Blystone granted injunction by court

October 7, 2013

Zach Blystone, a 6-3, 265-pound offensive lineman at Washington High School, was granted a preliminary injunction by Court of Common Pleas Judge John F. DiSalle last week that allowed Blystone to play football for the Prexies.

Blystone played for the Prexies in Friday’s win at Brownsville.

The next hearing date for Blystone will come Thursday at 1 p.m. before Judge DiSalle. At that time, the preliminary injunction could become permanent. The PIAA would have an appeal process to challenge Thursday’s outcome.

The PIAA also would have the right to sanction Wash High’s football program should the injunction be lifted in the future, or not made permanent at Thursday’s hearing. Those sanctions could include the forfeiture of games or affect the eligibility of Blystone.

Blystone transferred from Charleroi to Washington, but the transfer was challenged and the WPIAL and PIAA ruled the move was made for athletic intent. Their decisions made Blystone ineligible to play football for Washington.

Blystone appealed for a second time to the PIAA last week and was again denied eligibility.

Lesko back at J-M

Mike Lesko is back for more.

When Lesko and Scott Rhodes each submitted their resignations as coaches for the Jefferson-Morgan High School wrestling team after last season, Lesko thought he had wrapped up a pretty successful career.

A few months later, Lesko accepted J-M’s offer to return and take over the head coach duties that Rhodes held.

“It was hard for me to leave that group because there are a lot of good kids coming back,” said the 45-year-old Lesko. “I wanted a quality coach to apply. Then, I started getting phone calls from parents and kids. I agreed to put my name back in September.”

Before Lesko did that, he checked with a higher power.

“I had to get the go-ahead from my wife,” he said. “That was all I needed.

“I don’t know if I could ever leave it. I love to do it.”

This will be Lesko’s second stay as head coach. He resigned in 2004 to spend more time with his family. Lesko returned in 2007 to assist Rhodes and the two guided the Rockets to a 52-49 record, and had eight state qualifiers and one state medalist.

“I’m pleased with my decision to come back,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since 1993. I’m excited again.”

New C-H baseball coach

Vince Capozza finally got the job he wanted. It just took a little longer than expected.

Capozza was hired as the Chartiers-Houston varsity baseball coach last week, replacing Adam Petras, who led the Bucs to a 12-8 overall record and 9-5 in Section 2-AA.

The 47-year-old Capozza said he “always knew he wanted to be a head coach,” but the right opportunity did not present itself until now.

“I thought Chartiers-Houston would be a good fit for me,” said Capozza, who spent last season as a varsity assistant coach at South Fayette and has coached the Pittsburgh Outlaws in AAU.

Capozza graduated from Charleroi High School in 1984 and spent two years each at Allegany College in Cumberland, Md., where he was a pitcher and first baseman, before graduating in 1988. He’s played in the Collegiate League in Washington, D.C. until age 35.

“I’ve always either played or coached,” he said. “I’ve never stopped. I’ve been playing since I was 8.”

Capozza said he has a distinct vision as to how he will build the Bucs’ program.

“I want to see a competitive program from the youth all the way up,” he said. I think I can bring a unique quality since I’m also a strength and conditioning coach. I knew some of the players, but I’m not familiar with the program.”

Capozza, who lives in Peters Township, works for the Bank of New York Mellon.

Golf team tournament

Three local scholastic golf teams will be part of 10 competing in the Class AA semifinals at Cherry Creek Golf Course in Greensburg today. Tee times start at 10:30 a.m. The other semifinal will be held at Castle Hills Golf Course in New Castle.

Burgettstown, Charleroi and Jefferson-Morgan hope to be one of top three teams to qualify for the finals Thursday at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon.

Peters Township will compete in the Class AAA semifinal at River Forest Golf Course in Freeport. The top three in each of the semifinals advance to Cedarbrook Thursday for the finals. The Peters Township girls team will compete in the Class AAA finals Thursday at Cedarbrook.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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