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.
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.
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.
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.