Friday, April 29, 2016 | 1:46 PM
It’s unlikely that the Pittsburgh Central Catholic baseball team will make the WPIAL playoffs this season. That’s highly unusual.
Central Catholic’s string of six consecutive playoff appearances would be broken. But that’s not what makes the Vikings’ situation unusual. What makes Central Catholic’s case so unusual is that Central Catholic is the defending WPIAL Class AAAA champion.
Since 2000, the WPIAL champion in the largest classification has missed the playoffs the following year only twice. Mt. Lebanon won in 2006 and missed the playoffs in 2007. Hopewell won in 2000 and missed the playoffs in 2001.
Central Catholic has a 3-5 record in Class AAAA Section 3 (the Vikings are 6-7 overall). They are in fifth place in the section and only three teams make the playoffs. Shaler is first at 7-1, followed by Fox Chapel (6-2), Kiski Area (4-4) and Woodland Hills (4-4). What makes matter worse for Central Catholic’s playoff hopes is the Vikings have two section games left – against Fox Chapel and Shaler, the top two teams in the section.
Also, Central Catholic lost twice to Woodland Hills and split with Kiski Area. The first tiebreaker for a playoff spot is head-to-head competition.
Playoff Plight of Section 2
The Hempfield baseball has won 12 of 13 games and pretty much sewn up at least a share of the WPIAL Class AAAA Section 2 title. But the question is what will that get the Spartans in the playoffs?
The WPIAL is scheduled to make playoff pairings and seedings two weeks from today. It will be interesting to see where Hempfield is seeded – just because of this section’s history in the past decade.
Hempfield is one of several teams in a section with Westmoreland county or east suburban teams. The champion from this section has rarely done anything in the playoffs over the past decade.
Since 2005, the champion from this section has lost in the first round seven times. Three times it made only the quarterfinals. Hempfield had the most success three years ago when it made the WPIAL semifinals.
Hempfield is all too familiar with a tremendous regular season, followed by a short postseason. In the two previous seasons, Hempfield has lost only one section game. But the Spartans lost in the first round of the playoffs in both 2015 and 2014.
Return of Dobson
Call it a Titanic comeback.
Shaler’s Bri Dobson is one of the WPIAL’s top softball pitchers this season. That’s impressive, considering she did not pitch last year, except for a few innings because of an injury. This season, Dobson is undefeated as a pitcher and has helped the Shaler Titans to a perfect 15-0 record.
But Dobson is much more than a pitcher. She also is one of the top home run hitters in the WPIAL.
Go Ahead and Jump, Sis
In the winter, they were into jump shots. Now the Seto sisters just jump long and high.
Maris Seto is a senior at Brownsville High School and Allie a junior. Maris was the fifth-leading scorer in the WPIAL this past season and Allie also was a key player for the Falcons.
Now in track and field, Maris has the best high jump of any athlete in the WPIAL – Class AAA or AA – at 5 feet, 6 inches. In Class AA, Maris has the second-best triple jump (36-5) and the third-best long jump (17-2).
Meanwhile, Allie is No. 11 in the triple jump (33-4) and tied for sixth in the high jump (5-0).
Basketball Coaching Carousel
It has been an interesting two weeks on the WPIAL basketball coaching front. Some rather notable names have either resigned – or changed jobs.
**Probably the biggest news came last week when Dave DeGregorio resigned as North Allegheny coach. The move surprised many but DeGregorio said he did it because he wants to see his sons play more. The family lives in the Hampton district.
DeGregorio was North Allegheny’s coach for 12 seasons and made the WPIAL playoffs 11 times, missing the postseason only this year. He was 232-76 at North Allegheny and his all-time record is 403-205, including seven years at Pine-Richand and five at South Allegheny.
DeGregorio said he isn’t through with coaching. He said he will coach again and don’t be surprised if he’s back at it somewhere else as soon as next season.
**Montour hired a new coach Thursday night and the new guy has two WPIAL titles to his credit.
George Yokitis left Vincentian after eight seasons. He won two WPIAL Class A titles, had a 157-51 record and his teams made the WPIAL semifinals five times. He takes over for Will Saunders, whose job was opened after this past season.
**Dave Mislan was hired as South Fayette’s coach earlier this week. Mislan was the coach at Brentwood for the past 11 years, but resigned after this past season. He made the WPIAL playoffs five times at Brentwood, where he was once a star guard in the late 1980s.
Mislan won’t have to go far for his new coaching job. He already lives in the South Fayette district and he has a son in eighth grade that plays basketball in South Fayette.
Mislan takes over for Rich Bonnaure, who resigned after this past season.
**Sto-Rox has hired Ryan Hughes as boys coach. He was an assistant for the Vikings years ago under Bill Minear.
**Pine-Richland has opened Tom Reighard’s job as girls coach.
Reighard was coach for only one season and was very successful, going 19-7 and leading the Rams to the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 1998. Still, Pine-Richland administration told Reighard his position will be opened, but he can re-apply.
Reighard got the job when Cliff Foster was fired after being accused of having sexual relations with a player. Foster later pleaded guilty to charges and is now in prison. Opening Reighard’s job might seem unusual, considering his success. But Reighard was an assistant under Foster and the prevailing thought with some in the public is Pine-Richland might have wanted to clean house of anybody on Foster’s old staff.
Tags: Brentwood Boys Basketball, Brownsville Girls Track and Field, Hempfield Boys Baseball, Montour Boys Basketball, Pine-Richland Girls Basketball, Pittsburgh Central Catholic Boys Baseball, Shaler Girls Softball, South Fayette Boys Basketball, Sto-Rox Boys Basketball, Vincentian Academy Boys Basketball