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Eden Christian

Eden Christian Academy


Eden Christian

Eden Christian Academy

Eden Christian

Eden Christian Academy

Eden Christian

Eden Christian Academy

Featured Athletes

1 year ago

Varsity Boys Soccer take 1st round of State Playoffs!


The two hour drive up to Erie for players, fans, and parents alike was absolutely worth it. Eden defeated Seneca 2-0 in their first round game of the PIAA State Tournament and advanced to the Quarterfinals.  

Those who made the trek to the game did not have to wait around in the cold for too long before the Warriors got on the scoreboard, with David Ryan scoring the opening goal at 22:16 in the first half. David’s goal would go on to become the game-winner. 

Jonathan Cranston solidified Eden’s victory at 4:25 of the second half by making it 2-0. “It felt good to be able to get some insurance on the game,” Jonathan said. “The guys and I all agreed the two hour trip home after a loss was not in the cards.”

The game was not only a two-hour drive for the Warriors, it was also played on Seneca’s home field rather than being at a neutral location like the previous WPIAL playoff games. “Personally I love the atmosphere at away games and Seneca’s fans didn’t disappoint,” said Jonathan, who essentially quieted the rowdy Seneca crowd with his late goal.

At the other end of the field, Anthony D’Ippolito and the Warriors defense were busy keeping Seneca’s offense as cold as the temperature at the game. “I’d say the biggest thing for me is just tracking with the flow of the game and the ball on the field and then making sure I’m active on my feet and bouncing around,” said Anthony about playing in the frigid weather. “It’s also super important to communicate with the team and stay involved verbally and that really helps me stay engaged and ready to make saves.”

After another solid defensive effort from the Warriors, Coach Barr had high praise for his senior goalkeeper and defenders in the shutout victory. “Our team has a lot of individually great players with Anthony being one especially as a captain,” he said. “The strength of any good team though is the unit over the individual. Having 4 senior defenders and a great senior goalie has been the biggest factor in keeping so many games to 1 or 2 goal affairs”

An exciting soccer season for the Warriors is not over yet. “Glad we can keep the run going,” said Jonathan Cranston. “1 down, 3 to go.”

The Warriors will play Winchestor Thurston in the PIAA State Quarterfinals on Saturday at 2pm at Norwin High School. 

1 year ago

Boys Soccer Team Qualifies for PIAA States



Boys Soccer Team Defeats Sewickley in Shoot-Out Thriller, Qualify for PIAA State Tournament


Fans watched tensely under the bright lights of West Mifflin Area High School as Anthony D’Ippolito lined himself up in the net, preparing to stop another penalty kick. After a late tying goal, double overtime, and the shootout score being 3-2 in Eden’s favor, it came down to this save to send the Warriors to States. The silent crowd quickly erupted in cheers as Anthony made the save, clinching Eden’s spot in the PIAA State Tournament.


It may have been a consolation game, but it was a consolation game with big implications, including a trip to the State Tournament. Coach Barr knew what this team was capable of ahead of the game and knew they were not ready to be done with their season. “We feel like we are the better team but it always comes down to earning it,” Coach Barr said. “Hard work and simple soccer will get the job done.”


Eden’s hard fought victory over Sewickley Academy was very much a result of their defensive game. Despite giving up an early goal, the Warriors were able to keep it tight for the rest of the game. “Most teams come in with a very strong forward group but struggle to find ways to score on us,” commented Coach Barr, regarding his team’s defense. 


Not only were the Warriors very strong on defense, but in the net as well with Goalie Anthony D’Ippolito keeping Sewickley to just one goal throughout the play of regulation and overtime. “We had been locking down on defense, I’d made some good saves and we just didn’t have much on offense,” said Anthony. “Luckily we got one through and that was the tipping point and set things off for us.”


Eden was finally able to break through Sewickley Academy’s defense late in the second half with a goal from Cole King, which was assisted by David Ryan. Cole later scored the game-winning shootout goal. It was a big night for Cole, but he says that Thursday’s exciting game was truly all about the team. “We win as a team and we lose as a team. Everyone worked hard and we came up with the win against Sewickley.” 


