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Winter Sports 2023-24
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Did someone say PLAYOFFS?!


D-10 Class 3A boys


Franklin (18-4) vs. Seneca (7-15), 7:30 p.m., Oil City

Mercyhurst (15-7) vs. North East (14-8), 7:30 P.M., Hagerty Center

Girard (20-2) vs. Greenville (9-13), 6 p.m., Hagerty Center

Oil City (16-6) vs. Fairview (8-14), 7:30 p.m., Meadville

District 10 4A Girls


Fairview (17-5) vs. Corry (9-12), 2:30 p.m., Hagerty Center

Conneaut (15-7) vs. Franklin (14-8), 4 p.m., Meadville

Warren (18-4) vs. General McLane (8-14), 2:30 p.m, Mercyhurst

Harbor Creek (12-9) vs. Grove City (16-6), 4 p.m., Mercyhurst

District 10 1A boys

Tuesday, Feb. 27

Farrell (17-4) vs. Youngsvillel (8-14), TBA

Rocky Grove (15-7) vs/ Cochranton (9-13), TBA

District 10 1A Girls

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Rocky Grove (7-15) vs. Jamestown (5-15), TBA

Youngsville (7-15) bye

Jalen Wood (5) buried six more three-pointers against Oil CityFriday, bringing his career total to 136. Damon Curry (33) added two more, giving him 196, which presumably broke Easton Fulmer's school record. They also were part of the unusually large senior class (eight) honored before the game. Cole Buckley, Demarco and Dreyden Payne, Darrius Graham, Ethan Umbenhaur and Gavin Eakin were the others. 

Wood finished with 27 points, earning him membership in Franklin's "800 Club" with 821. With 1,367 points, Curry is No. 11 on Venango County's all-time scoring list and needs 42 to crack the top 10. (Neither number has been updated yet on the Franklin hoops page on this site, but will be at the end of the season.) Buckley, meanwhile, has 739 career points.

The 72 points were the most the Oilers have yielded in a game this season. Next high was 59 by Warren on Tuesday. The Oilers have given up 50 or more points  only five times this season; the Knights have done it in both meetings.

Sayyid Donald has moved into the Oilers' 700 Club with 720. And while you don't think of Ethen Knox as a scoring machine, his put-backs, layups and free throws have him at  559  to go with his 7,780 yards rushing. 

  • Sophomores Landen Carter and Noah Baughman have teamed for 712 points for Rocky Grove this season, practically split down the middle.

  • Only the VC boys and the Oil City and Cranberry girls have completed their seasons. 

First of the all-stars

The first of what will probably be many all-stars picked this season from Venango County is Cranberry's Ethan Merryman (22). He was named third team on the  Keystone Athletic Conference stars announced Feb. 13. The senior netted 26 in his regular season finale that night and has 666 career points going into the District 9 playoffs. Sitting at 12-10, the Berries probably will finish with its first winning season since 2016. The Berries will visit Karns City Friday for a quarterfinal game. The semifinals (Feb. 27) and finals (Mar. 2) will be played at Penn West Clarion. In addition to Merryman, the Berries have a high-scoring sophomore in Cole Findlay, who has 314 points. (File photo by Kelly Malek)

Junior Camden Smith in on all four
Unbeaten Franklin boys break 4 Oil City pool records,
then clinch region crown with win over Grove City

Franklin broke four Oil City  pool records -- with Camden Smith having had a hand in all of them -- in a 96-74 victory over the Oilers Feb. 5.


Two more big accomplishments followed:


  • The Knights wrapped up the region title with a 96-68 win over Grove City on Feb. 8. It was their first region crown since 2013 when they shared it with Grove City.

  • And finally on Feb. 13, they beat Titusville, 110-60, for a 13-0 record, their first unbeaten campaign since 2012.

Unlike the first go-round against Oil City when the Knights swept all 11 firsts, Franklin "only" took six races Feb. 5.


"We had a different agenda for this meet than the first time we swam Oil City," Franklin coach Charlie Smith told The News-Herald. "Obviously, we wanted to get a team win, but we were also hunting records, and we got four of them."

Smith's records came in the 50 free (21.77), 100 free (47.49) and in the medley relay (1:40.29) with Kye Winslow, Nathan Pfennigwerth and  Jordan Stumpf) and 400 free relay (same four, 3:22.02).

The old open free records were set in the 1980s -- 1987 in the 50 and 1886 in the 100 -- that by Oil City''s Wes Gaylor (48.37). Smith's time in the 100 also broke the region mark set in 2014 by Franklin's Phil Emerson  (47.74). 


