Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: Football playoff teams ready for road

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Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 7:42 PM


Seth Napierkowski experienced playoff life the past two seasons as an offensive assistant at Springdale, but he'll get a whole new taste of the postseason.

The Dynamos' first-year coach will be in the ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Green Tree on Monday evening when the WPIAL releases the brackets for the upcoming postseason.

Three Alle-Kiski Valley football teams qualified for the playoffs: Fox Chapel, the fourth-place team from the Class 5A Allegheny Nine Conference; Freeport, the second-place team from the Class 3A Allegheny Conference; and Springdale, the fourth-place team from the Class A Eastern Conference.

“It's going to be great,” Napierkowski said. “Even though the wins and losses go against my name, I can't do any of this without the effort of the kids and the rest of the coaches. They do a great job.”

Springdale is making its 15th playoff appearance in the last 16 seasons. Freeport returns after one season away; the Yellowjackets made the WPIAL semifinals in their last appearance in 2015. Fox Chapel last made the playoffs in 2014.

Playoff teams won't find out their first-round matchups until sometime after 7 p.m. Monday, but Week Nine results locked a few things up.

For the second consecutive season, all of the Alle-Kiski Valley's playoff teams will play a first-round road game. Tiebreakers gave Quaker Valley the final home game in Class 3A, and neither Fox Chapel nor Springdale finished high enough in their conferences to be in the running for a home game.

“We're hoping for a five or six (seed),” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “I think we're deserving of that, the way we played defensively. I think that's where we are.”

The playoff qualifiers will look to become the Alle-Kiski Valley's first championship team since Springdale won the Class A title in 2003.

Name game

Springdale's boys soccer team features a deep roster for a Class A school, with almost 30 players available.

That roster is also the worst nightmare for play-by-play announcers, spell-check and autocorrect alike.

Mike Zolnierczyk starts at goalkeeper for Springdale, but the Dynamos' reserves include freshmen Duncan Caltagarone and Dylan Szczepanski and sophomore Sammy Rzeszortarski.

If nothing else, Springdale can play a mean game of Scrabble.

Coaches clinic

The 32nd annual Pennsylvania Baseball & Softball Coaches Clinic will take place Jan. 11-13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Green Tree.

The clinic is open to coaches from all levels, from T-ball to college. It features 74 presentations from the likes of former Major League Baseball player and manager Bob Boone and Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso.

Visit pacoachesclinic.com or email Zach Jankowski at pacoachesclinic.zach@gmail.com for registration information.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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