Cole may have scored the game winner in the shootout, but it was Ryan Merrick who got things started for the Warriors in the first round of the shootout. Ben Rice also scored for Eden, with Cole scoring right after him. Sewickley Academy scored their first goal of the shootout in the third round, followed by another goal scored in the fourth round.  It came down to a save by Anthony in the fifth round to send the Warriors off to States. 


While Eden’s players exited the field, the fans gathered around, waiting to congratulate the team. Anthony’s clutch saves in the end led members of the Red Sea to chant “MVP” as Eden’s goalkeeper left the field. “That was pretty cool,” Anthony began, “that’s definitely a once in a lifetime thing. I’m just grateful to be in the position where I am and to be able to do well and honor and glorify God in that way and give it all to God.”


As the Warriors prepare for States, like any other team in sports there are improvements to be made. Coach Barr has said, “We need to convert on chances we create while trusting our defense to carry us through. Two goals is enough for us to stay in any game.” 


The Warriors will be facing off against Seneca High School in the first round of the PIAA State Tournament on Tuesday at 6pm. The game will be at Seneca High School in Erie. 

2 Eden Golfers qualify for PIAA State Championship

For the second straight season, two players from Eden’s Varsity Golf Team have qualified for the PIAA State Championship! 

Junior Luke Gronbeck and Freshman Pearl Lundgren will represent Eden in Section AA at the State Championship this coming Monday. The two of them qualified for States at the WPIAL Individual Finals last week, with Pearl finishing in fourth place among the girls, and Luke tying for eighth place with the boys.

Luke, who once again had a strong regular season, will be returning to States for the second consecutive year.  He finished with a +12 while tying for eighth in the second round of the WPIAL qualifiers. Going into next week’s championship, Luke is in positive spirits about his playing and being able to play more golf far beyond the regular season. “I’m feeling good,” he said, “definitely excited to be still playing this late in the year and hopefully playing well.”

Pearl greatly impressed in her freshman season, and it continued into the WPIAL qualifiers with her fourth place finish.  Her remarkable play throughout the year and in WPIALs has led her to become the first girl in Eden Varsity Golf history to qualify for the state championship as a freshman. While she is thankful that she is able to play on Monday, Pearl still has her eyes on the years to come in her playing days. “I feel super grateful that I have the opportunity and I hope I have more to come,” she said.

As one would be, Coach John Wick is very excited and proud to have Pearl and Luke representing Eden at Penn State on Monday for the championship. “Both Pearl and Luke are fantastic representatives of the excellence of Eden athletics.  Congratulations to both of you!” 

The first round of the PIAA State Championship will begin on Monday for both the boys and girls.  The final round will occur on Tuesday.  Be sure to keep our Warrior representatives in your prayers as they compete next week!  


Eden Warriors Run Away with top prizes!!

Sean Aiken became just the second runner from Eden Christian Academy to win a WPIAL individual cross country championship last year.


Eden Christian ready to take its place among the cross country elite




OCT 12, 2022


11:00 AM

Over the past few years, Eden Christian has been slowly moving up among the elite WPIAL Class 1A cross country programs.

This year, though, the Warriors are in a position to not only challenge perennial powerhouses Riverview, Winchester Thurston and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, but maybe even surpass them and claim the school’s first title.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Eden Christian coach Kelly Gronbeck said. “We’ve just been really fortunate over the last several years to get some good, natural talent with great work ethics.”

Eden Christian finished third overall in the WPIAL last season behind Riverview and Winchester Thurston, but it sent notice that this might be its year when Sean Aiken became just the second runner from the school to win the individual title.

“He’s a tremendous leader, is extremely humble and leads by example,” Gronbeck said. “He does the right thing when no one’s looking. He made sure that the other kids were doing the right things over the summer.”

Having the reigning WPIAL champion is certainly enough to make teams look your way, but the Warriors have a lot more runners in their stable.

Junior Nathan Garrett, who transferred from Hampton where he helped the Talbots win their first WPIAL Class 2A title last year, was the 12th-place finisher in the Class 2A WPIAL finals a year ago and No. 2 on his team.

