RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Kennedy hires District 10 chief
Wally Blucas, president of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association since 1999 and chairman of the PIAA's District 10, has been hired at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage in an administrative position.
The former superintendent at Girard, Pa., Schools has been hired as director of assessment and research at Kennedy. He will be in charge of handling Kennedy's academic restructuring which has been under way for several years.
There are approximately 1,360 member schools in the PIAA, the governing body of high school and junior high athletics in the Keystone State.
Within these schools are 11 districts broken down into geographic areas. Mercer County is in District 10 which also includes Venango, Forest, Warren, Crawford and Erie counties.
The largest district is the WPIAL, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, which is known as District 7.
The WPIAL is a sprawling area of the state with many members.
In postseason playoffs, the WPIAL champions enter the state district playoffs in hopes of playing for a state championship. Opponents are the PIAA District champions.
Many fans believe that the teams surfacing from the WPIAL each year are the teams to beat.
We welcome Wally to the Mercer County area and wish him the best of luck in his new position at Kennedy Catholic.
What a finish
Dan Dierdorf, NFL television sports announcer, perhaps said it best: "Dick Vermeil never won a game like this one and Butch Davis never lost one this way either."
Dierdorf was referring to Kansas City's 40-39 heart-stopper over the Cleveland Browns.
The Chiefs won the contest via a field goal with no time left on the clock. The Browns were assessed a penalty on the final play of the game when a Browns player removed his helmet, apparently thinking that that victory had been secured. A game cannot end on a defensive penalty so the Chiefs converted on the field goal ending one of the wildest football games I've ever encountered.
The captain of a college football team is a very prestigious honor. It's the player the rest of the team looks up to, for leadership and ability. Westminster College has three of them this year.
One of the three Titan stalwarts has been named the recipient of the 2002 Harold Burry Award, given annually to the senior football player who best represents the "Titan Tradition" exemplified by former Titan football coach and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Harold Burry.
The captains and award winners are voted on by the team members and are announced at the conclusion of training camp.
Tight end Nevin Baker, senior, from Erie McDowell High School, was the recipient of this year's Burry Award. He enters his second year as the Titans' starting tight end. He hauled in 10 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns last season. He was named for his work ethics and determination during training camp.
The other two captains are senior middle linebacker Joe Bianco, Bethel Park High School, and Jim Chaney, Hubbard High School.
Bianco is a multi-year starter at defensive end who is moving to middle linebacker this season. He was the team's leading returning tackler last season. He had 62 tackles and nine quarterback sacks in 2001.
Chaney is entering his second year with the program and his first as a starter at defensive end. He posted 33 total tackles (25 solo and eight assisted) while adding one forced fumble and one quarterback sack in 2001.