New Castle News

Local News

February 7, 2014

Signing up: Five New Castle seniors formally commit to Division I football programs

NEW CASTLE — Five New Castle High School seniors shared the spotlight yesterday when each committed to an NCAA Division I football program.

The pep band played during a special signing day ceremony in the auditorium. as Jake McPhatter (Ball State University), Malik Hooker (Ohio State University), Julian Cox (Albany University), Stew Allen (Duquesne University) and Drew Allen (Robert Morris University) formally committed to their respective schools. They were cheered by family, friends, coaches and teammates as more than 100 other varsity and junior varsity athletes looked on with pride.

The event, originally scheduled on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, was delayed 24 hours by winter’s latest blast, which caused school to be closed.

But the athletes returned yesterday with pens in hand to sign the official paperwork, which will result in the combined scholarship amount of $850,000.

“It shows what hard work and commitment can get you,” said Ralph Blundo, assistant principal and boys basketball coach, to an audience filled with younger student-athletes who aspire to follow in the footsteps of the five.

“This is just step one in their process,” said Joe Cowart, who coached the young men in football the past two years. “Now they will go on to represent New Castle in five great programs.

“And they are saving their parents the cost of a college education. This is where you want to be.”

Yesterday’s salute was unique in that it marked one of New Castle’s largest number of football scholarship recipients from one class in recent memory.

All five seniors participate in multiple sports for the Red Hurricane. Cox plays baseball, while the other four are integral parts of the undefeated and two-time defending WPIAL champion boys basketball team.

Hooker will be the first New Castle athlete to play football at Ohio State in almost 40 years. Joe Allegro started at safety for Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes in 1976 and 1977. Hooker is projected as a safety on the Ohio State depth chart for next season.

Hooker and McPhatter will continue wearing red as college players. Ohio State dons scarlet and gray while Ball State features Cardinal and White.

“We are celebrating what they accomplished,” Cowart of the New Castle five. “And we hope (the younger athletes looking on) are aspiring to be in their shoes one day.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery: Church’s tradition of Easter countdown continues

    Easter is keenly anticipated by Christians around the globe. But perhaps nowhere is its arrival more heralded than at Independent Methodist Church.

    April 18, 2014 11 Photos

  • Mahoning Township sets spring cleanup

    Mahoning Township will have its spring cleanup the weeks of April 28 and May 5. Residents should place items at the curb the day before their scheduled collection. They should be neatly bagged or bundled.

    April 18, 2014

  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greer House changes name

    Greer House, a provider of assisted living services and care to seniors, has unveiled its new name. “We are thrilled about our new name — Clen-Moore Place,” said executive director Susan Leise, “because it better reflects our commitment to provide a vibrant environment where our residents thrive each and every day.

    April 16, 2014

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pirates pitching is porous and LeBron’s a phony

    The Buccos got swept this past weekend in their own personal house of horrors, otherwise known as Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Pirates will hover around .500 this year mainly because they do have some stars in Marte, McCutchen and Alvarez, and they play the right way with grit.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Students team up on paper pantry

    Food is not the only thing that sometimes is in short supply for those in need. With that in mind, students from seven Lawrence County high schools joined Westminster College sororities and fraternities Saturday in preparing a paper pantry for local residents.

    April 14, 2014 8 Photos

  • school.jpg Neshannock approves resignation, agreement, related legal fees

    The Neshannock school board accepted the resignation of business manager and board secretary Melissa Morosky Thursday. Morosky’s resignation is effective Wednesday.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo