PAHS Fall Sports: Week 1 notes

Last Friday’s dress rehearsal at Gator Field went off without a hitch, as a decent amount of observers checked out the new-and-vastly-improved bleachers while Port High scrimmaged Elk County Catholic under the lights.

“There’s a lot of curiosity and interest in things,” athletic director Dan Stavisky said.

The old wood-and-steel stands, part of the landscape for more than 40 years, had become a legitimate safety concern as the school’s maintenance department tried to keep up with replacing splintered and worn-out boards. There are no such worries with the aluminum model: With handrails on slip-resistant steps, a ramp for handicapped access, fencing around a camera deck which runs the full length of the much-larger pressbox – a far cry from when radio and television crews used to climb onto the slanted roof of the original to broadcast games, and the only access to the second-floor coaches’ boxes was via a ladder leading up through a hole in the floor – and no open spaces to the ground below, the structure should serve the school’s needs for many years to come.

On the night of the scrimmage, a sprinkler soaked a large patch of fresh green sod in the corner of the end zone near the concession stand, where Mike Kallenborn of Pine Valley Landscaping was called in to deal with a drainage problem that had bubbled up to the surface. But with that and a few other late odds and ends taken care of, Stavisky feels that everything should be in order for Port Allegany’s official introduction to “Friday Night Lights.” The Gators kick off at 7 p.m. against the Athens Wildcats, a Class AA team from District 4 which replaced Johnsonburg on the schedule.

“Definitely a different environment,” said Mike Bodamer, the coach of the two-time defending Allegheny Mountain League and District 9 champions. “Hopefully we’ll get some more people to the games. Even when we’ve had good years, Saturday afternoon is still awful tough to get people to come to games – there are a lot of things to do on the weekends. High school football is without a doubt Friday night; it’s good to bring it here finally. We’ll see how it goes. It will definitely save the end of August, early September heat games where we’re all dying of heat exhaustion. That will definitely be nice.”

“It’s good for our kids to have good support at the games. The more fans, the more excited the kids are to play,” Stavisky agreed. “It will be exciting. There will be some adjustments, but we’re ready to go.”

***

Both Gator soccer teams will also be in action this weekend, with the girls heading to the Bradford Tournament on Friday afternoon and the boys opening with a non-league home game against Coudersport at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

The boys’ game is one of three additions to the schedule, along with a third game against Smethport on Oct. 10 and a trip to Wellsville (N.Y.) on Oct. 15, to give them the regular-season maximum of 18 games.

“I like having a full schedule. My opinion is, you don’t get better by sitting at home,” head coach Aaron Clark said. “I told Dan to give us a game against anyone in the state, or even in New York state, and we’d go and play them. I didn’t care if it was the state champs.”

***

Like the football team, both the boys soccer and volleyball squads are coming off back-to-back league championships. The Lady Gators travel to Portville next Tuesday for their season opener, before beginning their North Tier League title defense at Smethport on Thursday. Tuesday also marks the beginning of the cross country schedule, when the Gators and new coach Jeanette Burleson travel to Coudersport.

***

The Port golf teams were the first fall sport to swing into action, with the girls dropping a 39-16 match at Bradford last Tuesday. Debbie Andrus led the Gators with a 61, Hannah Buchsenschutz shot a 71, Kaylee Ernst 76, and Alysa Dickinson 78.

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PAHS roundup: Oct. 10-16

Cross country: OV boys, Smethport girls run to NTL titles

The calendar may change, but Oswayo Valley’s dominance over the area cross country circuit continues. On a crisp, sunny Tuesday afternoon at Port Allegany, the Green Wave rolled to a sixth consecutive North Tier League championship to match their unbeaten league dual-meet record.

Defending NTL and District 9 champ Barrett Kemp concluded his run through the league in style as the OV senior crossed the line in 17:15 to hold off teammates Spencer Cole (17:38) and Gabriel Rees (17:51) and claim yet another title in his glittering career.

Northern Potter runners Ethan Kibbe (18:09) and Tim Adams (18:14) paced the Panthers to a second-place finish, with Gabe Trimbur (Coudersport, 18:21), Grant Nolan (OV, 18:27), Adam Koehler (Port Allegany, 18:33), Michael Adams (NoPo, 18:38), and Caleb Byron (NoPo, 18:46) rounding out the top 10.

Morgan Soule (NoPo) completed the hilly 3.1-mile course in 21:04 to edge OV’s Bailey Kemp (22:10) in the girls’ varsity race, reversing last year’s order of finish. Smethport reclaimed the team crown from Northern Potter as Hubber runners Katie Arnett (22:13) and Elizabeth Tanner (22:25) were the next two across the line, with Ellen Kibbe (NoPo, 22:31), Amelia Kibbe (NoPo, 22:43), Courtney Rogers (Coudy, 22:58), Kiersten Slater (Smethport, 23:27), Kahlie Carpenter (OV, 23:38), and Anna Colebert (Otto-Eldred) 23:46 also earning medals with top-10 runs.

