Top stories of 2012
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The Clairton Bears football team wins its third consecutive PIAA Class A championship, and in the title game, sets a record for the longest winning streak in WPIAL history. The Bears' 35-19 victory against Southern Columbia stretches their streak to 47 games, breaking the mark of 46, set by Braddock in the 1950s.
South Park's Bill Stanley sets a national high school record in the javelin when he throws 246 feet, 9 inches at the PIAA championship meet in Shippensburg. Stanley breaks the record of 244-2. An Ohio State recruit, Stanley set a meet record at every invitational or championship in which he competed this spring.
Hopewell running back Rushel Shell not only breaks the WPIAL rushing record, but also breaks the state rushing record in the final game of his career. Shell finishes with 9,078 yards, and his career and college recruitment (he signed with Pitt) made him one of the most publicized players in WPIAL history.
Brashear's Godwin Nyama never wrestled until his freshman year, but he finishes his career by becoming the first wrestler in City League history to win a state championship. Nyama, a Pitt recruit, defeats Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram, 3-1, to win the PIAA Class AAA 120-pound division.
The City League is no more -- in some sports. The WPIAL accepts City League teams in the sports of baseball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, golf and softball. The City League decides to continue having its own championships in football, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball, boys and girls track and field, and wrestling. The changes will start in the upcoming school year.
The Seton-LaSalle girls basketball team puts together one of the most dominant seasons in WPIAL history. The Rebels become only the third team from the WPIAL to go through a season with a perfect record. They win four WPIAL playoff games by an average of 35.5 points and five PIAA playoff games by an average of 28.2.
Thomas Jefferson's Greg Schneider and Blackhawk's Brendan McKay, two of the top pitchers in the WPIAL, stage a pitching duel for the ages in the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. Schneider, a senior, pitches a no-hitter until the ninth inning and McKay, a sophomore, tosses a two-hitter. Blackhawk wins, 1-0, on an unearned run in the ninth inning.
The New Castle boys' basketball team becomes only the 11th team in the past 50 seasons to win a WPIAL title with a perfect record. The Red Hurricanes defeat Hampton, 57-44, in the Class AAA final. The 2000 Blackhawk team was the last to win a WPIAL title with an undefeated record.
The Riverside baseball team becomes the first team in Pennsylvania history to win four PIAA championships when it defeats Pine Grove, 5-4, in the Class AA final. The team that wears pinstripe uniforms wins the four titles in the past eight seasons, all under 68-year-old coach Dan Oliastro.
In one of the most memorable performances in WPIAL girls basketball championship history, Hopewell's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scores 35 points, grabs 13 rebounds and blocks five shots as the Vikings defeat South Park to win the Class AAA title. Walker-Kimbrough also sets an AAA championship game record by going 16 of 16 from the free-throw line.
First Published July 8, 2012 12:00 am