually mess up. After the eighth frame, I knew I had it locked up." This is her first BOW appear- ance and she also earned a 200-pin. She has been bowling 15 years and the 634 is her best series along with a 258 game. Senior BOWs: Jack Craig at Bavarian Hall, 236-247-223 706, Thelnia Wilfong at Holiday Bowl, 175-212-182569. Junior BOWs: Seniors, Michael Stephens, Spl 151-236-183 570, Nancy Koontz, MB 151-136-187 474; Juniors, Ryan Burns, MB 175-170- 190 535, Alicia Sunderland, PV100- 112-117 329; Preps, Kenny Snyder, HB 143-135-175, Whitney Territo, MB 119-112-115; Bantams, Tyler Stevens, PV 120-108, Jordan Hileman, MB 120-92 212. (Corrections for last week: BOWs Dell Brubaker should( have read Brandon Redinger and Katie Strikes 'n spares: Bill Singer made the 7-10 split at Holiday Mick Fields bowled a reverse stepladder of 169-168-167 at Bavarian Hall Senior John DeGennaro hit the 700 mark again at Pleasant Valley with games of 258-258-201 for 717... Tami Donahue bowled a reverse stepladder of 127- 126-125 at Holiday If we missed anyone, we apologize, because we're writing this from Myrtle Beach Butch DeCriscio just missed a perfect game with a 299 at. Pleasant Valley. COLLEGE CORNER Area players pick Mansfield Bellwood-Antis' Ryan McCleUan has signed on to play football at Mansfield University. The 6-foot-6 tackle chose Mansfield over IUP, Slippery Rock, Lock Haven and Lycoming, among others. decided on Mansfield because of) the coaching McClellan said, "and also the players that they're bringing in and the players that they have now." Bellwood-Antis head coach John Hayes is confident that McClellan will perform well at the college level. "Ryan has really blos- somed this past he said. "He's grown into his body and has become an out- standing offensive and defensive player. Most I importantly, his best is yet I to come. He's a tremendous I physical specimen, and he's going to be an excellent col-1 lege lineman." McCleUan Mansfield assistant coach Joe Braico is looking for McClellan to be a large contributor to the team. "I think Ryan's going to be a great he said. "He's going to develop into a great player. We're really excited about hav- ing Ryan play for us. He can do a lot as a fresh- man." McClellan is looking forward to the chal- lenge awaiting him at Mansfield. "I know it's going to be a lot quicker and def- initely more mental than high school ball." During his senior year at Bellwood, McClellan was named an Inter-County Conference offensive and defensive all-star, first team Blair County offense, second team all-regional offense, third team all-state by Pennsylvania Football News and all-academic team. McClellan will receive per semester from Mansfield. His major is currently unde- cided. "I'm looking for an education, mainly, and secondly football. I want to get through all four and have the time of my life." Rentz Bishop Guilfoyle's Ryan Geishauser will join the Mansfield University football team in the fall of 2001. The senior running back selected Mansfield over IUP, Slippery Rock, Shippensburg, Bloomsburg and Kutztown. "I liked the school and their Geishauser said. "I also liked it because I'll have the opportunity to play early in my career. They want me to come right in and play. The head coach is new, and I was impressed with him and liked the direction he was going." Geishauser was recognized with several honors during his senior year. He led the Marauders in rush- ing, scoring and tackles. He was named player of the week seven times by BG coach Tom Irwin, was a Blair County all-star second team offensive selection, and regional all-star honor- able mention. He was named an Inter- County Conference honorable men- tion all-star and was picked as an aca- demic hall of fame selection. Geishauser "I think Ryan did a lot of things for us this Irwin said. "He started on both offense and defense. He returned kickoffs and was on all of our special teams. He was our leading ground-gamer and scorer. He had an outstanding season.for us." Geishauser has been'awarded slightly less than a full scholarship from Mansfield and is looking forward to the upcoming season. "I think the big difference with college football is the he said. "It'll be a lot faster." Irwin is confident that Geishauser will perform well at the college level. "I think Ryan's best years are ahead of he stat- ed. "He's