Coudersport won both the boys’ and girls’ junior high races, with Smethport’s Justin Tanner (8:47) and Northern Potter’s Emma Ford (9:29) claiming individual honors.

The hill-and-dale season concludes with the D-9 meet in Ridgway on Oct, 27, followed by the PIAA championships on Nov. 3 at the Parkview Country Club course in Hershey.

Girls soccer: Gators end season at 4-12

It was an up-and-down year for the Port Allegany girls soccer team, with the Gators reclaiming the “Ten-Mile Trophy” by sweeping Smethport but falling short of their goal to return to the District 9 playoffs.

“We played very well but were outmuscled in the end,” coach Travis Cowburn wrote after Port dropped a 4-1 decision at perennial Section V contender Genesee Valley last Friday night. “They were very physical as we knew they would be but no answer for it. Cheyenne Helo had an outstanding game in the back sweeper position. Somer Buchsenschutz scored on a beautiful shot, as her speed met the goalie out of position. Lynae Delacour delivered the ball on a gorgeous pass from midfield.”

Emily Chamberlain scored twice and Chelsea Halbert made three saves to pick up the win for the Jaguars (11-3), while Laura Fox stopped 15 shots in the Port net.

The Gators completed their season on Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to Elk County Catholic, as Michaela Cashmer and Morgan Onink each tallied a goal for the Crusaders and Hannah Onink earned the shutout win.

Port (4-12, 4-6 UAVSL) will lose seniors Jessica Achar, Gabrielle Drabert, Kayla Ford, Cheyenne Helo, Samantha Hughes and Mary Rosenswie from this year’s roster, but Buchsenschutz, Delacour, and Fox should provide a solid base of returning talent next season.

Volleyball: Gators stay atop NTL

Three more North Tier League matches, three more straight-set victories for the Port Allegany volleyball team, as the Gators remained on track to match last season’s perfect run through the league schedule.

Jenny Shelley (16 service points, 26 assists, 4 kills) and Rachel Taylor (8 points, 11 kills) led the way in Port’s 25-16, 25-17, 25-10 win over Austin last Tuesday, with Becca Lathrop contributing 8 kills and Ashley Woodruff adding 12 points.

Thursday was Senior Night at the Port Allegany gym, with honorees Shelley (16 points, 7 kills, 24 assists), Taylor (8 points, 12 kills, 5 blocks) and Woodruff (10 points, 3 kills, 7 digs) all playing a major role as the Gators dropped Otto-Eldred 25-10, 25-14, 25-12.

“This was a good win on Senior Night. All three seniors stepped up and played well,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in an email to the Reporter Argus.

The Gators stepped out of the NTL the next night as Portville, a perennial Section VI power, stopped Port’s regular-season winning streak with a 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 26-24 victory despite 26 assists and 14 service points from Shelley, 14 kills and 5 blocks by Taylor, and 8 kills by Woodruff.

“You can tell from the scores, this was a close match,” Daniels wrote. “It was a disappointing loss, especially since we were leading in the last two games and then didn’t pull out the win. Portville is a nice team. They are quick on offense and we didn’t make the adjustments we needed to on defense. It was a learning experience for both our front and back row and was a good match to have heading into playoffs in two weeks.

“Two juniors stepped up big for us. Becca Lathrop (7 points, 7 kills, 3 blocks) played big all the way around and Taylor Causer (12 points) was clutch serving for us. 92/95 serving on the night definitely kept us in all four games.”

Returning to league play on Tuesday night, the Gators also returned to their winning ways with a 25-11, 25-12, 25-14 victory over Smethport.

“Tonight was a strong team win,” Daniels wrote. “Shelley (6 points, 4 kills, 35 assists) and Taylor (14 kills, 9 blocks) are always a strong duo. Becca Lathrop (8 points, 11 kills) has gotten stronger every match since our tournament play in Sheffield. Jena Young (7 points, 5 kills) has also made her presence known. Brooke Roys (7 kills, 5 blocks) had a strong showing at the net tonight and Taylor Causer (10 points) played a quick 6 and served very well. We were missing senior Ashley Woodruff and Amber Naylor; Rikki Rennells and Bethy Bernardi (14 points) stepped up effectively.”

Port (14-1, 11-0 NTL) travels to Cameron County on Thursday, then takes part in the Elk County Catholic Tournament on Saturday before finishing the NTL season against Oswayo Valley and Coudersport next week.

PAHS Roundup: Sept. 12-18

Cross Country:

Port Allegany’s Adam Koehler dodged the raindrops to win his second cross country meet of the season against visiting Otto-Eldred on Tuesday afternoon, crossing the line in 19:47 to pace the Port squad. (With only four Port runners participating, team scores weren’t kept.) Freshman Benon Smith placed third in 21:41, with sophomores Jeremy Barney (8th, 24:14) and Jeff Stehle (10th, 25:25) also completing the course for the Gators.

