Both the Phoenixville Area High School baseball and softball teams play for the District 1-Class AA championships this afternoon. Both ballclubs could qualify for the state tournament.

Coach Jack Sturgeon's boys meet the Harriton Rams in a 4 p.m. start at Glen Mills School. The boys are just three years removed from their PIAA state championship, but have hovered around the .500 mark this spring.

Coach Joe Bogus' girls play Octorara from the Southern Chester County League, a 2-1 winner over St. Basil's from the Catholic Academies League, for the softball crown at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School at 4 p.m. That winner was determined Wednesday at PAHS.

Both teams qualified for the district finals Tuesday. The baseball team upended top-seeded Holy Ghost Prep, 5-4, at the same Glen Mills site, while the girls blanked Nazareth Academy, 7-0, at neighboring Great Valley High School in Frazer.

It is quite an accomplishment for a small school from the Pioneer Athletic Conference to have both teams battling for district championships on the same day.

Then tonight, the scene shifts to football at West Chester University with the annual Valor Bowl starting at 7:15 p.m. It pits the North and South from Chester County to benefit Special Olympics.

Five Phoenixville senior players and Phantoms head coach Bill Furlong are part of the area contingent. The players include two-way lineman Bill Bleiler, running back/linebacker John Kraynak, running back/defensive back Martin Novia, wide receiver/defensive back Ronnie Streets and two-way lineman Kevin West.

Furlong is an assistant coach on the North staff.

Four Great Valley players and four from Owen J. Roberts are also on the roster. Coach Gary Phillips' Patriots have fullback/linebacker Matt Godec, running back/linebacker Kellen Hill, fullback/linebacker Mike Marryat and running back/defensive lineman Donte Woody.

Coach Tom Barr's Wildcats have two-way lineman Dean Hart, fullback/linebacker Mike Pence, wide receiver/defensive back Jason Reagan and wide receiver/defensive back Andy Worthington.

Then on Saturday night, the Phoenixville Police Athletic League (PAL) amateur boxers will return to action at the Civic Center at 123 Main St. A 10-bout card is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

Local fighters featured include Ryan Carson, Mike Coletta and Nick Hendricks.

Area American Legion, Babe Ruth and youth leagues in baseball and softball have also started action so there is plenty to watch for sports enthusiasts.

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Barry Sankey covers a variety of sports as a staff writer for The Phoenix. He can be reached at sports@phoenixvillenews.com.

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