He also made a splash to open 2022 when he won the Class 1A division at the Red, White and Blue Classic at White Oak Park. Last weekend at the Youthtowne Clash, he was eighth behind Aiken with a time of 16:20.36. Aiken won the event in 15:37.42, with teammate Ethan Haring finishing second in 15:47.70.

Garrett, though, might not be with Eden Christian for the WPIAL finals. Because he’s a transfer, the WPIAL has yet to rule on his postseason eligibility. Because of that, the Warriors lineup may need to be reshuffled a little for the WPIAL championships Oct. 27 at California (Pa.) University.

“Nathan’s been a great addition as a person and as a teammate,” Gronbeck said. “He’s just gotten along with everybody on the team and it’s been a good fit.”

Having Aiken and Garrett would be a boon for any team at the Class 1A level. But Eden Christian also has Haring, a junior who was eighth in the WPIAL last year with an 18:05.4 and is the No. 2 returning runner from last year’s finals.

As Eden Christian prepares for the WPIAL finals, though, it won’t be participating in the Tri-State Track Coaches’ Association meet Oct. 20 at Cal. U. That’s traditionally the final warm-up for the WPIAL championships and gives the runners an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the course a week out from the actual meet.

Competition heating up

Though the WPIAL finals are a couple of weeks away, there is one battle brewing that will be interesting all the way to the finish line.

Pine-Richland senior Natalie McLean opened some eyes when she won The Foundation on the PIAA championship course Sept. 24 in Hershey. On her winning run, she edged out the top returning finalist from 2021, Mt. Lebanon junior Logan St. John Kletter, by six seconds.

They got together on the course again last weekend and the two flipped the script.

Both McLean and St. John Kletter competed in The Legends at Trumbull County Fairgrounds in Cortland, Ohio. And their school’s respective No. 1 runners took it down to the wire as St. John Kletter crossed the line in 17:29 to beat McLean by one second.

Considering how close the two are at this point, it should make for a great final at Cal. U.

Over the past 10 years, the closest final in the Class 3A girls division was in 2017 at Cooper’s Lake when Oakland Catholic’s Hannah Schupansky edged Upper St. Clair’s Savannah Shaw by 12 seconds.

First Published October 12, 2022, 11:00am

Coach Aaron Smith

1 year ago

Eden welcomes a new Boys Basketball Coach!!


This past summer, it was announced that Mr. Aiken would become Eden’s new Head of School.  With the increased responsibilities on his plate, there wasn’t much time for him to be coaching the Boys Varsity basketball team. But the boys team was not shrouded in mystery the whole summer as to who their new coach would be.  They knew fairly quickly that it would be Aaron Smith.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it is probably because you know Aaron Smith as a former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  So why would a former professional football player coach high school basketball?  Coach Smith was actually always a lover of basketball and didn’t begin playing football until his freshman year of high school. “My high school basketball coach impacted my life so much, I just wanted to give back.”

Coach Smith is not totally brand new to coaching Eden basketball.  He previously coached with Coach Aiken and Coach Foltz for four years after his retirement from pro football.  He then continued to be an assistant coach, but for North Allegheny’s Boys Varsity Basketball Team.  However, that didn’t necessarily spell the end for his time at Eden. “I always had feelings of coming back to Eden. My first time at Eden had really left an impact on me.”

While football and basketball are very different, Coach Smith’s time in the NFL has greatly impacted his coaching abilities for basketball. “Playing pro football has helped a ton when coaching. Those experiences help with dealing with a variety of athletes and personalities.”

Basketball season may not have started yet, but Coach Smith is already holding open gyms on Thursday afternoons during TS.  Many of his players are currently playing other sports and can’t make those open gyms, but a good bit of the team has still been able to attend.  Regardless, it is still a little early to have a good outlook on how the season may go.  “We have been working hard and getting better. Both physically and mentally.” 

Coaches can be the driving force behind a team.  It is great seeing the impact of these new coaches on campus and it is exciting to see what other successes may come in the future.  Be sure to look out for more stories on these teams and other Eden sports this school year!