New Castle News

July 3, 2013

Athletes of the Year Nominees: Meet Lawrence County’s male standouts

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County male athletes once again delivered strong performances during the 2012-2013 academic year.

There were gold medals captured, first-team accolades received — including at the all-state level — and even a sighting on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Fifteen athletes separated themselves from the pack, but only one will conquer the field when the New Castle News announces its Male Athlete of the Year tomorrow.

Individuals who participate in one sport qualify, but special consideration is given to multi-sport athletes.

Following are the athletes in alphabetical order.


Anderson made a name for himself on the basketball court at New Castle.

A 6-foot-3 senior guard/forward, Anderson earned the WPIAL Section 3-AAAA MVP award and claimed first-team all-state recognition as well.

Anderson, a Naval Academy recruit, finished second in Lawrence County scoring at 20.2 points per game. He averaged 71 percent (120 of 169) at the foul line and made 14 3-pointers.

Anderson averaged 3.3 assists per game and 7.9 rebounds per game.

New Castle breezed to its second straight WPIAL championship, this time in Class AAAA. The Red Hurricane won its first 29 games before Lower Merion ended the run with a 67-63 victory in the PIAA semifinals.

Anderson will play basketball at Navy.


Brumbaugh played basketball and baseball at Wilmington.

A 6-1 senior forward, Brumbaugh averaged 6.6 points a game for the Greyhounds (12-7).

In baseball, Brumbaugh played outfielder and pitched. He paced the team offensively in average (.552), hits (32), RBIs (28) and runs scored (21). His totals in batting, hits and RBIs led the county as well.

Brumbaugh appeared in 12 games on the mound with a 3-2 record and four saves. He paced the county in appearances and saves.

Brumbaugh had 30 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings pitched with a 2.75 earned run average.

He will play baseball collegiately at Thiel.


Burkes competed in four sports — football, basketball, baseball and track and field — at Neshannock.

Burkes was a quarterback/defensive back on the Lancers’ football team. He was named to the Big 7 Conference Second Team at quarterback. Neshannock went 10-2, winning its first-ever WPIAL playoff game and knocking off district runner-up Sto-Rox in the regular season (35-34).

A 5-10, 160-pound junior, Burkes threw for a county-best 1,550 yards on 115-of-186 passing with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Burkes was sixth in the county in rushing with 802 yards on 97 attempts. He scored 16 touchdowns, added a two-point conversion and tallied 98 total points.

In basketball, Burkes earned all-WPIAL Section 2-AA first-team honors. Burkes won his second-straight Lawrence County scoring title, too, averaging 21.1 points per game and netting 49 3-pointers.

Burkes surpassed the 1,000-point mark and has 1,108 for his career, which ranks seventh in program history.

The Lancers finished 17-6 and reached the WPIAL playoffs.

In baseball, Burkes batted a team-best .410 to go along with eight RBIs as well. He swiped a team-high 14 bases.

Burkes competed in the sprints in track and field and qualified for the WPIAL Championships in the 100.


Donati played football and ran track and field at Wilmington.

Donati, a 5-10 senior fullback/inside linebacker, led Lawrence County in rushing (1,675 yards on 207 carries) and scoring (21 touchdowns). He was a force on the defensive side of the ball at linebacker as well and earned first-team honors at both positions.

The Greyhounds finished 9-3, capturing a share of the District 10, Region 3-AA crown and advanced to the district title tilt.

In track, Donati claimed third place at the PIAA Championships in the javelin, delivering a heave of 176-5.

He won a gold medal in the javelin at the District 10 Championships with a toss of 179-4. Donati registered the top distance in the county in that event this year at 181-7.

He will play football at West Virginia Wesleyan.


Ewing participated in football and tennis at Ellwood City Lincoln.

A senior running back/linebacker, Ewing ranked ninth in the county in rushing for the Wolverines’ football team with 738 yards rushing on 106 attempts. He caught two passes for 25 yards and scored 44 points — six touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Ewing was a unanimous All-Midwestern Athletic Conference choice at inside linebacker and earned first-team honors at running back as well.

Ellwood City finished 2-7.

On the tennis court, Ewing competed in singles action at the No. 3 position. He joined forces though with teammate Matt Barnes to win the consolation match in the WPIAL Section 2-AA Doubles Tournament.

The tandem lost in the first round of the Class AA Doubles Tournament to a team from Greensburg Central Catholic, 10-2.

Ewing was still finalizing his collegiate plans.


Grim played soccer, basketball and track and field at Mohawk.

A senior forward on the soccer team, Grim scored 14 goals with four assists in 14 games for the Warriors (1-13-1). He earned first-team status on the Section 4-AA all-star team.

Grim, a 6-1 guard, averaged 11.4 points in 24 games for Mohawk’s basketball team. He also drained 20 3-pointers. The Warriors were 10-14 and reached the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, winning a preliminary-round game before falling to Seton-La Salle in the first round.

Grim placed third in Class AA in the 800 at the PIAA Track and Field Championships in 1:59.84. He won the WPIAL championship in that event in 1:58.90.

Grim ran a leg for the Warriors’ 400 relay team at the state meet, which placed fifth at the WPIAL meet in 44.60. The squad finished fifth in its heat in 45.05. Austin Main, Vince Menichino and Shane McFarland joined Grim on the team.

Grim will compete in track and field at the college level at Mount Union (Ohio).


Hooker participated in football, basketball and track and field at New Castle.

A 6-2, 175-pounder, Hooker played wide receiver and defensive back for the ’Canes’ football team. It was the first time he went out for the football team at the high school level.

