The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

April 4, 2014

South boosted by Rambler presence

JOHNSTOWN — A turnaround season at Windber High School will have one more stop for four Ramblers’ players and their coach.

First-year head coach Jude Leonardis will send off seniors Bryce Spak, Matt Barkley and Dan and Devon Tomlinson during the seventh annual AmeriServ Senior Hoops Showcase on Sunday afternoon at Pitt-Johnstown.

Leonardis coaches the South boys’ squad against the North in the 3 p.m. all-star game at the UPJ Sports Center. The girls contest will begin at 1 p.m.

“It means everything to go out with them,” said Leonardis, who led Windber to a 19-5 record, a tournament championship and an appearance in the District 5 Class AA semifinals. “I wish I could have had a couple more years with them. I’m glad we made some memories this year by having such a good year. Hopefully we can end it with two wins and send them off on a good note.”

Leonardis coached the winning West squad against the East during the District 5 Athletic Directors Association all-star game at Chestnut Ridge on March 24.

Three of his players were in that game, including Dan Tomlinson, who hit four 3-pointers.

“I told them in the D5 game that every game I go into I want to win. They’re the same way,” Leonardis said. “They don’t want to lose. But we’re going to have fun. If it gets down to the fourth quarter and it’s a close game I’m going to go to whoever has the hot hand.”

The Windber foursome will be part of a pretty solid South squad in the Showcase.

Berlin Brothersvalley’s Jake Snyder averaged 18.4 points a game and was the MVP of the District 5 all-star event with four 3-pointers. Mountaineers playmaker Trevon Ward was a key part of Berlin’s District 5 Class A title run and state playoff appearance.

District 5-AA champion Conemaugh Township is well-represented by Jeff Callihan, Jake Formica and Austin Speigle.

Shade’s Nash Walker and B.J. Spangler join fellow WestPAC players Nick Ceretta of Meyersdale, Ethan Keefer of Rockwood, and Ryan Platt of Shanksville-Stonycreek. LHAC contender Somerset has Connor Zarefoss on the team.

Spak, who averaged just under 10 points a game for the Ramblers, appreciates the opportunity to extend a special season.

“It feels good to finally get back up to where we should be at Windber,” Spak said. “Those three years when we were losing, it was rough. It was frustrating.

“We told ourselves as freshmen that whenever we became seniors we wanted to change things and do better. We did.”

Windber had a combined 25 wins in its previous three seasons. That’s only six more than this year’s squad collected.

“One of the first days I got the kids together, especially the seniors, I told them it was a big year for them because it’s their last year but also it is a big year for Windber basketball,” said Leonardis, who was hired last April. “I told them, ‘You could make a mark.’

“You could see by the year’s end how many more fans were coming. The younger kids, they sat behind the bench and emulated the players, everything they did. It was nice to see the community involved. I think they did bring Windber back and put Windber back on the map.”

Along the way, the Ramblers claimed the Windber Rotary Tournament, ending an 11-year drought. Windber had a 12-game winning streak from Jan. 9 to Feb. 10. Leonardis’ team beat Chestnut Ridge in the first round of the district playoffs before falling to eventual runner-up Northern Bedford.

“Our senior group has been playing since we were at the community building,” Spak said. “We played as a team since way back then. Coach Leonardis put us in the right situation to win.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

1
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

Poll

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