A new year and a new decade is upon us, but before we trek too far into 2020 let’s take a look back at some of the highlights in high school sports from 2019.
There was Benjamin Jackson running into the records books, Daniel Layton winning an appeal so he could hurdle his way to district and state gold medals, Remmey Lohr excelling in the boys golf postseason even though she happens to be a girl, and West Greene making an impact in multiple sports.
Here are the top stories from 2019:
West Greene sports
West Greene made a huge splash in three different sports, highlighted by the Lampe twins, Madison and McKenna. They were part of a basketball team that, along with Kaitlyn Rizor, featured three 1,000-point scorers and reached the WPIAL final at the Petersen Events Center for the second year in a row, and a softball team that won a fourth consecutive WPIAL crown although it fell short of a third-straight PIAA title. On the football field, Army recruit Jackson charged into the football record books with a WPIAL single-season rushing record which propelled the Pioneers to an outright Tri-County South championship, a playoff win for the first time since 1993 and a spot at No. 3 on the district’s career rushing list. West Greene also made the playoffs in boys basketball for an unprecedented third year in a row and in baseball for a second straight year.
No one felt worse than Waynesburg Central senior Daniel Layton’s dad, Rick Layton, in the spring when he inadvertently removed his son from his best event, the 110 high hurdles, for the WPIAL track & field championships, instead of the 300 intermediate hurdles, while filling out the form on his cellphone. Daniel easily had the fastest time in the WPIAL and was the defending champion in the 110, but the WPIAL voted down an appeal to let him compete despite the mistake. Fortunately, the PIAA overruled the WPIAL and allowed Layton to compete. He went on to win the WPIAL and PIAA gold medals in the event. The William & Mary recruit, despite battling a should injury, also won a WPIAL gold medal in the pole vault.
Carmichaels junior Remmey Lohr was one of the area’s best girl golfers, but, like many local girls in the sport, competed on the boys team since her school does not field a girls squad, and helped the Mikes win the section title and advance to the WPIAL team semifinals. In the golf postseason, Remmey found herself in a tough predicament thanks to a rule that states if a team does not have a girls team, then only one girl from that school can compete. Remmey’s sister Delaney Lohr, a senior, is also an excellent golfer, and Delaney competed in the boys division with Remmey in the girls in 2018. This year the two reversed roles, and Remmey shocked many other boy golfers by winning the section qualifier to qualify for the WPIAL boys championships. As if that wasn’t enough, Remmey placed 13th in the district event and then finished an amazing second in the PIAA Western Qualifier to reach the boys state final, where she placed 30th.
Don Williams was the coach of the Carmichaels boys basketball team for 44 years and racked up 512 career wins before he and his assistant coach of 28 years, Tim Jones, decided to step down after last season. They went out with a bang in the season finale as the Mikes rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit against Chartiers-Houston to tie the game on two clutch free throws by Matt Barrish with seven seconds left, then won it in overtime, 64-57.
Selena Phillips already had one WPIAL rifle championship under her belt, but that wasn’t enough for the Waynesburg Central senior. Phillips successfully defended her title in March at the Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen’s Club with a score of 212.8 to become a two-time district gold medalist and qualify for the Pa. State Rifle Championships. While she didn’t medal individually there, teammate Hunter Wasson did, finishing fifth, and the two combined to help Waynesburg earn a bronze medal in the team standings.
Also of note
Waynesburg’s Taylor Shriver won a WPIAL gold medal in the pole vault. ... West Greene’s Sheyann Watson earned a seventh-place medal at the Pa. State Rifle Championships. ... Wayneburg’s Scott Benco won a WPIAL gold medal in the javelin. ... Carmichaels’ volleyball team, led by Taylor Christopher, won a share of the section title and one playoff match. ... Jefferson-Morgan’s softball team had a resurgence as it won two playoff games to reach the WPIAL semifinals where it lost to West Greene. ... Carmichaels’ baseball team added another section title to its collection and won one WPIAL playoff game under Dickie Krause. ... Mapletown running back Landan Stevenson rushed for 987 yards and 18 touchdowns in scoring 120 points to finish fourth in the Herald-Standard Touchdown Club standings, one of the highest finishes ever by a freshman. ... Ryan Krull stepped down as Carmichaels football coach after seven years. He guided the Mikes to one conference title, four playoff berths and one playoff win, snapping the program’s 12-game postseason losing streak. ... Dave Briggs led Carmichaels’ softball team (one playoff win) and boys golf team (WPIAL semifinals) into the postseason. ... Waynesburg’s Cole Homet placed seventh at the PIAA Class AAA wrestling championships at 120. ... Mapletown’s softball team reached the postseason for the second year in a row. ... Jefferson-Morgan’s volleyball team qualified for the playoffs. ... Waynesburg’s boys and girls soccer team both made the playoffs. ... Mapletown’s boys basketball team snapped a 77-game losing streak by winning at Jefferson-Morgan, 53-49, on Jan. 18. ... Jefferson-Morgan qualified for the baseball playoffs for the second time in three seasons in John Curtis’ 36th year as head coach and 50th year overall of coaching baseball. He has 365 career wins.