got a lot of raw material that's going to be very important to him. He really wants to play college ball, and I think that's really motivating him." Mansfield assistant coach Joe Braico agreed. "To me, Ryan's the type of back we wanted. He's got great speed and great ability to catch the ball. He'll add another dimension to our team that we didn't have." Geishauser will continue to play running back at Mansfield and will also try his hand at tailback. "I just want to get a good education, and have a lot of fun with the chance to play college football." -JStocey Rentz Misericordia's Boyd named to PSAC honor roll DALLAS, Pa. College Misericordia basketball stand- out Kristy Boyd, a Central High School graduate, was recently named to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Player of the Week Honor Roll. Boyd, a senior guard, averaged 18.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.3 assists while lead- ing the Cougars to wins. Elsewhere: Bedford's Jessica Rletscha scored 10 points, and Tussey Mountain's Lindsay Baker added six as the Pitt- Johnstown women's basketball team defeated Slippery Rock University 70-61 Monday. Central Cambria graduate Melissa McKavish scored seven points for Slippery Rock. McKavish had scored six points and collected seven assists in the Rock's 64- 50 win over IUP last lUP's Carrie Hoy, a Williamsburg grad- uate, scored three points, and Jess Conner, an Everett graduate, scored two. Baker had three points and Rietscha two points in UPJ's 74-62 win over Blocmfield Saturday, and Baker had seven points and Rietscha 15 in UPJ's 68-61 win over California Wednesday. Bellwood-Antis graduate Brent Gerwert scored 12 points, but the Pitt- Johnstown men's basketball team suf- fered an 85-64 loss to California (Pa.) Wednesday. Ji 25 in Division and Findlay, Ohio (ranked 10th in Division "Realistically, at the beginning of this year, we didn't really look at this year like we were going to have a run for the national Pecora said. "I don't know right now if we have the horses to win a national title, but hopefully, we're going to be in the hunt." UPJ's lineup features Hollidaysburg's Ryan Buterbaugh (165 a returning regional champ and NCAA Division n all- american who placed sixth at nationals last year, and junior Shad Benton of Central, who is currently ranked third in the nation at 157 after winning the regional champi- onship and earning all-american statuts with, a seventh-lace finish at nationals a year ago. At 141 pounds, Bedford's Dustin Ziegler has split mat time with McGuffey's Jim Banning, and Benton's younger brother, Matt, has seen time behind Philipsburg- Osceola's Jim Custred at 189. Bellwood-Antis' Vince Torsell, Cambria Heights' Russ Keefe, and North Allegheny's Ben Kunb have all seen action in the heavyweight spot Portage's Ted Rakar (174) took a redshirt after suffering a separated shoulder in practice during the first month of the season, but has been spelled quite adequately by Somerset's Randy Pyle. Pecora thinks that Shad Benton and 125-pounder Brandon Newill of Mount Pleasant must win national titles and Buterbaugh and Custred must place "in the top four" in order for UPJ to have a chance to win the national team title. Buterbaugh believes he can be a national champion. "I've wrestled against some of the top guys in the nation, and nobody in my weight class is Buterbaugh said. "Whoever has a good tournament can win it." Buterbaugh and Custred are also academic all-americans. "We're doing it on the mat and in the Pecora said. "And we're doing it with Pennsylvania boys. Most of our boys come from within a two-hour radius (of John Hartsock can be reached at 946-7464. HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING Altoona 33, Clearfield21 Mountain Lions finish with flurry BY JOHN HARTSOCK Mirror Sports Staff With the postseason tournaments looming on the horizon, the Altoona Area High School- wrestling team wants to finish the regular season strong. They certainly finished Wednesday night's 33-21 dual meet victory over Clearfield that way. The Mountain Lions, who won the Blair County Tournament team championship this past Saturday, won- four of the last five bouts against Clearfield to improve to 4-10 in dual meets. The Bisons dropped to 6-9. "I thought we had some really super efforts Altoona coach Marty Rusnak said. "The