LaVerde's Kirtland squad to go for gold again

 Tiger LaVerde's Kirtland Hornets will play for another state title this Saturday after walloping Fort Frye, 41-6, Nov. 26 in the Ohio Division VI semifinals.

Former soccer player Tommy Gogolin ran for 363 yards on 18 carries for the state second-ranked Hornets, who will face No. 1 Marion Local at 10:30 a.m. at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

"Tommy was incredible tonight," LaVerde told reporter John Kampf of The News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio. "That's 20 yards a pop. That's pretty good."

Gogolin did most of his damage on pitch-sweeps or jet-sweeps, but also did some gouging up the middle.

Fort Frye had very few answers.

"A lot of times it looked like we had him wrapped up in the backfield, he'd find a crease and take it to the house," Fort Frye coach Eric Huck said.

Kirtland and Marion Local are both 15-0. Kirtland has won 69 of its last 70 games; Marion Local is riding a 31-game winning streak. Kirtland owns six state crowns, all under LaVerde; Marion Local has 12.

LaVerde's two sons play on this year's team, senior Philip and freshman Jake, who is the quarterback. Philip was named Division VI Defensive Player of the Year.

LaVerde graduated from Oil City in 1991. He was the Oilers' starting QB in 1990. He was head coach at Franklin from 2001-03 before eventually becoming coach at Kirtland. 

State playoffs



7 pm Friday

Port Allegany vs. Union (New Castle), Clarion University

Steel-High vs. Canton, Shamokin HS


7 pm Friday

Steel Valley vs. Westinghouse, West Mifflin HS

Southern Columbia vs. Trinity (D-3), Selinsgrove HS


Martinsburg Central vs. Belle Vernon, 7 pm, Friday Central Cambria HS

Neumann-Goretti vs. Northwest Lehigh, 1 pm, Saturday, Germantown Supersite


7 pm, Friday

Aliquippa vs. Allentown Central Catholic, Bald Eagle Area HS

Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt vs. Crestwood, Exeter Twp. HS


7 pm, Friday

Pine-Richland vs. Cocalico, Altoona (Mansion Park)

Upper Dublin vs. Imhotep, Wissahickon HS


1 pm, Saturday

State College vs. Harrisburg, Altoona (Mansion Park)

Garvet Valley vs. St. Joe Prep, Northeast Supersite

Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 6.05.46 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 7.22.02 PM copy.jpeg
Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 7.22.16 PM copy.jpeg

Ten players from Oil City and Franklin were named to the Region 4 all-stars, voted by the coaches and released Nov. 22 by the Erie Times News.

Top row from left are the first team two-way selections: RB-DB Ethen Knox and OL-DL Cam Cocker of Oil City and WR-DB Cole Buckley and P-K Nate Pfennigwerth of Franklin.

Middle row: Oil City first teamers: LB Carl Chelton and DL Brayden McFetridge.

Bottom row: second teamers: TE Alex Wible of Franklin and LB Kevin Pearsall, OL Tanner Kightlinger and OL-DL Henry Milford of Oil City.

Meadville dominated the selections and Khalon Simmons was named Player of the Year.

District 10 all-stars will be announced after the state championship games.

Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 7.22.21 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 7.21.13 PM.jpg
Closing the book on Knox's historic season
Oiler junior ran for more yards in a 10-game campaign than any back in high school football. Ever.
About This Site

If you are from Anywhere, USA, and happened to stumble upon this site, Franklin and Oil City are about eight miles apart along Route 8 in Venango County, Pa. -- which is about halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie in the western part of the state. (formerly covers the grid doings of Oil City and Franklin high schools in Venango County. It also includes the football histories of the two schools, which date back to 1896, along with that of Venango Catholic (nee Christian and formerly St. Joseph in Oil City), which dropped the sport in the 1990s. VC has been in co-ops with Oil City and Franklin since then.

This is a Wix site with longtime but former Derrick sports editor Penny Weichel serving as webmaster. She is the former webmaster of and, and most of the information found there can be found here. Also added in the last two years is basketball covering all five Venango County schools (Cranberry and Rocky Grove, too) along with some wrestling and swimming and other fall/spring sports.

Contact if need be.

  • Twitter
A Look Back in Venango County