With a small roster full of dual-sport athletes, it’s mostly about individual progress for the Port Allegany team.

“For the kids who come out, I think they appreciate it and realize it’s something they can do for their life,” coach Fran Reilly said. “That’s what I try to tell them: ‘I never tell you to beat somebody, I always tell you to beat yourself. Always beat your time. Every time you run this course, run it your best, and run it so that you beat your last time.’ And they are, and that’s all I ask.”

For Koehler, who finished 23rd at last year’s District 9 meet in Ridgway as a freshman, Reilly thinks continued improvement might just lead to the PIAA championships before he’s done.

“I’d love to see Adam go to states, and if he wants it, I think he’s right there,” she said.

The season continues with meets against Oswayo Valley, Northern Potter and Smethport before the Oct. 16 North Tier League meet, which will be on the Port Allegany course this year.

Boys Soccer:

Last week, Port Allegany boys soccer coach Aaron Clark was hoping to come through a rough stretch of games with a 6-2 record. Mission accomplished, after the Gators rebounded from a 6-1 loss to powerful Brockway with three straight wins.

On Tuesday, Scott Brookens netted his fourth hat trick of the season as Port roared back from a 1-0 first-half deficit to drop Coudy, 5-1. Tyler Kittilson and Sam Kysor also scored for the Gators (7-2), with Ben Edgell making six saves to pick up his seventh win of the season in goal.

“We were awful on defense in the first half. We were swinging and missing on a lot of clears, giving Coudersport way too many opportunities. Way too sloppy. It was really nerve-wracking to begin with,” Clark said. “They were still rough in the second half at times, but they got a little bit better.”

On Saturday, Brookens scored his 50th career goal on the way to accounting for all of the offense in the Gators’ 3-1 win over St. Marys, with Tyler Kittilson picking up the assist on the milestone.

“It was just a nice ball from TK, on the floor at the 18 right to Scott’s foot and he just dumped it in,” Clark said. “The number of assists he’s gotten over the years from Tyler and Sam Kysor, I think he knows without those guys, he’s not going to have anywhere near 50 goals.”

It was Kittilson’s turn to do the scoring against Smethport last Thursday, with the junior netting the second hat trick of his own and Brookens adding two goals as the Gators dumped the Hubbers by a 7-2 final.

With the offense averaging more than three goals per game and Edgell standing tall in the net, allowing more than one goal in just three of Port’s nine games so far, the Gators would appear to be setting themselves up for a nice postseason run.

“You throw out the beating from Brockway we took, we’re winning pretty much everything we’re supposed to win,” Clark said. “So we’re at the point where we’re just looking at our league schedule and trying to win every game there, and kind of look at playoff seedings.”

The second half of the regular season gets underway on Thursday with a visit from Kane, followed by a welcome five-day break before the Gators head to Ridgway next Tuesday.

Girls Soccer:

As the Port Allegany girls soccer team hits the midpoint of the season, the Gators continue to get most of their goal-scoring from super sophomores Lynae Delacour and Somer Buchsenschutz. Last Saturday was no different as Port picked up its second win, with Delacour’s direct kick in overtime sending the Gators past Kane, 2-1. Freshman Laura Fox made eight saves for the Gators, now 2-6 after dropping a 9-3 decision to Ridgway on Monday.

“Somer had a breakaway goal with a beautiful feed from Lynae,” coach Travis Cowburn wrote in an email after the Kane match. “It was a tough game to watch. Offensively we are still having a tough time creating scoring opportunities. The defense was solid. Erika Helo had a tremendous game at stopper and distributed with good execution. We can’t rely on the same opportunities every game. My offense needs to create things better and see the entire field better.”

The second half of the schedule begins with a visit from St. Marys on Wednesday (too late for this edition), before the Gators host Smethport (Wednesday) and DuBois CC (Thursday) on back-to-back nights next week.

“The meat of our schedule is coming up and we need to win a few if we would like to visit the postseason in any way, shape or form,” Cowburn wrote.

Volleyball:

Like their counterparts on the football field, the Port Allegany volleyball team is picking up right where it left off after a successful 2011 season, dropping just a single game in the first five matches of the current campaign.

“The girls are communicating well. I’m very pleased with their work ethic,” coach Sharon Daniels wrote in an email after the Gators moved to 5-0 with a 25-8, 25-11, 25-11 win over Otto-Eldred on Tuesday night. “The entire team is contributing in every match. Everyone is getting plenty of playing time and we are seeing the benefits in overall improvement.”

Roughly a third of the way through the regular-season schedule following earlier wins over Northern Potter (25-9, 25-16, 25-14 last Tuesday) and Austin (25-7, 25-4, 25-3 on Thursday), Ashley Woodruff leads the team in kills with an even 50 (10 each against NoPo and Austin). Jenny Shelley continues to set up the Gator attack, averaging 23 assists and more than 15 service points per match while firing 28 aces, and Rachel Taylor (10 kills against Austin, 11 kills and 9 blocks against Otto-Eldred) leads a host of other Gators helping stake the team to its unbeaten start.

