Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 25, 2002 · Page 25
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 25

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Friday, October 25, 2002
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classifieds Classifieds inside Friday, October 25,2002 - Page 25 SPORTS Sutton putting his mark on Ryder Cup team. Page 30. Family feud Indiana High coach hopes Angelo has rotten reunion By TONY COCCAGNA Gazette Sports Editor Jim Angelo is a marked man. Angelo, the special teams coach at Fox Chapel High School, has been the subject of intense scrutiny on the game films Indiana High coaches and players have been watching in preparation for tonight's football game at Fifth Street Stadium. "As a matter of fact, I mentioned him several times and pointed him out on tape," Indiana head coach Mark Zilinskas said. "I pointed him out with my laser pointer, and I said, 'Anybody sees this guy on the sideline, take a shot at him.' " Zilinskas was kidding, of course. Indiana's first-year coach wished no ill will on Angelo, his former teammate, his friend and brother-in-law. He just wants a win, and the bragging rights that go with it, in a fierce but friendly family rivalry. "I toid the kids I want to have a good Thanksgiving dinner and a good Christmas dinner this year," Zilinskas said. "Specifically, we talked about covering kickoffs. I don't want any breakdowns on the kick-coverage team." The competition between the ultra-intense coaches began during their playing days at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Angelo and Zilinskas were teammates under coach George Chaump in the mid- 1980s. Ziiinskas was a defensive end, and Angelo was an offensive lineman, so the two squared off against each other in practice every day. They became close friends, but it wasn't until after their playing days that Zilinskas met Angelo's sister, Susan, and married her. Zilinskas, though, has no desire to talk to his former comrade. The two haven't spoken in months. Zilinskas said Angelo called after Indiana won its first game three weeks ago, but he wasn't home. "And I said t 'Good, I IUP teammates in the 1980s, from left, Jim Angela, Mark Zilinskas, John Pettina and Bill Thompson, reunite tonight. don't want to talk to him anyway.'" The feeling was mutual. "I'm just laying low," Angelo said. "I'll put it this way: I don't need any words to start the fire. The fire is going already. The fire has been burning since he got the job and I saw our schedule. The flame was lit then." Angelo has deep-rooted ties to Indiana. He grew up here, played at Indiana High during the Bernie McQuown era and eventually ended up as an unlikely anchor on lUP's offensive line. A high school graduate of 185 pounds, Angelo bulked up to 285 by the time he was a senior and earned All-America honors. He went on to play a handful of games as a replacement player with the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL strike in 1987 and then coached at Indiana for two years while he was attending graduate school. His parents are Joseph and Shirley Ann Angelo, who still reside in Indiana. Two of Angelo's six siblings, his brothers Tom and John, also live in Indiana. Each coach has three children. Zilinskas and his wife have two daughters, Anna,. 10, and Rachel, 8; and a son, Jacob, 5. Angelo and his wife Linda have two sons, Vincent, 12, and Eddie, 8; and a daughter, Courtney, 10. "The kids were watching game film with me the other night," Angelo said. "My kids are like football rats, and this is all they've thought about too. It's become a family affair now. After the IUP game the other day, my 8-year-old was begging me to go see where we'd be playing Friday night, so I took him over to Fifth Street Stadium." Most everyone outside his family hopes Angelo has a rotten homecoming. That is especially true of the Indiana coaching staff. While Zilinskas has the tightest bond with Angelo, the assistant coaches know him well. John Pettina and Bill Thompson were Angelo's teammates at IUP; Scott Lewandowski and Pettina were his high school teammates; and John Chakot was his offensive line coach atlUR Lewandowski has had the only communication with Angelo during the season. They ran into each other at an IUP game. "He said he'd talk to the assistant coaches but not the head coach," Lewandowski said. "We talked about this game. He said they have about eight special teams plays in. I told him by the time he'd get to our game we'd probably have 24 in." Then, he added, "We haven't even practiced defense this week." "And very little offense," Zilinskas said. "I'm sure he'll have a lot of stuff to throw at us on special teams," Angelo said. "I know him, and that's fine if he wants to waste his time on that." Indiana's 2-6 record does not reflect the improvement first-year coach Mark Zilinskas has made in the football program. (Gazette photo by Michael Henninger) Make no mistake; this is serious business to the coaches. Indiana, a Quad-A doormat most of its 12 seasons in the WPIAL Quad-A ranks, has won two straight games after an 0-6 start. The program appears to be miles ahead of where it was in March when Zilinskas