wrestlers are looking better and bet- ter with the district tournament coming up next week." Altoona got pivotal wins from two first-year wrestlers Wednesday. At 152 pounds, junior Ken Finer used a pinning combination to deck Bill Curry in and put the Mountain Lions ahead to stay, 20-18. At 171, senior John Filipiak edged Matt Meckey, 4-3. "John Filipiak is a football player who came out for wrestling for the first time in his senior Rusnak said. "He shows good bal- ance, and good strength, and he had a crucial win for us tonight." So did Finer, who logged his first victory of the season at the Fieldhouse. "I got over and got the underhook Finer said. "I stepped to the side, and hoped he'd go on to his back." Rusnkk appreciated Piner's con- tribution, "Kenny Finer going out and get- ting the fall at 152 really helped Rusnak said. There were other heroes for Altoona as well. Freshman Joe Ciampoli came up big in a 7-2 win over Junior Lonjin, a 20-match win- ner, at 103. "I was disappointed in our per- formance at Clearfield coach Jeff Aveni said. "Ciampoli is a good kid, and I think he'll do well in the postseason." Other Altoona winners included Scott Wible, who coped with the flu and a 20-match winner, Dave Richards, to post a 12-2 major deci- sion at 160; Wible's younger brothf er, Dustin, who logged an 18-3 tech- nical fall in over Ryan Graham at 135, and Shane Sergent, who trimmed Zac Wagner, 4-1 at 125. "I think the wrestler of the evening was Scotty Wible, who was so sick tonight with the flu that we weren't even sure that he could Rusnak said. "But we moved him up a weight class from 152 to 160, and he went out and gave us a tremendous effort against a very good opponent. A lot of kids would have given up in that situation." Altoona's Dan Ciampoli trimmed Brandon Lingle, 11-4 at 140, and Mountain Lions' heavy- weight Ryan Beers put an excla- mation point on come- back by pinning Kurtis Wisor in The team effort enabled Altoona to weather a forfeit in the 119- pound weight class. "They got the matchups they wanted Aveni said of the Mountain Lions. "I thought we'd win at 171, and I figured that 152 would be a little closer." Altoona closes its regular season at home with a dual meet against Huntingdon Friday night. 103-J. Ciampoli, A, UK. Lonjin, 7-2. 112- CUrKe, C, dec. SmHti, 5-3.119-Adams, C, won by forfeit. 125-Swgent, A, dec. Wagner, 4-1. 130-Durant, C, pinned DeAnlonlo, 135- D. Wible, A. Uctmlcal tall Graham, 18-3 140-D. Ciampoli, A, dec. Lingle, 11-4. 145-Greww, C, dec. Pelton, 7-5.152-Plmr, A, pinned Curty, 160-S. Wible, A, dec. Richards, 12-2. 171-Filipiak, A, dec. Meckey, 4-3. 189-Hepfer, A, dec. Cotoy, 8-6. A, pinned Yflsor, Records: Clearfield Altoona JV: Altoona, 64. Official: Larry Guenot. COLLEGE DIGEST Maxwell Football Club to honor PSU's Taliaferro STATE COLLEGE Adam Taliaferro, the Penn State foot- ball player who suffered a seri- ous spinal injury in September, will be honored at the Maxwell Football Club's 64th annual awards dinner, Tuesday, Feb. 20. Taliaferro will receive the Spirit Award in recognition of his "courage, heart and faith in God, which enabled him to over- come tremendous adversity." The awards banquet will be held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Philadelphia. Juniata's Lukas honored HUNTINGDON-Juniata College's sophomore outside hit- ter Neil Lukas has been named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Sports Imports Division III national player of the week for Feb. 5-11. Lukas led Juniata to a 2-0 record last week with both wins coming in eastern V Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tait Division play against upper-division oppo- nents. Lukas compiled a .441 attack percentage during a five-game victory over New Jersey Tech. He chalked up 19 kills on 34 attempts and 10 digs. Lukas keyed an Eagle rally over Rutgers-Newark with an ace when Juniata trailed 12-10 in the fifth game. He was credit- ed with 14 kills, a .308 hitting percentage, four aces, six digs and three blocks. "Neil is starting to come into his own this year and is becom- ing a team leader and a solid weapon for said Juniata coach Ryan Patton. "I am very proud that he achieved this impressive honor." Juniata, which had won its last three outings to improve its record to 4-5 overall, is ranked No. 1 in the most recent AVCA Division III v