New Castle News


April 12, 2013

2013 Hall of Fame Inductees: Today, meet Todd Atkins

NEW CASTLE — It’s not hard to believe Steelers legendary middle linebacker Jack Lambert was Todd Atkins’ idol growing up.

Anyone who saw Atkins play for the Laurel High football team in the late 1980s would say he compared quite favorably to the Pittsburgh hall of famer.

Just like Lambert, Atkins was tough, relentless and capable of delivering a heavy hit to opposing players. All the way down to his middle linebacker position, 58 jersey number and 6-foot-2 build, Atkins embodied everything he loved about his hero.

“You can be a nice kid off the field and you can be a good person, but when you put that helmet on, you can flip a little bit of a switch and not be a dirty player, but you can be a different kind of person,” Atkins said. “That’s kind of the approach I took.”  

Nearly 22 years later, at the age of 40, Atkins still holds Laurel records for tackles (253), career fumble recoveries (9) and fumble recoveries in a season (6). A multi-sport star, he also played baseball, basketball and ran track and field, holding the pre-2000 javelin record at 207-11.

Now Atkins will have something else in common with Lambert —the distinction of being a member of a hall of fame. Atkins will be inducted into the Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame on April 28 at the New Englander.


Under coaching legend George Miles, Atkins developed his skills to the point where he was legitimate Division I prospect, pursued by top college football programs. He earned USA Today All-American honors and played in Pennsylvania’s Big 33 game. Atkins also built lifelong relationships with players from the team.

“He ended up being the best man at my wedding,” George’s son Ryan Miles said. “Whatever he decided to focus on, he accomplished. I can remember fishing trips. Even that became competitive between the two of us. Who had the bigger walleye or trout?”

Perhaps Atkins’ greatest accomplishment with the Spartans was when he helped the team to a WPIAL Class A finals appearance in ’89, where eventually they lost to Clairton 27-20 at the place where Lambert played — Three Rivers Stadium.

“The group of guys we had that year, it was just fun to play with them. We had a couple of turnovers that they scored on, but physically we beat them. We just couldn’t get it done. To come up short on that stage, it was a tough loss,” Atkins said. “If you talk to anybody, and I’m still in contact with a lot of those guys, they’ll tell you it’s 20-something years later and it’s still tough to swallow. We should have had it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Magliocca.tiff 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees: Today, meet Linda Magliocca

    This is the first in a series of feature stories on the 2014 inductees into the Lawrence County Historical Society Sports Hall of Fame.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 14

    The Neshannock High baseball team passed a big test last night. The host Lancers answered a late Laurel surge with a single run in the sixth inning to escape with a 6-4 win in WPIAL Section 5-AA action.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 12

    The Neshannock High softball team continued to roll Saturday. Madison Shaffer tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout to lift the Lady Lancers to a 6-0 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over Shenango.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • shen1.tiff Shenango baseball team knocks it out of the park with toy drive

    The Shenango High baseball team hit a home run with kids at Children’s Hospital. Led by Tyler Booher and Anthony Prestopine, the Wildcats spent the last two months conducting a toy drive to benefit the young patients of the Pittsburgh facility. They ended up with about 200 items.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 11

    Neshannock High baseball pitcher Frank Fraschetti was dominant on the hill yesterday. Fraschetti limited Riverside to four hits in a complete-game 4-1 WPIAL Section 5-AA home win.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 10

    The New Castle High baseball team found a way to pull out a win yesterday. The Red Hurricane scratched a run across in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 12-11 WPIAL Section 1-AAAA win over North Hills at Flaherty Field.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Serg.tiff Athlete of the Week: Meet Neshannock’s Rich Serignese

    Rich Serignese is no stranger to pressure on the baseball field. The Neshannock High sophomore twice defeated WPIAL Class AA champion and PIAA runner-up Beaver a year ago, so facing a team that put up eye-popping numbers the night before was a piece of cake.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • HOF.jpg Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 9

    Ellwood City Lincoln’s Dillon Horgan tossed a complete-game gem yesterday. Horgan scattered nine hits to lift the visiting Wolverines to a WPIAL Section 5-AA victory over Laurel, 6-2. Horgan (2-3) allowed two earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts to pick up the victory.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cooper.tiff Laurel hires Cooper as new football coach

    Laurel High has found its man. Brian Cooper replaces Pat Cuba at the helm of the Spartans football program. Cuba resigned last month after leading the Spartans to a 7-3 record and the program’s first playoff appearance since 2009.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring Sports: A roundup of action from April 8

    Hitting was on display for the Neshannock High softball team yesterday. The Lady Lancers banged out 10 hits in a 14-8 WPIAL Section 4-A home win over South Side Beaver.

    April 9, 2014

AP BB Tourney Latest News2014
AP BB Tourney Poll 2014
House Ads
Shoot For 2
Photo of the Day