Chris Dugan

Column Chris Dugan

Chris Dugan has been covering local sports for more than 30 years and has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986. He was named sports editor in 2006. Before joining the O-R, he was sports editor at the Democrat-Messenger in Waynesburg. He is a former member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
21

Sep 2017

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5 things to watch in high school football this weekend

Lineup changes are the norm in high school football, whether it’s play to play, series to series or game to game. That’s why the teams that have the most depth usually end up winning more games than they lose.

Depth is always important, especially at midseason, when teams are battling for playoff berths and positioning. Depth will be a factor tonight when Week 4 of the high school football season begins. One very good team became deeper and better this week while others might have to overcome injuries at a key position.

Here are 5 things to watch this weekend:

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17

Sep 2017

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5 things we learned from the high school football weekend

The Tri-County South Conference has been much-maligned over the last 20 years, and for good reason. The Class A league, which includes the smallest football-playing schools in the WPIAL, recently went four years without producing a single playoff victory. Its record in postseason play is, well, miserable.

Frazier ended the TCS’s skid by advancing to the WPIAL semifinals in 2015, but conference champion Carmichaels lost to Springdale, a team that finished in fourth-place from the Eastern Conference, in the first round of the last year’s playoffs when the Tri-County South went 1-5 in the postseason, the lone win by Fort Cherry over Sto-Rox.

But we’re not here to bash the Tri-County South. In this installement of “5 things we learned from the high school football weekend,” we give props to the small-school conference for a big win Saturday and a big accomplishment Friday night.

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11

Sep 2017

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Wild Things can take pride in this season

Those who are knowledgeable about the Wild Things’ 16-year history are well aware of the franchise’s playoff disappointments.

For all the good things the Frontier League team did – record-setting win totals, division titles – during the regular season in its first six seasons, they didn’t add up to a championship. The playoffs were an annual exercise in frustration. There were agonizing defeats, hard-to-believe collapses and some one-sided blowouts in series finales.

So when the Wild Things were eliminated from the playoffs Saturday night at West Division champion Florence in a semifinal series, you couldn’t have been surprised that the ouster came with some stinging losses.

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