was hired. Two more . wins and Indiana will fly into its first full year of the offseason training program Zilinskas put in place. There is hope for the future. Fox Chapel will play in the WPIAL Quad-A playoffs next weekend. lake Indiana, Fox Chapel labored in football, but second-year coach Todd Massack appears to have steered the program in the right direction. "We've been playing around with this, but this is very serious," Angelo, who teaches health and physical education, said. "This is so serious I wish he wasn't my brother-in-law. To me, we're dealing with the future of two football programs. There's certainly no more weight on any one game, but every game for us, this program is on the line." The future of these two programs remains in doubt. The past of a pair of coaches is a little cloudy, too, depending on who's doing die talking. "We had some good battles," Zilinskas said, recalling their college days. "He kicked my butt sometimes, and sometimes I kicked his butt. As memory serves me, I kicked his butt more. He outweighed me by 50 pounds, but I still jacked him up." "I don't recall too many of those times," Angelo said. "I would say that when I was going against him I doubt he made too many tackles. We'll have to go back and dig out some old practice film." After high school, Angelo delayed starting college for a year, knowing Continued on page 27 .Perfection for Penns Manor "^-'PerinsTManof's Kelly , Wolff, left, drilled the ball over the net agaipst . Homer-Center's Janine Ciranni during last night's Heritage Conference girls' volleyball action. Penns Manor won the match, closing out a perfect regular season with an 18-0 record. It was the Comets' second . straight undefeated • regular season and . second straight conference championship under .eighth-year coach Erika TaTrnadg^e. The defending District 6 champion opens the * playoffs next week. .Playoff pairings have not . yet been determined. See the volleyball roundup and other local sports on page 30. (Gazette photo by Thomas Slusser) Bonds, Giants one win away Pens live up to Mario's prediction By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer CANONSBURG — When Mario Lemieux predicted six weeks ago the Pittsburgh Penguins would be a surprise team capable of going far in the playoffs, there were plenty of doubters in the NHL. After all, wasn't this the same team that won only 28 games last season, Pittsburgh's worst record since Lemieux's rookie year? The same team that went winless in its final 10 games, causing general manager Craig Patrick to blow up at a postseason meeting? Not exactly. Without making a major trade or signing a top free agent, the Penguins have lived up to Lemieux's prediction by going unbeaten (3-0-2) since a 6-0 loss to Toronto in their opener. Certainly, it's too early to call it a trend or a clear signal the Penguins can contend despite having one of the NHUs lowest payrolls. ' But, once again, the NHL is learning the dangers of underestimating Mario Lemieux — especially a healthy Lemieux. At age 37, six years after he apparently walked away from the game forever by retiring, he is on pace for the second-best season of his career. After getting four goals and 10 assists in six games — a league-leading 2.33 points per game pace — does Lemieux feel as confident about the Penguins contending as he did when training camp opened? "Absolutely," he said Thursday. "We still feel we have a strong team. We've got some great forwards. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people all year." Lemieux, of course, is the player around whom the Penguins revolve. With Lemieux serving as his setup man, linemateAleksey Morozovwas second in NHL scoring going into Thursday's games with six goals and 11 points. Alexei Kovalev was tied for fourth with four goals and nine points. Lemieux saved a 3-3 tie Tuesday night in Montreal, threading a pass from along the boards , through a crowded crease to a wide-open Moro- zov for the tying goal with 10 seconds left in the third period. At his current pace, Lemieux would finish with 192 points if he plays every game, something he has never done in his career. His career high was 199 points in 1988-89. What also encourages Lemieux is that forward Martin Straka, who missed all but a handful of games last season, is expected back within 10 days from a back injury. Straka tied with Kovalev for fourth in the league in scoring with 95 points two seasons ago, and his return should give coach Rick Kehoe two high-scoring lines. "Marty plays the point on the power play and kills penalties, and he's just a great leader," Lemieux said. "That's going to make a big difference in our team." The NHL's crackdown on obstruction also might be helping the Penguins as much as any other team. Their forwards are generating plenty of speed and momentum in the clog-free neutral zone, and that's translating into lots of scoring chances. "It's a lot more fun to play with the new rules," Lemieux said. "I think the game is so much better off now that it's somewhat opened up and you're able to skate through the neutral zone and make plays. It's more exciting than before and ... as the players and referees adjust, I