The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Breaking News

High School Sports

July 29, 2013

Portage voted most likely to succeed in WestPAC

PORTAGE — In the WestPAC this season there are two new coaches – at Rockwood and Ferndale – and two others returning to the top spot at Conemaugh Valley and Shade.

But it was the schools that have been the perennial powers in the league that received the most votes from fellow coaches as teams to watch during Monday’s WestPAC media day held at Portage Stadium.

With nine of the 11 schools represented, the host Mustangs were the first-place selection on seven of the ballots. Defending District 5-A champ Berlin Brothersvalley and Ferndale Area received the other first-place votes.

Overall, Windber received the most votes, being tagged as second or third on eight of the ballots, with North Star and Meyersdale also receiving three and two votes, respectively.

Coach Gary Gouse, who begins his 34th season at the helm for the Mustangs, is cautiously optimistic after last season’s 9-2 campaign.

“Confidence is a good thing and this group plays with confidence,” Gouse said. “I feel good about that. On paper with the kids that we have, we should be good. But the underlining is that we have to stay healthy. We don’t have replacements of that quality. We have a great 11 on offense and defense, but our younger guys have to get ready to play.”

The Mustangs’ seniors in attendance on Monday are very enthusiastic about the prospects for their team this year.

“The team, the coaches and the town, they always expect a lot of us coming out here on Friday night,” said Portage running back/defensive end Scott Giles. “We are pretty much picking up where we left off last year and we have a lot of guys coming back that know what they are doing.”

Added guard/defensive end Joe Krisko: “I think we are possibly better than last year and I think we are going to be near the top again. Experience will be one of the biggest strengths of this year’s team.”

Tight end/middle linebacker Joe Randazzo said that Portage’s defense will be the top of the line.

“We are going to be bringing out A-game in every single game and try to shut out every single team that we play,” Randazzo said. “We always have a feeling we can do that.”

The Mustangs will find out what they are made of right from the start, opening the season with North Star and at Berlin.

The recognition of the Ramblers by the coaches and players in the conference is something that Windber players and coaches take in stride.

“They know the pressures of playing at Windber and we put pressure on them all summer and they know that the expectations are pretty high this year,” said coach Matt Grohal, whose team was 9-3 last season. “They’ve shown the work ethic this summer and if they carry it over into the fall I think we will be fairly successful.”

“It’s an honor to be considered one of the top teams in the area every year,” Ramblers wing/safety Dan Tomlinson said. “We just go out and try to live up to those expectations and play our hearts out.”

But as all the coaches and players know, it’s a long season and anything can happen.

“You can’t underestimate anybody in this league,” Portage’s Krisko said.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School Sports
  • coleman2 McCort pitcher wins May Award

    Bishop McCort High School’s Brad Coleman earned the May Point Stadium Award nomination based on his performance in a District 6 Class A playoff victory on May 22.
    Coleman pitched a seven-inning, complete game in a 7-2 win over Homer-Center in the 6-A semifinal round. With the win, McCort clinched its fourth consecutive state tournament playoff berth.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • maddison 4 Richland pole vaulter decides on Red Flash

    Maddison Feather has sailed to great heights throughout her scholastic career at Richland High School.
    Feather – a pole vaulter – takes away a District 6 title and an appearance in the PIAA championship meet from her senior season with the Rams.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccort27 Area players get PHSBCA nods

    Brad Coleman and Alex Sobecky were part of an amazing four-year run by the Bishop McCort High School baseball team.
    Jack Shirk is an underclassman who stood out on a Richland squad that also has been one of the best in the LHAC in recent seasons.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • lantzy22 color Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

    The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

    June 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • lantzy Local stars shine in Ken Lantzy Finest 40 game

    While the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game brings football standouts from across the region to Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium, Friday night’s contest took on a distinct Richland flavor as the South toppled the North 48-18 in the 44th edition of the summer football contest.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • jerry Former coach honored for long service

    The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
    Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • north20 North offense shows big gains during Lantzy practices

    As the North offense prepared for tonight’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Trojan Stadium on the campus of Greater Johnstown High School, tightening up issues with timing and terminology was at the top of the unit’s to-do list.
    If the North’s offense takes the field and operates with machine-like precision tonight, it can thank the intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday as the breakthrough point of the group’s progress during the week.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • soff Three quality quarterbacks bolster South’s chances in Lantzy Game

    The South squad has an impressive arsenal of offensive talent on hand for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game, set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
    The Rebels have three skilled quarterbacks on the roster who have combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and another 2,000 yards on the ground.

    June 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • South D.JPG South changes defense after last year’s loss

    After being thrashed 41-7 last year by the North, the South is hoping to rise again as it prepares for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game set for 7 p.m. at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    On defense, those plans will evolve around the change in defensive schemes that has been instituted with teams now required to run a 4-3.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • lantzy north17.JPG North defense happy to get back to contact as Lantzy game approaches

    It’s been a while since organized live contact on the football field has been a concern for anyone suiting up to play in Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    Talking to members of the North defensive unit, that long wait came with a satisfying end on Monday when teams went into contact drills in the week-long preparations for the 44th edition of the region’s football showcase.

    June 17, 2014 2 Photos


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads