Category: Sports Written by Smokin' Jim Frazier
AKIL YOUNG – USO
Even though Perry pulled of the major surprise of the season in City League play by defeating favorite USO during the regular season as well as in the championship game, the coaches gave most of the slots on the 2012 All-City Football Team to USO.
When the season began it was predicted that USO (University Prep, Sci-Tech, Obama Academy) would easily win the city with Allderdice giving them their stiffest competition with perennial power Perry expected to battle Brashear for the third spot in the city.
The New Pittsburgh Courier All-City Football Team reflects this thinking. In a combination of coaches and Courier personnel 21 of the 52 slots on the team went to USO with Perry finishing a distant second with 10 spots.
With the City League dwindling down in numbers with all the school closings one would expect the strong to stay strong, which made it surprise that more didn’t pick Perry to challenge USO especially with the closing of Oliver and its students going to Perry. Yet USO, Allderdice and Brashear were expected to finish ahead of them.
Brashear was ranked high because they had the students from Langley joining a team which has always been highly competitive. Allderdice had a very strong nucleus of seniors returning and of course USO had marched through all its opponents last season to win the City League title in its first year in existence.
This season behind the high powered offense led by sensational Quarterback Akil Young who was without a doubt the Offensive Most Valuable Player and a wide variety of receivers in Marcus Johnson, Myles Catlin, Clay Moorefield, Noah Stewart and Nicholas Stallworth gave the city an aerial attack we have never seen in its history. For the first time in Courier All-City selection history there were very few outstanding running backs in comparison to receivers. It was clearly a passing dominated game in the City. Only three running backs received any recognition. Joe Kalsak from Carrick, Pat Fergueson from Allderdice and Curtis Edmonds from Perry who finished second behind Young in the MVP voting.
Quarterback Ahmed Turner from Perry, was clearly the second best quarterback in the city as he and Young stood heads and shoulders over the rest.
Receivers and defensive backs dominated the selections with nine receivers and 13 defensive backs making the team. The transition from running to passing is the cause for the change. In the past it was running backs on offense and they generally played linebackers on defense, which has led to a drop in linebackers, now many are defensive backs.
The offensive and defensive lines as usual most coaches knew very little about other than on their own teams.
The competition for Defensive Most Valuable Player was between two Perry players, Shakeem Cox and Robert Willie, with Willie winning out. Willie comes from a long line of outstanding linebackers from Perry. He should be very successful at the next level.
Other strong competition was for the Coach of the Year which was between last years’ Coach of the Year Louis Berry from USO, and William Gallagher from Perry. Of course Gallagher was the winner based on his win over USO during the season, and his leading the Commodores to the City League title. He’s no stranger to this award, having won it previously.
The big tragedy of the season was the shooting death of Ne’ Ondre Harbour an outstanding defensive lineman from USO.
Congratulations to all the young men who were selected to this team. It took a lot of hard work and dedication. It doesn’t matter if your team was 5-0 or 0-5, we honor you for your efforts.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 10:01
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
“Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by. I say to myself, “You’re such a lucky guy.” To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true, out of all of the fellas in the world she belongs to me. But it was just my imagination, running away with me. It was just my imagination, running away with me.” —From the Temptations; ‘Just my Imagination’
I will be in Bradenton, FL (Pirates City) next week to check on the evolution or continued dissolution of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unlike most of the “objective” sports scribes hailing from the steel city; I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to the Buc’s.
When I think of the Pirates more memories come to mind than just athletes striking out, hitting homeruns or making great defensive plays. I continue to visualize my father in his pitch black bedroom; I was the last of 12 children and by the time I came along he and my mother inhabited separate bedrooms only coming together for what they both described as “occasional celebrations.” His new “mistress” displayed multi-personalities daily and had names like; Vernon Law, Bill Mazeroski, Donn Clendenon, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Willie Stargell, John Candelaria, Steve Blass, Al Oliver, Manny Sanguillen. Let’s forget about individuals; he loved the Pittsburgh Pirates, period. The only thing visible in that “lightless chamber” that he retired to every evening to be transported to his own personal pirate ship was the lighted red power button on his Zenith radio. My nostrils “smile” as I recall the smell of cherry tobacco filling the air almost allowing the sound waves from the broadcast of the game to “piggyback” on the aromatic smoke as it wafted toward baseball” heaven.” Even amidst the blackness of the room dad may not have been sitting in the stands at Forbes Field or Three Rivers Stadium (he never lived to see PNC Park) but he had faith and believed that between the 1st and 9th inning someone was going to emerge as one of the Pirates heroes of the night. It might have been a nasty Elroy Face forkball that would end a promising rally for the opposition or a sliding “basket” catch somewhere out in right center field by Roberto “the great one” Clemente. Pirates’ manager Danny Murtaugh could almost always count on a “bloop” by Roberto Clemente and a “blast” by Wilver Dornell Stargell to almost always keep the Pirates in the game. By the way in 1971 Willie Stargell hit 48 home runs and the only “steroids” that he required was a plate full of collard greens and ham hocks and a nice cold pitcher full of vodka and orange juice. Every night, on my knees I pray “Dear Lord, hear my plea. Don’t let them take Joel Hanrahan away from me or I will surely cry.” The Pirates have to win now. Pittsburgh no longer has ex-Pirates GM Dave Littlefield to blame for stupid money motivated deals. For the life of me I cannot comprehend how management could even consider allowing super reliever Joel Hanrahan to slip out of their grasp.