Port returns to the court on Thursday for a home match against Smethport, then visits Galeton in a non-league match next Monday before returning to North Tier League play with matches against Cameron County and Oswayo Valley.

PAHS roundup: Oct. 13-19

Volleyball:

The Port Allegany volleyball team picked up a pair of victories last week, beating Cameron County for the second time before setting down Smethport to run its winning streak to four matches before Tuesday night’s straight-set loss to unbeaten Oswayo Valley.

Jenny Shelley led the way in the Lady Gators’ 25-18, 25-11, 16-25, 25-11 win at Emporium, filling up the stat sheet with 15 service points, 11 kills, 15 assists, and 8 digs. Kyley Mickle (3 kills, 16 assists), Renee Edgell (5 service points, 6 kills, 11 digs), Rachel Taylor (5 service points, 15 kills, 3 blocks), Becky Andrus (12 service points, 3 kills, 38 digs) and Nikki Andrus (14 service points, 2 kills, 7 digs) also contributed to the win over the Red Raiders.

On Thursday, Port High (7-4, 6-4 NTL) swept Smethport 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 to avenge an earlier loss to the Hubs. Renee Edgell’s 11 kills and 11 digs powered the Port offense, with

Shelley (12 assists, 5 kills, 16 digs), Mickle (7 assists, 4 kills, 11 digs), Andrus (34 digs), and Kris-Ann Raymo (2 kills, 12 digs) also contributing to the cause.

“This was a long-awaited performance,” coach Sharon Daniels said following the win over the Hubbers. “The team had not played consistently well since our loss to Smethport. Every player brought their ‘A’ game. Offense and defense were sound.”

Thursday’s match at Otto-Eldred will have a different look; instead of Gator orange and black or Terror blue and gold, both teams and many of the spectators will be wearing pink. Nationwide, more than 1,000 college and high school volleyball teams are scheduled to participate in Dig Pink® events this year as part of the Side-Out Foundation’s campaign of furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services. The O-E Music Boosters are sponsoring a Soup’s On dinner beginning at 5 p.m. in the high school cafeteria; the junior varsity match is slated for a 6 p.m. start, with the varsity to follow.

The regular season concludes next week with Tuesday’s match against visiting Coudersport – when Nikki Andrus, Renee Edgell, Kyley Mickle, and Ashley Bernardi will be honored on Senior Night – and a trip to Northern Potter on Thursday, Oct. 28.

For more information on Dig Pink®: http://www.side-out.org

Boys soccer:

As the clock ticks toward November, the Port Allegany boys soccer team is fine-tuning its game for the District 9 playoffs. With Wednesday’s trip to Brockway the only regular-season contest remaining, the Gators’ win streak stands at four games after sandwiching road wins at Archbishop Walsh and DuBois Central around Saturday morning’s Senior Day shutout over Johnsonburg.

“We’re building up the style of play that we want and doing things the way we’ve been wanting to do it all season long,” coach Aaron Clark said.

Tyler Kittilson led the scoring barrage in Olean on Thursday, netting three goals in a 7-1 win over the Eagles. Sam Shaffer celebrated his final home game by matching the feat against the Rams, with fellow senior Tyler Smith making four saves to pick up the win. Ben Edgell was back in net against DuBois, stopping four shots to record his second shutout win in the last week, while Scott Brookens scored both goals for the Gators on assists from Ben Osani, Sam Kysor, and Ken Kysor.

The DuBois victory assured Port High (8-7-2) of finishing at least .500, with playoff seeding announced next week.

Girls soccer:

This season has been a challenging one for the Port Allegany girls soccer program, with youth and inexperience contributing to several close losses as the team struggled with learning how to win.

On Friday afternoon, those learning experiences finally paid off as Fernanda Spallanzani scored the game’s only goal to boost the Lady Gators to their first victory of the season, a 1-0 final over DuBois Central Catholic.

“It was about heart. They were motivated,” coach Travis Cowburn said.

Spallanzani, an exchange student from Argentina, also netted Port’s lone goal in Saturday morning’s 6-1 loss at Genesee Valley.

“She was a blessing, to come in here and liven things up a little bit,” Cowburn said.

The physical matchup against the New York team, part of a four-games-in-five-days stretch, helped wear down the Gator squad in the season’s final two games, a 6-1 loss in Monday’s rematch at DCC and a 4-0 shutout by Elk Catholic the following night. Port finishes the season with a 1-14 record and a “wait until next year” attitude.

“I can’t repeat inexperience enough times to describe us,” Cowburn said, “and it was a constant battle to keep them motivated.”

The Gators will lose five seniors from this year’s team, including returning UAVSL All-Star Bryanna Evens, but goalkeeper Jordan Edgell leads a large group of returning starters which should be bolstered by some promising freshman talent.