Earlier, the medley relay shattered the old record of 1:43.19 set in 1996 by Darren Livezey, Mike Frederick, Ryan Fennick and Nate Edmondson. Grove City held the former 400 free relay mark of 3:25.27.

The Oilers, who had won back-to-back region crowns in  2022 and 2023, bounced back from their loss to Franklin with wins over Slippery Rock and Sharon to finish 11-2. The Oil City girls ended at 7-6, the Franklin girls at 3-10. 


Next up for all four teams are districts March 1-2 at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio, followed by  states. later on in March.


Cranberry was  6-0 in duals this season and will get ready for there District 9 2A tourney  today and Saturday at Penn West Clarion.

Meanwhile, Franklin's Cael Dailey (121) and Gary Kiselka (215) were pinned Saturday in the finals of the District 10 2A sectional at Sharon High School. Dailey was decked by Reynolds' heralded Louie Gill, an NC State recruit. Ethan Hart (160) and Drew Kockler (172) took fifths for the Knights, and Jebediah Adams (145) was seventh.

Dailey and Kiselka qualified for the D-10 2A tournament today and Saturday, also at Sharon High School.

(File photo by Kelly Malek)

Ye Old Record Book
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41 -- Ryan Willison, 2013

606 -- Ryan Willison, 2013

1,771 -- Ryan Willison, 2013


48 - Preston Morgan, 2018; Dillon, King, 2010

596 -- Shaun Grill, 2002

1,596 -- Easton Fulmer, 2022

Oil City

56 -- Mike Emick, 1971

545 -- Steve "Ike" Cleaves, 1920

1,130 -- Ben Schill, 1996

Rocky Grove

42 -- Jim Bunyak, 1993

614 -- Dylan Gravatt, 2010

1,904 -- Dylan Gravatt, 2010

Venango Catholic

52 -- Andrew Burda, 2021; Mark Garbacz, 1971;

648 -- Dave Lynch, 1968

1,749 -- Maxx Rynd, 2011


45 -- Emily Merryman, 2014

807 -- Susan Blauser, 1994

2,385 -- Susan Blasuer, 1995


46 - Terri Brinker, 1977

765 -- Hillary Hager, 2000

2,299 -- Hillary Hager, 2000

Oil City

48 -- Trish Erickson, 1977

555 -- Bridget Hale, 1986 

1,345 -- Tracy Whitling, 1997 

Rocky Grove

39 -- Dawn Cauvel, 1986

397 -- Pam Weaver, 1982

1,215 -- Aleece Schiffer, 2015

Venango Catholic

41 -- Sarah McNellie, 2008 

653 -- Mary Kay Lynch, 1981

1,711 -- Mary Kay Lynch, 1981

Listed in order as game, season, career

Signed, sealed,

The wait (at least for inquiring minds) is over.

Ethen Knox, Oil City's record-setting running back, announced Friday morning on X (formerly known as Twitter), that he is going to Mercyhurst and signed his letter of intent at OCHS on Wednesday (flanked by his parents, Josh Knox and Heather Knox).

Knox later said via PM that he's still a running back -- at least for the time being.

"They are planning on me playing running back right now but things could change at any time and I could be switched but that’s what they are bringing me on as," Knox said.

Knox also played safety at Oil City (199 tackles, seven INTs) and "some" have projected him as a safety or linebacker in college.

But he gained notoriety as the tailback in Oil City's I attack, rushing for 7,805 yards on 935 carries and scoring 92 touchdowns in only 28 games.

His 3,705 yards in 2022 is a national 10-game season rushing record. And nobody in the history of the state has more 400-yard rushing games than Knox -- seven.

Oiler tackle Henry Milford, who paved the4 way for many of Knox's yards, committed to Clarion a few weeks ago and signed his letter on Feb. 7.

More football
Looking back, looking ahead
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Oilers 2024 Schedule
Knights 2024 Schedule

So Oil City's Ethen Knox is still in the running for Mr. Pa. Football (Class 1A-3A). He's a finalist -- one of six. Voting closes March 1. (Photo by Richard Sayer)

Jodi Gault and peers want to honor their coaches, so she is planning an Oil City High School girls basketball reunion. It will be held Saturday, July 27, (Oil Heritage Week) at Hasson Park. and is open to anyone who had anything to do with the program. Ever. (Click on photo for more.)

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