Every time that I consider another season of sub .500 baseball by the Pirates, who are arguably one of the most storied franchises in the history of professional baseball, I want to perform my loudest imitation of Fred G. Sanford. The character was portrayed by the late comic icon Redd Foxx. Every time Mr. Sanford was traumatized by any events real or imagined he would grab and clutch his chest feigning a heart attack all while yelling up into the heavens to his deceased wife, “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you.” Most of the fans who watched the show and knew about the scurrilous and suspect personality of the world’s most famous junkman couldn’t even remotely imagine Fred getting anywhere near the “pearly gates.” Yeah go ahead and laugh at me. Call me names like “dreamer,” “naïve,” “homer.”
You can define me any way that you wish but I will always keep hope alive. I have more and better memories of the Pittsburgh Pirates than the world has been forced to watch for the past 18 years. There was a time when there was not one weakness in the starting “nine” of the Pirates from head to foot. No team wanted to face them on any afternoon or evening. There was not even slightest desire by the opposition to face the gargantuan Pirates lefthander Bob Veale on a summer night trying to see through his fogged up ½ inch glasses with hands big enough to cause the baseball to appear as if it was a ping pong ball; all while throwing 90 mile per hour fastballs. It would be sheer stupidity to desire to face an all African-American lineup who some may argue invented the word “swagger.” These boys had will and skills.They were feared by all and feared none. I am quite certain that the ghosts of Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince, Roberto Clemente, “Doc” Ellis, Oprah Elliott Bruce (my father) and many, many other fans, players and journalists who have covered the Pirates since their inception are floundering around in ‘purgatory’ pining for the Pirates to win all the while refusing to be ushered through the gates of heaven until the Pirates at least make the playoffs. However, it is my prayer, hope and dream that I do not join them until I am credentialed to cover a World Series featuring the Pirates. Something tells me to make sure that my life insurance remains current because as all of you should have figured out by now; seeing the Pirates accomplish an even Steven season in 2013. I continue to believe that the Pirates will win in 2013 but this may be “just my imagination, running away with me.”
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:59
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
If God permits it, I will cross the sixty-year old threshold sometimes during the middle of March. Am I looking forward to it? Hell yeah. Am I going to be confused? Hell yeah.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 March 2013 19:59
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
FINAL HOME GAME--Pittsburgh's Dante Taylor, right, shoots a hook over Villanova's Mouphtaou Yarou on Sunday, March 3, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
by Will Graves
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dante Taylor spent four years at Pittsburgh trying to live up to sky high expectations.
Last Updated on Sunday, 03 March 2013 19:18
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
Chamique Holdsclaw and Jennifer Lacy
ATLANTA (AP) — Former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Chamique Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta, prosecutors said Wednesday.
A six-count indictment charges Holdsclaw, 35, with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Fulton County District Attorney's spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday.
Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, 29, who told police she was Holdsclaw's ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy's car and shot at it Nov. 13, 2012, police said. No one was injured.
After a late-November court appearance, one of Holdsclaw's attorneys said he talked with Lacy and they were trying to resolve the case.
"They are still friends and we expect the alleged victim to support a proper resolution of this," said Edward Garland, an attorney representing Holdsclaw. "In no way did she use the gun to threaten or assault the alleged victim, or do so with a baseball bat."
He acknowledged that Holdsclaw caused damage to Lacy's car, but said his client never intended to hurt her.
"Sometimes charges get made that exceed the scope of the actual events," Garland said, adding that he and his client plan to resolve the case without it going to trial.
Holdsclaw is out on $100,000 bond and a court date has not been scheduled.
Holdsclaw led the University of Tennessee to three consecutive national championships from 1996-98 before beginning a pro career that included six WNBA All-Star selections.
She also played on the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Games. She had 3,025 career points at Tennessee and remains the Southeastern Conference's career scoring leader.
In September, Holdsclaw returned to her alma mater to discuss her fight with clinical depression, which included a suicide attempt during her pro career.
Holdsclaw recounted how she attempted suicide in 2006 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks by overdosing on the medication she was taking for clinical depression. She also wouldn't leave her Washington home for a few days in 2004, two years after the death of the grandmother who raised her.
The retired WNBA player could face 65 years in prison if found guilty on all six counts.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 00:04
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