“Next year is a new year,” assistant coach Tony Edgell said stoically. “We will miss the seniors from this year, but we’ll be pretty good next year.”

Cross country:

North Tier League Meet: Oswayo Valley 23, Northern Potter 40, Smethport 80, Port Allegany 100

As he has been for most of the season, Jacob Stehle was the first Gator runner to cross the finish line at Tuesday’s North Tier League meet at Oswayo Valley, finishing the 5-kilometer course in 19:57.27 to place 16th out of 40 runners. Northern Potter’s Steven Kibbe won the event with a time of 17:27.17, but OV runners Spencer Cole, Trevor Howard, and Barrett Kemp finished 2-3-4 to claim the NTL title.

Jameson Haskins (22:06.90, 26th place), Dallas Taylor (23:05.06, 29th), Jacob Undercofler (23:11.36, 31st), Logan Hutton (23:44.64, 32nd), Lucas Manning (25:13.22, 36th), and Bryan Pritt (25.17.23, 37th) also completed the varsity race for Port. The lone Gator girl, Jackie Lewis, finished 20th in 24:56.59. Adam Koehler won the junior high race in 11:06.30.

The season will conclude for most area runners at the District 9 Championships, slated for Oct. 30 in Ridgway.

PAHS sports roundup: Sept. 30 – Oct. 6

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
October 8, 2009

Volleyball:

Defending North Tier League champion Coudersport visited the Port Allegany gym on Thursday, coming away with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-21) victory.

“We had moments of brilliance and some excellent volleys but couldn’t get anything going in succession. Coudersport played solid ball,” head coach Sharon Daniels said.

Becky Andrus: 26 digs, 7 service points
Jenny Shelley: 10 service points, 3 kill, 7assists
Alyssa Bowser: 5 kills, 2 blocks, 15 digs
Kyley Mickle: 8 service points, 7 assists
Rachel Taylor: 4 kills, 4 blocks

The Lady Gators returned to the court on Tuesday at Northern Potter, where they played the Panthers close in the first two sets before dropping the match 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-16.)

“At Northern Potter we never got anything started. During the third match, Kris Ann Raymo, Becca Culver, Kelsey Payne and Jillian Edgreen all got substantial playing time and played up very well,” Daniels said.

Alyssa Bowser: 5 kills, 5 service points, 8 digs
Rachel Taylor: 5 kills
Jenny Shelley: 8 service points, 8 assists, 4 kills
Kyley Mickle: 6 service points, 8 assists
Kelsey Pistner: 4 kills, 2 blocks, 10 digs

Next up: Port High, now 4-6 (3-4 NTL), opens the second half of the North Tier League schedule by traveling to Austin for a match on Thursday night before returning home to face Cameron County next Tuesday.

Boys’ soccer:

The Port Allegany soccer team ran their winning streak to three games last Thursday, cruising past Kane 5-0 for their third shutout victory of the season. The Gator offense was a balanced attack, with Ben Osani, Ken Kysor, Denzel Middleton, Scotty Brookens, and Jacob Stehle all finding the net against the Wolves.

Port stepped out of its Upper Allegheny Valley league schedule on Saturday morning for a home game against St. Marys Public. The Gators seemed to be on their way to a program-building win against the Class AAA squad, with Ken Kysor (two goals) and Osani again providing the scoring punch, but the Dutchmen managed to tie the game in the final minute of regulation before notching the game-winner late in the second overtime.

The Gators (8-5, 7-2 UAVSL) were scheduled to face Ridgway on Wednesday evening, then take a few days off before next Tuesday’s rematch against Smethport, slated for a 4 p.m. start at the field on Mill Street.

Girls’ soccer:

The Lady Gators had a busy week, winning two matches and tying another to remain alive in the District 9 playoff hunt. DuBois Central Catholic was up first, making the trip to Port Allegany on Wednesday, where the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie. Nicole Lovell tallied both Gator goals – her first of the season – and Jordan Edgell stopped 17 shots to keep the score deadlocked.

A trip to Smethport was next on the schedule; with the field still soggy from the previous night’s downpour, Port used goals from Bryanna Evans, Kaitlyn Kio, and Amanda Kelley to avenge an early-season loss to the Lady Hubs by a 3-2 score. Edgell was again strong in the net, making 16 saves to pick up the win.

In St. Marys on Monday, Port spotted the Lady Dutch a 4-0 halftime lead before roaring back to stun the Class AAA team with five unanswered goals and a 5-4 victory. Kelley drove home the game-winner, with Evens, Amarae Reinard, and Kaitlyn Kio (two goals) also finding the net and Edgell recording 13 saves.

Next up: After taking on undefeated Elk County Catholic in St. Marys on Tuesday, the Lady Gators (5-7-1, 4-4-1 UAVSL) continue their travels with a trip to Kane on Thursday.

