Spurred goalward by experienced head coach Justin Evans, The Pittsburgh Riverhounds take to the grassy battlefield and dribble figure-8s around opponents from the eastern United States and beyond. Soccer enthusiasts can exchange their general-admission ticket for a stadium's-eye view of the Riverhounds' roster of talented kickers in action, as well as two earfuls of noise from their loyal mob of fans, the Steel Army. The 12-year-old team gained national recognition last year by joining the United Soccer Leagues Pro Division, one steppingstone away from the MLS and two steppingstones from the NFL.
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Click above to buy this Groupon for Sunday, January 31, at 3:05 p.m. vs. South Carolina Stingrays. Click on the links below for other games.
The original incarnation of hockey, known as hokey, consisted of one person playing against his or her self to see how many blue lines he or she could draw in concentric circles around a puck while figure skating. For inconceivable reasons, this version quickly fell by the wayside as the motion blurring, body slamming, and puck chucking of modern hockey gained ascendance. For $10, today's Groupon gets you one ticket to see the Wheeling Nailers at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV ($18.50 value, including arena fee). Choose the date and opponent from the links above, or sate your fascination for watching Zambonis smooth the ice by buying them all.
There is no limit on buying blocks of tickets for a single game, making this a great opportunity to repay the family of wolves that raised you by giving them a physical, fast-paced show on ice. Your tickets will be in the platinum/gold section, giving you a panoramic view of the clash of the ice titans. Present your Groupon at the box office on game day to receive your tickets.
The Nailers are the AA affiliate of the Penguins. Come see the young players strut their stuff as they skate toward the big leagues. It’s like watching an episode of Before They Were Stars without knowing it. Hockey is like the magnificent mutt of the sporting world. You get the speed of basketball, the elegance of ice-skating, and the utter brutality of golf all combined in one action-packed event. Take your adrenaline-deprived librarian friend or entire cul-de-sac out for a raucous afternoon or evening of hard hits and flashing lights.
The Intelligencer has covered numerous Nailers games. Here's what they say about a thrilling match against the first-place Toledo Walleye:
- But Wheeling jumped right back as newcomer Zack Sill won a battle for the puck and centered it to Capraro who went top shelf for his fourth to tie it 2-2 after two. It remained that way until Sill headed the puck to Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who carried it into the Toledo zone and down the left side until he nearly passed up the goal. But just as he was about to, he fed it to Capraro on the other side, and he put it into the open net.…There were some tense moments at the end including a spectacular save with 5:55 left on Ewing, who lunged and hit the puck toward and [sic] open cage. But Teslak somehow recovered in time to make the save. – Shawn Rine
The NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge regale hoops fans with basketball savvy from a roster stacked with talent looking to play their way into the NBA. Donning the same yellow-and-red color scheme of their affiliate squad, the Charge compete in the East Division of the NBA D-League. The team plays in the Canton Civic Center, where sounds of cheering fans and squeaking shoes echo off of rafters and occasionally create a high-pitched rhythm that the Charge Girls, the team's dance squad, can groove to.
Staffed by former collegiate and professional baseball and softball standouts, All-American Baseball Center helps students dominate the diamond with expert instruction and three state-of-the-art practice facilities. At Baseball University, players from age 8 to the college level hone their hitting and fielding skills through a comprehensive curriculum of courses—such as Hitting 101 and 102—comprising four one-hour clinic sessions that players must complete before advancing to the next class. With more than 52,000 square feet in combined space, the center's two indoor locations provide ample space for independent practice sessions with batting cages, practice fields, bullpens, and facilities for weightlifting and speed and agility training. The North Campus features an indoor regulation infield for live-action baseball and softball games, which are also held at Sardis Park, a four-field outdoor complex occasionally visited by the ghosts of legendary cornstalks.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
HappyFeet founder Andy Barney boasts a lengthy resumé: the Oxford, England, native was a semipro soccer player by the age of 16, studied physical education in college, and coached youth soccer for 10 years before moving to the U.S. In America, he coached at Avila University and wrote the book Training Soccer Legends, but one day he found his extensive experience challenged by an unlikely group—preschoolers. He had agreed to spend what he thought would be an easy afternoon leading tots in a soccer workshop, only to end up exhausted yet inspired to design a curriculum specifically for younger kids.
His research eventually led to HappyFeet, where instructors play with kids aged 2–6 using a proprietary lesson plan the company dubbed “story time with a soccer ball.” Each kid receives a ball, and beyond practicing basic skills such as dribbling, striking, and autograph signing in a noncompetitive setting, the incorporation of stories, nursery rhymes, and songs enables kids to exercise both physical and mental faculties. The 45-minute indoor classes, which were reviewed by the _Pittsburgh Tribune_, are held onsite at preschools and sports facilities such as PISA. Little ones can also be enrolled in HappyFeet’s leagues, where a 15- to 20-minute mini class precedes a 30-minute game.