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The good, bad and ugly of sports



Published: Sat, October 28, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Shades of Clint Eastwood's movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" surfaced recently in the wide world of sports.

It was quite a weekend for the most part, with Friday night football once again grabbing the spotlight.

The West Middlesex Big Reds opened their beautiful new stadium with a convincing 28-0 victory over Farrell in a District 10-A contest. The victory was the seventh straight for West Middlesex.

Sharpsville and Kennedy Catholic took over the limelight the following night at McCracken Field. In a see-saw battle, the Blue Devils came on top in a real nail-biter, 29-28. It was considered by many one of the best games ever in Mercer County history.

The teams, coached by Mike Donato (Kennedy Catholic) and Paul Piccirilli (Sharpsville) displayed sportsmanship and fair play, which reflected highly on the coaches. In all aspects, it was Mercer County football at its very best.

Previously unbeaten Sharon tasted defeat for the first time this season when the Tigers were bowled over by Grove City, 44-25. Quite a shocker.

Wilmington, meanwhile, remained unbeaten with a 58-7 rout of Warren.

Mercer County Cup

In keeping with the "good" theme, let's take our hats off to Coach Jack Leipheimer and his Thiel College football team, which laid claim to the 23rd annual Mercer County Cup by defeating rival Grove City, 20-0.

It was a big win for the Tomcats, who established a school single-season record with 11 victories in 2005, winning their first Presidents' Athletic Conference crown since 1972 and advancing to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time.

The Wolverines still lead the series, 54-34-5, and hold the edge in Mercer County Cup competition, 14-9.

The really "good" news over the weekend was the rise from the depths of despair by the Steelers, who manhandled the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 45-7.

It was only a matter of time, though, before someone grabbed the long tresses of the Steelers' Troy Polomalu. The Chiefs' Larry Johnson grabbed Palomalu's locks and was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Pittsburgh's joy didn't last long, though, with a 41-38 loss to Atlanta in overtime last Sunday.

Real ugly

This one took place in the Orange Bowl, between Miami and Florida International.

Both teams clashed in a mid-field melee with players hitting with their helmets, kicking, punching and stomping on each other. It took about two dozen police to put down the melee.

Another good one

It's called the Chuck Tanner Award and it was presented to Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson. Tanner, the former Pirates skipper from 1977-85, lives in the New Castle area and is a scout with the Cleveland Indians.

The award was established this season by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The award recognizes the the Pirates player whose professionalism, cooperation and availability best assists the writers in carrying out their daily responsibilities.

Wilson hit .273 and had 28 extra-base hits this season. He is also considered to be one of the NL's best fielding shortstops.




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