Through the years, several Port Allegany High School athletes have made a lasting mark in more than one sport.
Like them, current Gator senior Howie Stuckey is etching his own name on several pages of the PAHS record book. Already a member of the school’s 1,000-point club in basketball, Stuckey joined an even more exclusive group on Sept. 26, becoming just the sixth Port High soccer player to score 50 career goals during the Gators’ 7-2 Senior Night win over visiting Northern Potter.
“It’s definitely something I shoot for,” he said. “My cousins (basketball 1,000-point scorers Willie Bova and Craig, Anthony, and Kelly Flint) got the big milestones, so I just try to beat them. Looking up to players like (2016 Big 30 Soccer Player of the Year) MacKenzie Elliott. He was one of the players my freshman year. He just told me to shoot for the big records, try to get there, and that’s what I did.”
And, of course, basketball and soccer aren’t even Stuckey’s primary sport, as the reigning Big 30 Baseball Player of the Year has already committed to continuing his diamond career at St. Bonaventure University.
“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, noting the top two names on the boys’ career list. “He’s had a heck of a career. I’m proud of him and happy for him. He works hard, and he deserves it.”
Brookens holds the all-time PAHS record with 80 career markers, just ahead of the late Kittilson at 75. Payton Caden finished with 53 career goals, while both Somer Buchsenschutz and Lynae Delacour hit the half-century mark for the Port girls.
With Port already holding a 4-1 lead, erupting for a trio of goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to break a 1-1 halftime deadlock, Simon Burleson stole a Panthers pass, dribbled up to the top right corner of the box, then sent a perfect pass across to the left post for Stuckey’s point-blank finish at the 20:43 mark.
“It was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders. I could feel it,” Stuckey said of the milestone score. “Simon was trying to get me it the whole time, and he finally did, so that was good. After that, all the nerves went away.”
Stuckey added a second score minutes later to push his season total to a team-high 19 goals, matching last year’s total with six regular-season games still left on the slate. Classmate Shawn McNeil netted a hat trick to move into double digits with 12 (24 career), while another senior, A.J. Edgell, scored the eventual game-winner three minutes into the second half, finishing off a nice give-and-go with sophomore River Cramer, who also tallied a goal in the win.
Caden Roys made seven saves to earn the win in his first career start, something Clark made sure to note.
“He played valiantly,” he said of the junior goalkeeper, pointing out Roys’ hard work in the reserve role and that he’d been hoping to get him a start.
The Port boys (8-2, UAVSL North) have three games scheduled this week, as do the girls (4-5, 2-2 UAVSL North). Both Gator teams visit Smethport on Monday, with the boys playing Elk County Catholic at 4:30 p.m. and the girls facing Kane at 6:30.
The Gator girls are at Ridgway on Wednesday, the boys go to St. Marys on Thursday, and both teams play a non-league doubleheader against Eisenhower on Saturday, with the girls kicking off at 11 a.m. and the boys following at 1:30 p.m..
“The rest of the season, we don’t have any games on our schedule (before the postseason reporting deadline) that are unwinnable,” Clark said. “We could win out and set ourselves up nicely in playoffs. That’s our goal, just go a game at a time and focus on getting a top seed.”
The Gators girls soccer team has four games remaining on their schedule two home and two away and currently sit at 4-2 in league play and 4-5 overall.
Coudersport, Oct. 9; at Brockway, Oct. 10.