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Saturday October 25 2014
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Keep On Smiling

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It was her smile that got me. That beautiful, joy-filled smile flashed by Gabby Douglas, as she completed her gold-medal clinching performance with her floor routine. She was having fun. Period. The true symbol of what sports are all about.

When the cameras cut away to Gabby's family in the stands, I joined many parents around the country that shed a tear. We were happy, not only for this talented young dynamo and her proud family, but happy that we have the same opportunity to share similar moments of athletic competition with our children and grandchildren.


As Gabby twisted through the air, I recalled my own experience of watching my daughter extend her hands, vaulting through the air for the first time in gymnastics' competition, frightened and proud at the same time. My little girl, performing skills—in mid-air, no less—that I could never imagine. Gaining confidence about her abilities, challenging herself to push her body to its maximum genetic potential, and having a blast doing it.


Although she's no longer competing, her gymnastics experiences were important ones in her development as a young girl. Learning athletic skills, trusting her coaches, being a good teammate, and learning about winning and losing are all life skills that she was exposed to through athletic competition.


Sometimes in pressure-packed moments, the difference between winning and losing came down to whether or not she would stick her landing on the final routine of the day. And as her parents, we got to see her in action – ready for consoling hugs or congratulatory high-fives, whatever the situation called for.


Those embraces continue today with the twists and turns life throws at us all. But what we experienced, as parents and children, can be a great foundation for life's experiences. Seeing Gabby's smiles and her mother's tears is a reminder for us all who are involved in our children's sports... just being there means the most.


The gold-hearted moments of watching our kids play sports – for the fun of it.

Domestic violence is awful. That’s something most of us can agree on, in black and white terms. Right? Wrong. Domestic violence, like so many problematic subjects, has shades of gray.
Editor's DeskFeature One
One week left in the 2014 WPIAL regular season. One week left for teams to prove they’re ready for the playoffs.
Feature TwoHSUSS2014Press Room
The Baldwin Highlanders (3-6) will look to the Altavilla brothers—Doug and Nick—against the Bethel Park Blackhawks (7-4) in Friday’s Quad A Southeastern Conference battle.
Feature ThreeHSCOGOS2014
Perennial regular season leaders rebuild, the West gets stronger, analytics take center stage and the draft is reconfigured. Here are four league-wide storylines to follow as the NHL season gets underway.
Blue LineFeature Four
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A starter since her freshman year of high school, Brenna Wise has made a name for herself throughout her conference, the greater Pittsburgh area and across the state of Pennsylvania.
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Western PA has long-provided the NFL with some of its top-end talent and that continues to be the case. As of the end of the September, 21 former WPIAL or Pittsburgh City League players graced NFL rosters.
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There is no shortage of great athletes to come out of the Mon-Valley, but perhaps no single institution has produced more great athletes than old Donora High School (now part of Ringgold). The WPIAL Hall of Fame has recognized the following Donora greats.
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Through five games, there are a few teams and a few players who have stood out above the rest.
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