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Wednesday July 30 2014
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Columnist Walter Villa

When 6-foot-5 former Penn State volleyball star Blair Brown went club-hopping a while back with 6-4 Nebraska All-American Brooke Delano and three other very tall young women, they weren’t exactly shy about their height.

All five wore three-inch heels.


“We would have worn six-inch heels if we had them,” Delano said with a laugh. “We got some comments about our long legs, and we loved it.”

07/27/2012 - 11:22
Walter Villa
After a 15-year NFL career, one of the things Jason Taylor did was thank his former high school football coach at Woodland Hills, George Novak. Taylor continues to give back to the community that started him on the path to greatness.

MIAMI - After his 15-year NFL career was over, after he had terrorized his last offensive lineman and after his Dolphins had beaten the New York Jets for the final time, Jason Taylor thanked his fo

06/15/2012 - 18:08
Walter Villa
Paulina Prieto-Cerame said she felt like The Bachelorette. But instead of two dozen handsome bachelors pursuing her, there were at least that many college coaches looking for a commitment from the 6-2 outside hitter from Miami’s Palmer Trinity High School.

Who got the final rose?

Russ Rose, naturally.

The Penn State coach landed the Class of 2012 star by using a simple approach.

“He said, ‘Here’s my resume, here’s my program and

01/30/2012 - 17:13
Walter Villa
The dream for many young, budding athletes is to someday become a pro, but the more realistic first goal should be earning a college scholarship.

Getting your education paid for will save young athletes from years of loan debt or ease the burden on their parents.

01/16/2012 - 18:50
Walter Villa
I’m in the eye of a scandalous storm in which a sawed-off thief, loser and convicted felon is threatening to take down a Hurricanes football program that has more players in the NFL than any other and had a glorious two-decade run in which they won five national titles.

MIAMI – Could a similar scandal hit Pitt, Penn State or West Virginia?

Of course it could.

08/23/2011 - 12:20
Walter Villa
Trailing the Miami Hurricanes 79-76 with less than five seconds to play last season, West Virginia's Jonnie West had the ball in the right corner of the court with a chance to send the game to overtime.

He declined the shot, his pass became a turnover, and WVU lost.

07/25/2011 - 23:55
Walter Villa
While it’s too soon to know if the Pirates’ 2011 draft can be judged a success, we know one word that cannot be used to describe it – safe. The Pirates took somewhat of a gamble with the draft’s first overall pick, right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole of UCLA, and then went all-out Las Vegas with their next choice, high school right fielder Josh Bell.

Both players are represented by agent Scott Boras, which makes signing them by the August 15 deadline far from a certainty.

07/06/2011 - 22:09
Walter Villa
A skilled 6-6 center is a rare commodity in women's basketball, which explains why Shawnice "Pepper" Wilson received over 100 scholarship offers out of Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School a couple of years ago.

Wilson, a two-time City League Player of the Year at Westinghouse, visited just two universities – Pitt and Miami-Florida.

06/21/2011 - 11:37
Walter Villa
Rice University third baseman Anthony Rendon, favored to become the Pirates’ next millionaire as the first overall pick in June’s 2011 MLB Draft, has plans for his signing bonus.

Considering that MLB’s past two No.

06/03/2011 - 16:29
Walter Villa
Pitt catcher Kevan Smith often wonders what would have happened had his athletic career not taken a three-year detour away from baseball. Baseball had always been his first love at Seneca Valley High School, but when then-Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt offered the 6-4, 240-pounder a scholarship to play quarterback, everything changed.

“Colleges knew they couldn’t compete (financially) with a football scholarship,” Smith said.

05/25/2011 - 15:06
Walter Villa
I was in a minor league press box in Charlotte, NC, last month, taking in one of Gregory Polanco’s final triple-A games. A colleague, upon learning I was from Pittsburgh, approached me with a question.
Editor's DeskFeature One
Quick. Fill in the blank: The Steelers’ current receiving corps is (fill in the blank). Deep? Bottom-heavy? Talented yet unproven?
Feature TwoPenn StatePure Steel
Steve Blass was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1960 and made his major league debut in 1964. From 1968 through 1972, Blass was one of the National League’s best pitchers.
Feature ThreeNorth Shore Notes
It’s an odd thought for Sterling Jenkins. It’s still a year away, but after he finishes his senior year at Baldwin High School, he’ll be playing college football at Penn State.
Feature FourHigh SchoolPenn State
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Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... COGOS Feature MatchupMisc YouTube Player 3High School TV Channel
In Dr. Pat Farabaugh’s book “An Unbreakable Bond,” he tells the unedited story of Pittsburgh native and St. Francis (PA) grad Maurice Stokes and his NBA teammate, fellow Pittsburgher Jack Twyman.
Custom 1Small CollegesTop Story
When Pittsburgh canine officer Rocco died in the line of duty in January, Chris Benson of Benstonium.com created a design to pay tribute to the fallen officer. When The Black N Gold Girls shared his design on Facebook, their followers decided to help.
Custom 2Sports Bites
The NHL handed out their annual awards at the end of June, and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby captured a hat trick, securing the Hart Trophy (MVP), Art Ross Trophy (scoring champ) and the Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by the players).
Blue LineCustom 3
Pittsburgh is city full of sports heroes and legendary figures. The list of Pittsburgh sports legends is long, but it begins with the following four men.
Custom 4Sports BitesTop Story