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THE SPORTS REPORTS: CORNING'S JOHNSTON JR. HEADLINES BAKER'S DOZEN AS 'COACH OF THE SPRING;' TWO VALLEY COACHES MAKE THE LIST (2024-07-02)

The Sports Reports
The postseason was a run like none other for Mike Johnston Jr., The Sports Reports’ 2024 All-Region “Coach of the Spring,” and the Corning softball team.

The Hawks had a no-hitter in the sectional final and then ran their way through states to capture the first-ever Class AAA state championship held in New York State.

Johnston Jr. guided Corning, which was ranked 13th in the State in first poll of the season, to its second state title in five seasons, and did it in dominant fashion in the state playoffs.

2024 All-Region “Coaches of the Spring”
Mike Johnston Jr., Corning Softball: See above.

Nick Vanderpool, Wyalusing baseball: Vanderpool turned the Rams around early in the season. After a slow start, Wyalusing found its stride midway through the season, and picked up the pace in the postseason. When it was win-or-go-home time, the Rams won five straight games to claim a District 4 title, and reach the PIAA semifinals.

Rusty Virkler, Owego flag football:
Led the River Haws to a Section IV, Division 2 title, and into the state semifinals. Finished the season at 16-1.

Rich Capo, Corning flag football: Led the Hawks to a Section IV, Division 1 title, and into the Regional final.

Matt Geer, Troy boys track & field: Geer built up Troy’s program over the past couple years to where they finally got over the hill in 2024, claiming their first league title in 43 years.

Nick Wegmann, Owego baseball: Led the River Hawks to a STAC Central, and overall STAC Championship. Owego was a Section IV runner-up, and finished season at 20-4.

Jeff Limoncello, Horseheads baseball: Limoncello led the Blue Raiders to a Section IV title, and the STAC West crown.

Eric Kizis, Corning baseball: Kizis led the Hawks to a Section IV title.

Dave Sickler, Tioga boys golf: Sickler led Tioga to its second Section IV title in program history, as well as an IAC South Small School Division title, and a runner-up finish at the IAC Championships.

Dave Shaw, Waverly flag football: 
Coach David Shaw and assistant coach Peyton Miller started from scratch this spring, and despite being two years behind most of Section IV on the flag football gridiron, Waverly battled its way into the Section IV Championship game in its inaugural season, which concluded with an 8-2-3 record.

Tim Ball, Corning tennis: Led the Hawks to the first ever STAC Championship in program history, also winning the STAC west.

Ben Rubert, Canton baseball: Despite having to rebuild the top of the line-up, and the bullpen, Canton didn’t miss a beat in 2024, breezing to another league title, and giving Wyalusing, the eventual district champs, their toughest game until the state final four.

Andy Borzol, Wellsboro tennis: Despite roster turnover, Borzok led the Hornets to another undefeated league season and the District IV team playoffs.


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