Girls’ golf:

Senior Lynea Gustafson concluded her stellar high school career at the District 9 Championships at Clarion Oaks Country Club on Monday, shooting a 105 to finish seventh overall and third among Big 30-area golfers. Junior Alesha Shatley also competed for Port High at the event, carding a 126. Keystone’s Jillian Love won the individual championship with a 95, while Coudersport rolled to the team title behind a 101 from Hannah Fink and matching 107s from Tori Brown and Angela Smoulder. The top three individual finishers, along with the Lady Falcons team, will next tee it up at the PIAA Western Region tournament, slated for Oct. 21 at the Tom’s Run course at Chestnut Ridge Golf Club in Blairsville.

Cross country:

Last Saturday morning, the Port High runners got a chance to compete at one of the largest meets in the country, joining 7,500 other athletes at the 45th Annual McQuaid Invitational just outside Rochester. The junior high squad was first to the line for their race, with Adam Koehler completing the 1.57-mile course in 9:20.79 to finish fourth among more than 260 entrants. Logan Hutton (11:08.28), Stephen Blankenship (11:09.50), Dallas Taylor (11:28.16), and Jefferson Stehle (13:36.18) also helped the Gators earn 18th place in the team competition. Oswayo Valley’s Spencer Cole won the race in a time of 8:54.22, with teammate Grant Nolan (9:17.23) edging Koehler for third.

Aaron Majot (20:10.09) paced the four Port freshmen entered in the varsity A-3 (small-school) race, with Jameson Haskins (20:48.61), Jacob Undercofler (22:33.55), and Lucas Manning (23:09.96) finishing close behind. Another OV runner, Barrett Kemp, was the top area contestant, finishing sixth in 16:27.25.

The Gators returned to North Tier League competition with a trip to Northern Potter on Wednesday, with a meet against Coudersport scheduled for next Tuesday.

PAHS roundup: Sept. 23-29

Boys soccer:

Before the season, Port Allegany coach Aaron Clark suggested that Coudersport was a team to watch. The Falcons lived up to his expectations last Wednesday, defeating the Gators 2-1 in Port to remain the sole unbeaten team in the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League at the midpoint of the schedule. Ken Kysor scored the lone goal and Willie Postlewait stopped six shots for the Gators in the close loss.

Port returned to the field on Friday in St. Marys, for a game against defending league champion Elk County Catholic. With the score tied 2-2 and just over a minute remaining, Sam Shaffer knocked home a pass from Ben Osani to lead the Gators to their first victory against the Crusaders in the program’s short history.

“We’ve beaten a lot of teams we’ve never beaten before this year, won at different places. It was nice to be able to beat Elk County for the first time,” Clark said. Ken Kysor scored both of the other Gator goals, and Postlewait made 10 saves to pick up the win.

Port returned home on Tuesday to face Johnsonburg, with Kysor notching a first-half hat trick – and scoring for the fourth consecutive game – and brother Sam adding two goals in the Gators’ 7-1 win over a young Rams squad. Ben Osani and Max Parana also found the net, and Willie Postlewait, Tyler Smith, and Ben Edgell combined for three saves in a game which allowed Clark to give everyone on the team some playing time.

“Two in particular who really stood out were Jacob Stehle and Zack Sigafoes. I thought both of them, coming off the bench, did a fantastic job. Good effort from everyone,” he said.

Heading down the home stretch, Clark is pleased with where his team stands.

“Most of our games are at home in the second half, which is terrific,” he said. “If we could have been at .500 heading into our home games, I thought we would have been doing good. To be at 7-4 (6-2 league) and having all but two of our remaining games at home, I feel very good. So long as we can keep playing like we did tonight, we can start racking up the wins, clinch playoffs soon, and start playing for home-field advantage a little bit.”

Next up: a home rematch against Kane, who the Gators defeated 2-0 earlier in the season, at 4 p.m. Thursday. Port concludes its non-league schedule Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with a visit from the Class AAA St. Marys Dutchmen.

Girls’ soccer:

The Lady Gators made the long trip to Curwensville on Monday, falling to the Golden Tide 5-2 to drop to 3-4 in league, 3-7 overall. Bryanna Evans and Shanel Halle scored for Port, and Jordan Edgell stopped 22 shots in the loss.

“We just were not clicking for some reason,” coach Travis Cowburn admitted. “The defense had an off night, but the offense wasn’t doing well either.”

Asked about the team’s early-season rash of injuries, he said, “We’ve had chronic injury problems – four of our starters have just been hurt constantly – but I don’t think it mattered in our wins or losses. We should have more control than we do. Winning is an attitude, and right now we don’t have the attitude. I don’t know why, but we’re working hard to fix it.”

He added, “The league got better with us; after last year, everybody seemed to get better as well. We’re dealing with that right now.”

With seven league games remaining, Cowburn know his squad has some work to do to qualify for the playoffs.

“We play everybody again starting tomorrow (Wednesday), and hopefully we’ll make some noise … This is our season now,” he said. “If we want to make districts, we’re only allowed to lose one more game. (Other than ECC), we can stay with everybody, it’s just the attitude. If we don’t have the attitude, we’re not going to do well. The offense is coming, then it goes away. If they can do those little things that we work on in practice and do them in the game, we can do it. If not, it’s going to be a long second half.”

