The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

April 21, 2013

CORY ISENBERG| Leechburg may join Heritage Conference

JOHNSTOWN — According to the Heritage Conference website, Leechburg is getting closer to joining the league in July 2014.

The Blue Devils, who are currently part of District 7, received permission in a unanimous vote from the WPIAL Board of Control to allow them to move to District 6.

Leechburg, which turned down two earlier invitations from the Heritage, has 125 males according to the PIAA classifications, which would rank it near the middle of the conference size-wise for football.

Saltsburg and Penns Manor are the smallest with 92 and 94, respectively. The largest Class A schools in the Heritage are Northern Cambria (157), Blairsville (154) and United (151).

In football, Ligonier Valley is the league’s lone Class AA school with 228 boys.

Now, the Blue Devils just have to wait and see if

District 6 will accept them.

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Making the grade: Despite losing out to host Bishop McCort in the third annual Gene Schultz Memorial baseball tournament, the coaches from Westmont Hilltop, Conemaugh Township and Hollidaysburg were complimentary of the Crushers tournament held at Point Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

“It’s a great opportunity and a great tournament,” Westmont coach Paul Knupp said.

“Coach (Chris) Pfeil does an outstanding job with it. This is our third year in it and it’s awesome plus we get to see different teams. We don’t get to see teams like Hollidaysburg or Conemaugh Township so it’s good for the kids to see other teams instead of the same ones we are battling every day.”

The Indians’ Sam Zambanini says that it gives you more of a playoff-type atmosphere.

“It’s nice to play in an environment where you’re trying to win a championship in a couple days and you’re seeing a competition level and so it prepares you a little more for postseason games,” said Zambanini. “The silver lining for us is that in District 5, tournament games don’t count in the standings. We have to start winning the ones that count this week.”

Coach Jon Szynal’s Golden Tigers lost for the first time this season in the title game to McCort.

“In high school baseball, it’s difficult to go undefeated so at some point you knew that we were going to lose,” Szynal said. “It’s a good experience to come here and play at a beautiful facility and play against the defending state champs.”

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Coming tournaments and track meet: Several baseball tournaments are slated for this week.

The Boswell Jaycees Tournament and Portage Tournaments are slated for Saturday while Richland will participate in the Homer-Center Tournament.

In softball, Northern Cambria will host a tournament which is also set for Saturday.

In track and field, Northern Bedford will hold its annual invitational on Friday.

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