Alle-Kiski Valley high school football notebook: Jeannette honors Chuck Wagner
Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 8:24 PM
Springdale planned to honor Chuck Wagner before its game against Jeannette on Friday at Veterans Memorial Field, but the Dynamos received a surprise when the visiting Jayhawks brought along their own tribute.
Jeannette athletic director Anthony DeNunzio and coach Roy Hall provided helmet decals for both teams with the initials “CW” in memory of Wagner, the legendary former coach at Oakmont, Riverview, Fox Chapel and Springdale who died in late September.
“Anthony and I thought that it would be a good gesture to do that,” Hall said after Jeannette's 42-14 victory. “When I played in 81-82, Coach Wagner was (Springdale's) coach. He was a very good guy. It was something we wanted to do to give back. We wanted to show them that Jeannette isn't just a good football team and that we're good people, too.”
Jeannette competed in Class AA, with Springdale in Class A, during the latter part of Wagner's tenure with the Dynamos. Both schools played at Heinz Field for their respective WPIAL championships in 2003 and 2007.
“It shows what kind of class organization that Coach Hall and Jeannette run,” Springdale coach Seth Napierkowski said. “It's one of those things you don't think about it until it happens, and you look back on it. It's touching that they thought of Coach Wagner, not only what he meant to our program and the entire WPIAL as well. To see that was very touching. The kids were surprised, I think. We're about to go into battle with these guys, and they think enough of what Coach Wagner meant. For them to do that was tremendous.”
Springdale also released balloons before the game in memory of Wagner, who won WPIAL titles at Oakmont and Springdale.
Riverview and Springdale held a moment of silence and released balloons before their game Sept. 29 at Riverside Park.
A pair of Alle-Kiski Valley players stood among the WPIAL statistical leaders heading into Week 6.
Highlands junior quarterback Seth Cohen ranked 14th in passing yards with 988 in five games before the Golden Rams' matchup with Montour. Burrell junior running back Logan Bitar ranked eighth with 835 rushing yards before the Bucs' game against Keystone Oaks.
Jerin Steele contributed. Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.
Tags: Burrell, Highlands, Springdale
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