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Friday September 19 2014
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Fans Turnout to See Pens Scrimmage

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Mid-summer hockey a hit with Pens fans

On a muggy July afternoon in Pittsburgh, Penguins’ fans were treated to an ice-cold refreshment they had been craving since mid-April. Thousands of fans turned out to see the scrimmage that punctuated the Penguins’ week-long development camp, which featured defensemen Simon Despres, Joe Morrow, Scott Harrington, Olli Maata and Derrick Pouliot, along with forwards Beau Bennett, Teddy Blueger and Matia Marcantuoni, among others. Admission to the game was free.


“I couldn’t believe the traffic out front trying to get into the parking lot,” Tom Fitzgerald said. “I think (the prospects) were surprised at the number of fans. I think it’s fantastic that the fans come out like that to watch what is in the cupboard and what’s coming down the road here.”


Campers may have been surprised, maybe even intimidated, but they still thrived with an audience.


“It was a fun atmosphere to plan in,” Blueger said. “To see that many people come out and watch and support us – it was fun.”


Despres, who was on the winning White Team and has played in Pittsburgh during the regular season, also enjoyed the crowd.


“They were great,” he said. “They were very loud…some of the best fans in the league, for sure.”


The game was split up into two 25-minute halves, separated by a shootout, so fans got to see future NHL stars’ talents on full display.


Morrow, who received thunderous applause for his shootout goal, enjoyed the support, especially since the prospects aren’t yet, and may never be, actual Penguins.


“We’re not the Pittsburgh Penguins,” he said. “We may be in the future, but even to just have that many fans come out just for prospects…it really makes you appreciate the places you play in.”


Harrington, participating in his second development camp, was still impressed with the turnout.


“Last year I was surprised,” he said. “I had no idea that there were going to be so many people, and I think there were even more this year. It’s really nice to see.”

I spent three days late last month visiting 18 high schools across the WPIAL. I drove 533 miles, took hundreds of photographs, shook hands with dozens of coaches, athletic directors and principals and climbed way too many stadium steps. I loved every minute of it, of course.
Editor's DeskFeature OneHigh School
On the heels of two straight wins, the Franklin Regional Panthers are looking to improve to 3-1 Friday night as welcome the Indiana Little Indians (2-1) to Panther Stadium.
Feature TwoHSCOGOS2014Press RoomTop Story
Belle Vernon will battle Hollidaysburg in a WPIAL Triple-A clash Friday night with both teams looking for their third win on the season.
Feature ThreeHSUSS2014Press RoomTop Story
The Steelers traditional powerhouse defense has set a yearly standard for fans and pundits for decades. But an aging Pittsburgh defense has had a rocky time the last couple of seasons.
Feature FourPure Steel
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Twenty-two WPIAL football teams will have new coaches pacing the sidelines this season, including a few that will be featured in the CoGo's Feature Matchup this season.
Custom 1HSCOGOS2014
Several of the most coveted recruits throughout the WPIAL have already made their college decisions, most notably Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin. Others, like Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, are still being recruited.
Custom 2High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
Bill Cherpak misses the way it used to be. Back in the 80’s, when the current Thomas Jefferson High School coach was a player at Steel Valley, the recruiting process wasn’t publicized. It was low-key compared to the present.
Custom 3High School
The Mon-Valley has put plenty of athletes on Division 1 football teams over the years, including several who made it to the NFL. There are a few Mon-Valley natives playing D-1 ball this season.
Custom 4HSUSS2014