Nico Pecora stood out in three sports at Richland High School.
He could perform at a high level in many roles on the football field while catching or throwing passes, making tackles, defensing passes, or booting punts.
On the wrestling mat, Pecora earned a silver medal as a state runner-up this year as a senior.
Pecora also had a knack for making big contributions on the baseball diamond.
On Tuesday, he committed to Pitt-Johnstown, where Pecora will play NCAA Division II baseball for coach Todd Williams.
His father, Pat Pecora, is the athletic director and national-championship-winning wrestling coach of the Mountain Cats.
“It was a tough decision,” said Nico Pecora, who was flanked by his parents, Pat and Tracy, during a signing involving three Richland student-athletes. “Baseball is my interest, but wrestling is not out of the question.”
Nico Pecora believes UPJ is an ideal fit for him.
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s right in my back yard,” he said. “There is no other place in Pennsylvania better than UPJ, and it’s right in our back yard.
“Coach Williams is a great guy,” Nico Pecora added. “He knows a lot about baseball. I’ve been going to his camps since I was little so he’s been a part of the kind of baseball player that I am today.”
As for attending a college where his father oversees the athletic program, Nico Pecora was enthusiastic.
“I’m excited. He’s going to keep me on the right track and make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” Nico Pecora said.
Nico Pecora also was accompanied by veteran Richland baseball coach John Sidor at the signing.
“Playing three sports at Richland taught me about commitment and to work hard,” Nico Pecora said. “You have to work hard to get what you want. Coach Sidor made me a better person on the field and off it. All of my coaches helped me the whole way.”
Also signing letters of intent at Richland on Tuesday:
n Benjamin Lambert, California (Pa.) University, cheerleading.
“Cal turned out to be just the right distance away from home,” Lambert said. “They have cheerleading there and the coach is great. While I’m there I’ll actually be with HotCheer All-Stars co-ed team. I’ll be doing game cheerleading with Cal, but I will compete with HotCheer.”
Lambert is coached by Brady Miller at Richland.
He is the son of Gary and Beth Lambert.
n Molly Knepper, Chatham University, women’s basketball.
“I really liked the atmosphere and people at Chatham,” Knepper said of the Pittsburgh campus. “The basketball coach (Sandy Recktenwald) is phenomenal. She makes sure she gives everyone a chance. Every girl on the team cheers everyone on and it’s a great environment to play in.”
Knepper’s coach at Richland was Nate Gironda.
She is the daughter of Carey Knepper-Miller.
Nico Pecora stood out in three sports at Richland High School.
- High School Sports
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- More High School Sports Headlines
- McCort pitcher wins May Award