Hooker earned first-team all-Parkway Conference status at wide receiver and honorable mention at defensive back. He caught 13 passes for 333 yards, while rushing 27 times for 257 yards.

Hooker had 11 touchdowns and one 2-point conversion for New Castle (4-5).

Hooker, a guard/forward, averaged 16.7 points per game for New Castle’s basketball team. He added 1.3 blocks, 2.9 steals, 2.8 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game. Hooker finished with 20 3-pointers.

One of Hooker’s dunks against Lower Merion in the state semifinals made SportsCenter’s top plays of the night.

Hooker placed sixth in the high jump for the ’Canes’ track and field team at the WPIAL Class AAA Northern Qualifier, but he didn’t advance to the championship meet.


McCormick played football and baseball at Shenango.

A 6-2, 230-pound junior offensive lineman/linebacker, McCormick was an honorable mention choice on the Big 7 football team for the Wildcats (3-6).

On the diamond, McCormick played third base and shortstop for the Wildcats (10-10). He led the team in batting average (.473), hits (26) and home runs (2), while sharing the team lead in RBIs (17) with Evan Kendall. McCormick stole seven bases as well.


Peace played golf, basketball and baseball at Union.

Peace participated on the links for the Scotties, who finished 5-9.

A 6-1 senior forward, Peace averaged 18.9 points per game, ranking third in Lawrence County. He added a team-best 41 3-pointers for the Scotties.

Peace was a designated hitter for Union’s baseball team. He batted .300 with seven RBIs.

Peace will continue his basketball career at CCBC.


Ritchie played baseball at Laurel.

A senior pitcher, Ritchie led the county in wins (6), strikeouts (67) and earned run average (1.45) in helping the Spartans (10-8) to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

Ritchie spun a complete-game shutout for Laurel in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs, a 1-0 win over Washington.

He was named the WPIAL Class AA Pitcher of the Year by the WPIAL Coaches Association. Ritchie also batted .367 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.

He will continue his baseball career at George Washington.


Robinson was a three-sport standout at Union — football, basketball and baseball.

A 5-10, 175-pound senior running back/defensive back, Robinson earned first-team all-Big 7 Conference status at both positions. Robinson rushed for 1,243 yards on 147 carries. He added 10 receptions for 188 yards.

Overall, Robinson finished the year with 16 touchdowns for the Scotties (7-4).

Robinson helped guide Union to the WPIAL Class A playoffs for the first time since 2003 and the program’s first WPIAL playoff victory since 1979. He played in all 23 of Union’s basketball games and scored 36 points. The Scotties finished 17-6 and reached the WPIAL Class A playoffs and were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Clairton.

Robinson played third base and hit .368 with 12 RBIs and seven stolen bases for Union’s baseball team. The Scotties (13-6) made the WPIAL Class A playoffs and reached the quarterfinals.

Robinson will continue his football career at Mercyhurst.


Salmen played football, basketball and baseball at Union.

Salmen, a 6-0, 170-pound quarterback/defensive back/punter/placekicker, earned second team all-Big 7 mention at punter. He garnered honorable mention status at quarterback as well.

Salmen was second in the county in passing, going 73 of 163 for 1,175 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He rushed 115 times for 464 yards and scored six touchdowns. Salmen kicked a field goal and added 27 extra points for 66 total markers.

In basketball, Salmen tossed in 12.7 points a game, while draining 34 3-pointers. He paced the county in foul shooting at 89 percent (81 of 91).

Salmen, a senior pitcher/shortstop, batted .310 with 11 RBIs and three steals for the Scotties’ baseball team.

On the hill, Salmen was 4-0 with a save in 37 1/3 innings pitched. He appeared in eight games — five were starts — with a 1.31 ERA and 37 strikeouts.

Salmen will play football and baseball at Washington & Jefferson.


Welker played football and baseball at Neshannock.

A 6-1, 190-pound senior wide receiver/defensive back, Welker earned first-team all-Big 7 honors at wide receiver and defensive back. He led the county in receiving yardage with 701 on 30 catches and added 25 carries for 232 yards, finishing with 12 touchdowns.

Welker, a pitcher/rightfielder, batted .346 with 12 RBIs for the Lancers’ baseball team.

On the hill, Welker compiled a 4-3 record in 38 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 48 batters and notched a 2.56 ERA. Opponents batted just .199 off him.

Welker will play football at Mercyhurst.


Wilson participated in cross country and track and field for Laurel.

A senior, Wilson placed second at the WPIAL Cross Country Championships in a time of 16:38. He was just four seconds behind the champion. At the state meet, Wilson took 16th in 16:54.

Wilson reached the PIAA Championships in the 800. He finished eighth in his heat in 2:02.64 and didn’t advance to the finals.

Wilson will compete in cross country at Youngstown State University. He’ll likely participate in track and field there as well.


Yohman competed in football and track and field at Wilmington.

Yohman was a first-team selection on the All-District 10, Class AA team on the offensive and defensive line for the Greyhounds (9-3). He earned third-team status on the Pennsylvania Football News’ all-state team as well.

Yohman capped his track career at the PIAA Championships with a gold medal in the shot put (61-8 1/2) and a silver medal in the discus (180-10).

Prior to the state meet, Yohman dominated the field at the District 10 Championships. Yohman won gold in the shot put (59-4 1/2) and gold in the discus (179-8 1/2).

Yohman owns school records in the shot put (62-1) and discus (189-6), both were set earlier this season.

He was named to the all-state track and field team. The list was picked by the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association. There’s only one classification and all schools are included throughout the state.

Yohman was first-team all-state in the shot put and second team in the discus.

He will continue his track and field career at Penn State University.