Football

Belle Vernon’s Quinton Martin returns a kick against Thomas Jefferson on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Westmoreland high school notebook: Shakeup for football schedules
February 27, 2022
Schedules for the 2022 WPIAL football season came out last week, giving some teams in new classifications, and their fans, a glimpse of what lies ahead.

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Willie Thrower, seen scoring a touchdown in the 1947 WPIAL title game at Forbes Field, died Feb. 20, 2002. The award bearing his name will be issued to the region’s top quarterback April 9.
George Guido: Willie Thrower luncheon set for April 9
February 19, 2022
On the 20th anniversary of Willie Thrower’s death, it’s a good time to look at the upcoming luncheon to decide the region’s top quarterback.

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North Hills senior Robert Dickerson will compete at Robert Morris in 2022. His cousin, Robb Butler, is one of the all-time great Colonials.
Family, opportunity led North Hills speedster Dickerson to Robert Morris
After an explosive high school football career and a winding, challenging recruiting process, Robert Dickerson has found a home for the next four years. And he will have to drive only a few miles down the road to get there.

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Franklin Regional’s Caden Smith reach out to stiff-arm Kiski Area’s Lebryn Smith on Sept. 3, 2021.
Franklin Regional standout Caden Smith seeking college football fit
February 12, 2022
Franklin Regional standout senior Caden Smith, a terrific three-sport athlete, wants to play football in college.

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Ron Frederick was the recommended candidate to be the new head coach at his alma mater, Southmoreland. He died on Feb. 3, 2022.
Southmoreland plans symbolic hiring of late football coach Ron Frederick
February 9, 2022
Ron Frederick couldn’t wait to begin his dream job as the head football coach at Southmoreland.

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New Castle head coach Joe Cowart works with his team during practice on Aug. 4, 2021, in New Castle.
New Castle’s Joe Cowart resigns after 10 seasons, sent 2 former players to NFL
Not many WPIAL football coaches have had two former players active in the NFL at the same time, but New Castle’s Joe Cowart did during his coaching tenure, which came to a close this winter.

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Derry enters the field during a 2019 game against Freeport. Renovations at Trojan Stadium will begin this summer.
Westmoreland notebook: Work to upgrade Derry’s Trojan Stadium begins this summer
February 8, 2022
The entrance to Derry’s Trojan Stadium is going to look quite different in the near future.

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Penn Hills’ Jaden Dugger intercepts a pass intended for Upper St. Clair’s Aidan Besselman on Sept. 24, 2021.
Penn Hills’ Jaden Dugger finds Division I fit at Georgetown
February 6, 2022
Developing into a leader as a senior wide receiver at Penn Hills didn’t mean Jaden Dugger had to be a rah-rah guy.

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Pine-Richland’s Alex Gochis catches a touchdown pass last year against Harrisburg.
Pine-Richland notebook: 3 more football players make college choices
A trio of Pine-Richland football players made their college commitments official on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.

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Gateway seniors Carsen Engleka and Micah McBeam
Gateway’s Engleka to join Division III powerhouse
The University of Mt. Union has been the standard for football success in NCAA Division III for the past three decades.

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Greensburg Central Catholic’s Bryce Kurpiel (right) practices drills with teammate Aaron Stasko on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018 during team practice at Greensburg Central Catholic High School.
Westmoreland notebook: GCC’s Stasko to be long snapper at Duquesne
February 5, 2022
Senior Aaron Stasko was a jack-of all-trades type for Greensburg Central Catholic football.

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Plum seniors David Westrick, at left, and Logan Brooks will continue their football careers at Division III Muskingum and Division II Edinboro, respectively. With them is Plum coach Matt Morgan.
Plum football standouts look forward to playing at next level
After four years of contributions to the Plum football team on offense, defense and special teams, Logan Brooks is taking his talents north to Erie.

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Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock returns a punt for a touchdown against Laurel Highlands on Oct. 1, 2021.
Belle Vernon playmaker Devin Whitlock to walk on at Pitt
February 3, 2022
One of the WPIAL’s most exciting athletes has announced where he’ll continue playing football.

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Aliquippa’s Neco Eberhardt celebrates his first quarter sack during the PIAA Class 4A state championship game against Bishop McDevitt on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at Hersheypark Stadium.
WPIAL delays release of football schedules over ‘unique situation’ with Aliquippa
The WPIAL decided not to release new football schedules this week because of a “unique situation” facing one of its schools.

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South Side head coach Luke Travelpiece works with his team during practice on Aug. 10, 2020.
WPIAL disciplines South Side, Steel Valley football after hearing on racial allegations
February 2, 2022
The South Side and Steel Valley football teams must complete educational training organized by the WPIAL to “further develop cultural competency” after their playoff game in November ended with accusations of unsportsmanlike conduct and racial slurs.

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Pennsylvania’s Tyler Boyd of Clairton celebrates after returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Maryland during the Big 33 Football Classic Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Hersheypark Stadium.
Clairton’s Tyler Boyd extends Super Bowl streak for Big 33 Football Classic
January 31, 2022
Thanks to former Clairton star Tyler Boyd, the Big 33 Football Classic’s Super Bowl streak lives on.

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Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli hoists the state championship trophy with his Warriors teammates after defeating Imhotep Charter, 17-14 in overtime, in the PIAA Class 5A final on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, at Hersheypark Stadium.
Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford football team honored in Harrisburg
January 30, 2022
Penn-Trafford traveled to Hershey to win a state football championship. The Warriors went to Harrisburg to be recognized for it.

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Shady Side Academy’s Nate Ewell goes through drills during preseason practice last year.
Realignment no surprise for Fox Chapel, Shady Side Academy teams
January 29, 2022
The WPIAL section realignments for the next two football and soccer seasons have been issued, and a couple of local coaches all but predicted where their teams would land.

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A plaque honoring Ben Roethlisberger hangs in the gymnasium of Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio, in this 2006 file photo.
Remembering Ben Roethlisberger’s remarkable senior season at Findlay High
January 28, 2022
Ben Roethlisberger walked off into the sunset Thursday, announcing his retirement from pro football after 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Penn-Trafford’s Garrett Moorhead
Westmoreland Senior Spotlight: Penn-Trafford’s Garrett Moorhead
January 24, 2022
Garrett Moorhead

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