Next up: DuBois Catholic visits on Wednesday for a game slated to begin after this edition’s deadline. After that, the Lady Gators will travel to Smethport for a 9 a.m. Saturday kickoff.

Boys’ golf:

On Sept. 28, Kyle Hildebrandt shot a 98 and Kody Taylor 117 in the opening round of the District 9 Championships, played at Pennhills in Bradford. The Gators concluded the regular season last week, matching last season’s 4-8 record.

Girls’ golf:

At the Penn-York Invitational Sept. 24 at the Emporium Country Club, Lynea Gustafson shot a 45 to finish second to medalist Keri Hamilton, who carded a 41 for team champion Coudersport. Both girls were named to the league all-star team, along with Ashley Mackey and Olivia Chapman of Bradford, Bre Dunsmore (Cameron County), and Hannah Fink (Coudersport). Mackey was named this year’s Most Outstanding Athlete with a 45-stroke average in league play.

Next up: the final regular-season match of the year at Kane on Thursday, followed by the District 9 Championships Oct. 5 at Clarion Oaks, with golfers trying to earn a trip to the PIAA Western Region tournament.

Cross country:

This Saturday morning at Genessee Valley Park just ouside Rochester, N.Y., the Port High runners will join teams from across the Northeast and Ontario at the 45th Annual McQuaid Invitational, with well over 200 teams and 7,500 runners entered in one of the largest meets in the country. Port’s junior high squad will step to the line first, in a race slated for a 9:36 a.m. start. The varsity team will run in the unseeded A-3 (smaller schools) race, which is scheduled to begin at 9:48.

Volleyball:

The Lady Gator spikers stretched their North Tier League record to 3-0 with a four-set win over Smethport on Sept. 22, before dropping tough matches to two of the league’s best teams, Oswayo Valley and undefeated Otto-Eldred. They took a break from the league schedule on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals and tying for third place in the 10-team Sheffield Tournament.

Next up: defending league champion Coudersport visits the Port High gym on Thursday night for a match against the 4-4 (3-2 NTL) Lady Gators, with the junior high match scheduled for 6 p.m.

Results, and head coach Sharon Daniels’ comments on each match:

Port Allegany 3, Smethport 1 (25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 26-24)

“Port jumped out to an early lead in the first set, 11-0 before winning 25-14. The second set was that much closer and we dropped the third set. The fourth set was a real nail-biter right down to the last point.”

Jenny Shelly: 16 service points, 5 kills, 16 assists
Alyssa Bowser: 5 blocks, 6 kills, 19 digs
Renee Edgell: 11 kills
Kelsey Pistner: 9 service points, 1 block, 5 kills, 28 digs
Rachael Taylor: 7 service points, 3 blocks, 10 kills

Oswayo Valley 3, Port Allegany 0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20)

“Oswayo Valley is a well-balanced team who played everything well. We looked out of sync for most of each set. A positive on the night, once again the girls did not stop playing when they got down in score. At one point in the second set they were down by 12 at 18-6 and ended up only losing by five, 25-20.”

Becky Andrus; 20 digs
Jenny Shelley; 2 kills, 16 assists, 7 digs
Alyssa Bowser; 1 block, 11 kills, 30 digs
Renee Edgell; 1 block, 4 kills
Kyley Mickle; 10 assists
Kelsey Pistner; 3 blocks, 7 kills, 18 digs
Rachel Taylor; 2 blocks, 4 kills

Otto-Eldred 3, Port Allegany 2 (25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 15-12)

“What a GREAT match! It is a shame that anyone had to lose. After a two-set deficit the girls battled back hard to take the match to five sets.”

Becky Andrus: 13 service pts, 23 digs
Jenny Shelley: 5 service pts, 21 assists
Rachel Taylor: 10 service pts, 10 kills
Alyssa Bowser: 6 service pts, 2 blocks, 7 kills
Renee Edgell: 4 blocks, 8 kills
Kyley Mickle: 6 service pts, 4 kills, 9 assists
Kelsey Pistner: 6 service pts, 7 kills, 10 blocks

PAHS Sports Roundup: Sept. 16-22

Volleyball:

The Lady Gators remained undefeated in North Tier League play last Thursday, coming up with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18) victory on Cameron County’s home court.

“The girls played excellent defense and a very well-rounded offense,” head coach Sharon Daniels said. “Kelsey Pistner had a banner night at the net with 13 kills and two blocks, and defensively had 12 digs. Joining in the offensive effort were Kyley Mickle with a personal best in kills with nine, 13 assists, 8 service points, Alyssa Bowser played well all around with six kills, 23 digs, two blocks and 10 service points, Renee Edgell with seven big kills, and Jenny Shelley with 16 service points, three kills, 15 assists and six digs. Becky Andrus really picked up her game tonight and played a very tight defense with 32 digs and added 15 service points to the board. Freshman Rachel Taylor chipped in with two kills and two big blocks.”

