Football

Highlands’ Chandler Thimons throws during a preseason practice.
Highlands quarterback goes from freaked-out freshman to record-breaking senior
August 18, 2022
A career that literally began by accident will end up rewriting the record book at Highlands.

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South Allegheny’s Eric Wehrer works out on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Liberty.
New coach likes South Allegheny’s chances: ‘The talent level is outstanding’
He earned his chops in “The First State,” but Darwin Manges says he’s back where he belongs.

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Southmoreland’s Ty Keffer during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
New roles at Southmoreland but familiarity remains
Familiarity is a buzz word around Southmoreland camp.

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Mt. Pleasant quarterback Cole Chatfield looks for a receiver during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Mt. Pleasant aims to build on WPIAL playoff experience
Mt. Pleasant’s starting quarterback from 2021 won’t be lining up behind center this season.

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Greensburg Salem’s Cody Rubrecht throws a pass during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Greensburg Salem puts offense in hands of skilled standout Cody Rubrecht
What do you do with the best athlete on your football team?

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Belle Vernon’s Chase Ruokonen takes part in a workout Aug. 8, 2022, at Belle Vernon.
Belle Vernon roars into Class 3A with Quinton Martin, strong supporting cast
Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert doesn’t make too much of his team’s drop to Class 3A, though it would be hard to blame him for being excited.

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Jeannette senior Mitchell Steele III
From soccer goalkeeper to 2-way football player, Jeannette senior does it all in the fall
August 17, 2022
Making up for lost time he can’t get back, Mitchell Steele III plans to give everything he has to his senior football season at Jeannette.

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East Allegheny head coach Dom Pecora talks with quarterback Mike Cahill during practice on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in North Versailles.
East Allegheny hoping to deliver 7th straight playoff berth
Want a pizza? Dom can make it for you. How about a winning football team? Well, you’ve come to the right place. More times than not, East Allegheny has come away a winner since coach Dominic Pecora’s arrival in 2013.

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Deer Lakes offensive cordinator Seth Napierkowski shares a moment with quarterback Derek Burk during a recent practice Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at Deer Lakes High School.
Deer Lakes in position to return to playoffs
Deer Lakes came as close as a team can to making the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs last year.

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Valley junior quarterback Tristin Goodwin throws a pass during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Valley alum Dave Heavner wants to bring pride back to Vikings program
When Dave Heavner was a student-athlete at Valley High School, the “Back to the Future” movies were popular.

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Shady Side Academy quarterback Max Wickland throws a pass during practice on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Fox Chapel.
With co-op in 2nd year, Shady Side Academy ready for bump up to Class 3A
After a one-year hiatus from postseason play, Shady Side Academy qualified for the WPIAL playoffs with the help of some reinforcements.

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Knoch’s Jake Murphy catches a pass thrown by Aiden Jones during a recent practice Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at Knoch High School.
Knoch prepares to tackle all-road schedule
At times, the term “road warriors” is overused in sports.

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Freeport’s Payton Westendorf hits the tackle wheel as coach John Gailot rolls it out during a recent practice Friday, Aug. 14, 2022, at Freeport High School.
Freeport could have plenty to celebrate in program’s 100th season
The Freeport football program celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2022, and this year’s coaches and players hope to make it one for the record books.

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Quarterback Ben DeMotte holds a football up to the camera at the Fox Chapel High School Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022.
Ben DeMotte aims to join decorated group of Fox Chapel quarterbacks
August 16, 2022
Fox Chapel has a list of superb quarterbacks over the school’s six decades.

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Hempfield’s Gino Caesar carries the ball as Greensburg Salem’s Jayden Stevens (13) and Tyrone Williams (46) defend during a game on Friday, Aug. 27, at Hempfield.
Gino Caesar, fellow running backs ready to guide Hempfield to success
Gino Caesar still has the game ball from the night nobody could stop him.

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South Park’s Sean Saunders works out on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in South Park.
South Park looks to regain winning ways after tough season
South Park enters the new season in rebound mode.

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Seton LaSalle’s Ty Tamborino works out in the rain on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at Merrick Field.
After graduations, transfers, coaching change, Seton LaSalle moving in all new direction
Tim Storino appears to be in the right place at the right time.

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Quaker Valley head coach Jason Cappa works with his team on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, at Chuck Knox Stadium.
Quaker Valley begins building project under new coach
Jason Cappa, who comes from a family of coaches and educators, was hired in April as Quaker Valley football coach.

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Beaver’s Omari Smith works out on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Beaver.
After bounce-back season, Beaver looks to add to winning tradition
In Cort Rowse’s first season as head coach last year, Beaver went 7-3, finished second in the Parkway Conference and made the playoffs.

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Avonworth quarterback Nate Harper throws a pass during practice on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Ohio Twp.
Avonworth hopes to climb to top of Western Hills and beyond
When it comes to consistently excellent football programs in the district, Avonworth is right there in the conversation.

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