Football

Knoch’s Jake Murphy was second-team all-conference as a tight end last season.
Knoch senior football player Jake Murphy put into new role
August 19, 2022
As Tim Burchett and the new coaching staff at Knoch install a new offense, plans are to build around Jake Murphy.

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Ligonier Valley’s Haden Sierocky throws during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Ligonier Valley aims to stay healthy, put offensive weapons to good use
Roger Beitel begins his 19th year as head football coach at Ligonier Valley, and he hopes the 2022 season isn’t as bizarre as 2021.

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Imani Christian quarterback Dayshaun Burrnett throws during the Willie Thrower quarterback camp in July at Valley High School.
Imani Christian to pick up pace with coach LaRoi Johnson back
Producing a winning football program at Imani Christian isn’t an impossible dream. Coach LaRoi Johnson knows it because he was there in 2017.

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Derry’s Roman Darazio makes a catch during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Interest level high at Derry following 2 subpar seasons
With a new coach on board, Derry has been repositioned in Class 2A, drastically altering recent schedules. No disrespect to the current opponents, but dropping down just might suit the Trojans better after several fruitless seasons in Class 3A.

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Burrell head coach Shawn Liotta with quarterback Chase Fenner during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Burrell ready to take on new challenges in Class 2A
After several years in Class 3A, Burrell made the move down a classification in the new two-year cycle.

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Apollo-Ridge’s Landon Harmon works out with his team during a recent practice Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at Apollo-Ridge High School Stadium.
Apollo-Ridge looks to stay healthy, bounce back
When coach John Skiba reviewed video of Apollo-Ridge games last season, he rarely saw his prospective starting lineup on the field.

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Yough quarterback Raidon Kuroda throws during the Larry Sellitto Memorial 7-on-7 passing tournament Thursday, July 21, 2022 at Greater Latrobe High School.
Behind alum Ben Hoffer, Yough aims to turn program around
Watching the Yough football program fall into disrepair was a cringe-worthy endeavor for proud alum Ben Hoffer, who used to shed tacklers and score touchdowns with ease when he played on Cougar Mountain.

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Steel Valley’s Cruce Brookins takes part in a training camp workout Aug. 18, 2022, at Steel Valley.
Division I talent could help Steel Valley write happier ending to 2022 season
It’s hard to imagine a more satisfying regular season than the one Steel Valley had last year.

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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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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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