On Monday night, Port ran up against a tough Elk County Catholic squad, falling to the Crusaders 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-10, 25-21) in a non-league match.

“We were slow starting in the first set and then came back to life in the second. That was not to last long, though, and we never got going at all in the third. The fourth found us with a 10-point deficit and we came back to within three before losing 25-21,” Daniels said.

She continued, “Although we came up on the losing side, we had much that was positive. Both Kelsey Pistner (15) and Renee Edgell (13) recorded match highs in kills. The team remained composed even when trailing.”

Becky Andrus added 30 digs, Jenny Shelley 14 assists, and Kyley Mickle 13 assists for the Lady Gators, 3-2 (3-0 NTL) heading into Tuesday night’s match against Smethport. They’ll be on the road for the next two matches, traveling to Oswayo Valley Thursday and Otto-Eldred next Tuesday.

Cross country:

The young Gator squad got to see one of the best squads in District 9 on Tuesday, when Oswayo Valley swept the top five places in a dominating 15-50 victory on Port Allegany’s 3.08-mile course. Green Wave freshman Barrett Kemp shattered the course record, crossing the line in a time of 18:45.

“I told our kids, ‘Don’t be disappointed when you don’t win this meet. They’re just that good,’” Port coach Fran Reilly said.

Aaron Majot (22:47) finished sixth to lead the Gators, with Jameson Haskins (24:20), Lucas Manning (26:05), and Bryan Pritt (26:06) rounding out the top 10.

The junior high team edged OV 27-28, with Adam Koehler (11:49, second place) setting a new personal best and Logan Hutton (14:03) and Steven Blankenship (14:07) also earning top-five finishes. A trip to Rochester for Saturday morning’s McQuaid Invitational is up next on the schedule.

Boys’ golf:

With trips to the Smethport Invitational (Friday morning, 9 a.m.) and next Tuesday’s District 9 Championships at Pennhills remaining on the schedule, the Gators conclude their Penn-York League season by matching last year’s 4-8 record.

Girls’ golf:

Led by Lynea Gustafson, who’s making a strong bid to repeat as Penn-York League MVP, the Lady Gators have already won twice and come close a couple of other times.

“It’s definitely nice to get the squad some wins,” coach Dave Roae said. “It’s been a few years.” Asked if Gustafson has picked up where she left off last year, he added, “She’s picked up – and then some, lowering her stroke average from 48 to between 42 and 43 shots per round.” Roae also mentioned Alesha Shatley’s improvement; the junior has cut four to five shots off her average, and is now consistently recording scores in the mid-50s.

At Emporium on Monday, Port’s top three golfers played Cameron County to a draw, but the Red Raiders barely managed to eke out a 29.5-25.5 victory. Gustafson carded a 45 to earn medalist honors, as she has in every match this season; Shatley (56) and Cora Bova (57) also finished in the top five, with Sasha Fischer (67) and Amber Fischer (69) rounding out the squad.

Roae noted, “Lynea had another nice round. The greens were just punched yesterday, so putting was a little difficult for most of the girls. The whole team had better scores than the last time we were there.”

The Gators, now 2-6 on the season, will head back to Emporium Country Club for the league tournament on Thursday morning.

Boys’ soccer:

The Gators’ undefeated streak in the Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League came to an end last Thursday with a 3-0 loss at Smethport.

“We played flat in the first half,” coach Aaron Clark admitted. “We were better in the second half, but we’d dug ourselves too big a hole. We had some chances; we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

It didn’t take long for Port to find the win column again, though, as they used a late goal by Sam Kysor – his second of the game – to outlast Brockway 5-4 in the team’s long-awaited home opener.

“We jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first 15 or 20 minutes – which surprised me, because Brockway’s better than that,” Clark said. The Rovers proved his point, roaring back to tie the score before Kysor’s game-winner. “Definitely one of those ‘tale of two halves’ games,” the coach added.

With the Brockway win safely in the scorebook, the 5-3 (4-1 league) Gators face two more challenges this week, taking on a dangerous Coudersport team at home on Wednesday before visiting defending UAVSL North champion Elk County Catholic on Friday.

With the team’s goals of a 10-win season and a playoff berth in mind, “I’m comfortable with where we’re at,” Clark said.

Girls’ soccer:

After dropping games to Smethport (3-2) and Genesee Valley (3-0) last week, the Lady Gators rebounded with a solid 3-0 win at Ridgway on Tuesday night. Sophomore Jordan Edgell stopped 19 shots to record her first career shutout, and Kaylee Kio, Amarae Reinard, and Bryanna Evans all found the net for Port. “The defense really stepped up,” coach Travis Cowburn said.

Now 3-5 (3-2 UAVSL), Port is off until next Monday afternoon, when they make the long trip to Curwensville.