Last week, we went through Port Allegany’s memorable sports highlights from January through June 2019. July through December 2019 are listed below.
Wrapping up the high school hardball season, Port Allegany’s Howie Stuckey wins the Big 30 Baseball Player of the Year award. The junior pitcher/shortstop went 4-2 on the mound with a 0.56 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings pitched and also led the team at the plate, batting .567 with 10 doubles, 25 RBIs and just one strikeout in 70 plate appearances.
“I was really surprised because I am only a junior, I have one more year, so it was pretty exciting. I wasn’t really expecting it,” he said. “I followed my stats throughout the year and I realized I was having a pretty good season, so I just tried to keep things going and it worked out.”
In summer-league ball, Port Allegany Post 258 made it to the championship game in its inaugural season in the Elk/McKean/Warren County Youth Legion league.
Pennsylvania and New York played to just the third tie in the 46-year history of the Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic football game, with the Empire State rallying from a 27-6 deficit with three fourth-quarter touchdowns to secure the deadlock.
Josh Rees rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns as the Gators surprised Otto-Eldred, 14-12, in the 2019 football season opener.
“The line was dominating the whole night; I was just finding the cutback lanes and doing my thing. Team win,” the senior running back said. “I can’t say enough (about them). Every time I have a good game, no matter if it was last year, freshman year, this year, it was all because of them.”
Howie Stuckey became just the sixth Port soccer player to score 50 goals, joining Scotty Brookens, Tyler Kittilson, Somer Buchsenschutz, Lynae Delacour, and Payton Caden. He ends his Gator career with 63 tallies, trailing only Brookens (80) and Kittilson (75).
“He’s had a special career. If it wasn’t for that lost half of his 10th-grade season (when Stuckey missed all but seven games due to injury), then maybe he’s getting closer to Scotty Brookens and Tyler Kittilson territory,” Port coach Aaron Clark said. “He’s had a heck of a career. I’m proud of him and happy for him. He works hard, and he deserves it.”
The Gator boys swept St. Marys to wrap up their seventh Upper Allegheny Valley Soccer League North Division title, finishing a 12-7 (7-1 UAVSL) season in the District 9 Class AA semifinals.
Following a marathon seven-game road swing to begin the season, the girls soccer team also makes it to the playoffs. Their 7-9-1 overall record includes a 6-2-1 mark against fellow Class A squads.
“Very good record against Single-A schools, and I’m hoping we can better that next season,” coach Tony Edgell said.
Following an injury-plagued season, with senior co-captains Rees and D.J. Michelitsch among the players sidelined for a significant portion of the campaign, the Gator football team won its 2019 finale. Drew Evens tosses two touchdown passes to Stuckey, Shawn McNeil added the game-deciding extra point, and fellow senior Montgomery Tanner recovered a late Red Raider fumble to wrap up the victory.
“We’re going to go enjoy this one, because we’ve had a lot of reasons to not enjoy things this year,” Port coach Justin Bienkowski said as the Gators finish 2-6 (2-3 D-9 Small-School North). “It’s a good feeling. It kind of makes that blowout to Coudy, or that tough loss to Sheffield, or losing to Smethport in the second half, it makes all those things seem just a little less intense at this moment. We’re going to enjoy it.”
Simon Burleson (MVP), Jordan Card, and Howie Stuckey were selected as UAVSL North All-Stars for the boys’ team, with Emma Fox and Evin Stauffer (honorable mention) making the girls’ team ... Noah Archer, Blaine Moses, Stuckey, and Josh Rees (honorable mention) netted D-9 North All-Star nods in football.
Burleson and Stuckey are tabbed as Big 30 Soccer All-Stars. The Gator wrestlers claimed the STWOA team title and handled defending D-9 champ Brockway in a dual meet as Smethport senior Bryent Johnson remains unbeaten heading into 2020.
Cailey Barnett passed the 1,000-point plateau as the girls basketball team sprints out to a torrid 7-1 start, including a 4-0 mark in the North Tier League as the new year begins.
“It’s good for the program. It was nice to have a big crowd here and have the younger girls here playing at halftime, getting to experience it. Hopefully one of them will be the next one,” Port coach Jamie Evens said of Barnett’s milestone. “Now we can focus on team goals. It’s all about building for the end of the year.”