think it's only going to get better in the next few weeks." The Penguins will get a better idea how much they have improved when they play defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit on Friday night. They return home Saturday to play Buffalo, and Lemieux plans to play in both games. Lemieux didn't play back-to-back games last season, when a hip injury forced him to sit out three-quarters of the season. "I'm feeling good and I'm healthy," he said. "I'm just looking forward to a great season. So far, so good." By BEN WALKER AP Baseball Writer SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds is so close to the World Series trophy, he can almost touch it. And with one more win, the San Francisco Giants might even let him take it home. Bonds put the Giants on the brink of the championship, lining an RBI double that sent them hurtling toward a 16-4 romp over the Anaheim Angels on Thursday night and a 3-2 edge in the best-of-7 series "1 won't feel anything until it's over," Bonds said. "It's been difficult to sleep ever since I've been in these playoffs." The trophy will be at Edison Field on Saturday night when Russ Ortiz tries to clinch San Francisco's first title. He'll start against Kevin Appier in Game 6. "I want to be the guy," Ortiz said. After the Angels cut an early six- run deficit to 6-4, the Giants blew it open. Slumping Jeff Kent sealed it with a pair of two-run homers. That got the party going full force at Pac Bell Park and put the Giants one victory from their first crown since Willie Mays & Co. won it for New York in 1954. Rich Aurilia added the exclamation point, a three-run homer in the eighth that let the Giants tie for the second-highest run total in a Series game. The New York Yankees scored 18 in 1936 and had 16 in 1960. The Giants alkso tied a Series record with their 12th home run, and the total of 17 by the teams matched another mark. "Everybody did a great job, up and down our lineup," Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "You look at the final score, and it was a whuppin' — no doubt about that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. And once again, it took just one big swing by Bonds — Mays' godson — to swing the momentum in this Series. But, really, the Angels were caught in a lose-lose squeeze from the start. They pitched to Bonds in the first inning, and the Giants got three runs. They intentionally walked him in the second, and San Francisco scored three more. Now, Bonds is within reach of the only prize he really wants. He has everything else — the home run record, a batting title, MVP trophies, a sure spot in the Hall of Fame. A sellout crowd of 42,713, tense when the Angels climbed back and brought the tying run to the plate in the middle innings, erupted when Kent connected in the sixth and again in the seventh. More on page 29 Kent began the day in a3-for-16 rut and wound up scoring four runs, tying a Series record. Often surly, he smiled as he rounded first base after his first homer. "I have to admit that's probably the first time I've done that," he said. Bonds added another double and a single and Kenny Lofton sprinkled in a two-run triple as the Giants scored four times in the seventh and four in the eighth to pull away. Just a few days ago, with Anaheim's hitters going wild, some thought they would run away with the title. But by the time this one ended, it was the Giants who had the Angels on the run. Chad Zerbe got the win, relieving when Jason Schmidt was pulled in the fifth, one out short of qualifying for his second win of the Series. Schmidt struck out eight, yet Baker took no chances after Troy Glaus' RBI double made it 6-3. Jarrod Washburn, who lost the opener, absorbed another defeat. At least Washburn gave the fans at the park — and everywhere else, no doubt — what they wanted to see. After Bonds drew nine walks, five of them intentional, in the first four games, he at last got something to hit in the first inning. And the Giants slugger did not miss. "I felt good with Jarrod going after Barry, giving him the freedom to pitch to him," Scioscia said. "Obviously, he didn't want to give in to him." Lofton led off the first with a single and Washburn made his first critical mistake, walking Kent on a full count with one out. Up stepped Bonds and just like in Game 1, when he gave up a home run to the slugger, Washburn decided to pitch to him. Bad choice. When Washburn took something off a fastball and left it out over the plate, Bonds lined an RBI double that rolled to the wall in right field, and the rout was on. Benito Santiago followed with a sacrifice fly and Scioscia played the percentages, intentionally walking Reggie Sanders. But Washburn couldn't take advantage of the lefty vs. lefty matchup and walked Snow to load the bases. Washburn also walked Bell, the Game 4 star, to force home another run that made it 3-0. San Francisco kept pouring it on in the second after another leadoff single by Lofton. Kent doubled off the right-field wall and the Angels took no chances with Bonds this time, throwing four wide ones. Santiago spoiled the strategy with a two-run single.

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