George Guido: Putting Burrell’s dominance in perspective

By: HSSN Staff
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 | 7:57 PM


It’s 13 and counting for the Burrell wrestling team.

The Bucs extended their incredible run Saturday with a 54-21 victory over Freedom at Chartiers-Houston High School, giving the program 13 consecutive WPIAL titles. Burrell actually had the title wrapped up early, sporting a 45-9 lead with four bouts left.

The Bucs will begin their quest for a PIAA title at 4 p.m. on Thursday at Hershey’s Giant Center against Newport.

Newport comes from a largely rural area of Perry County. The Buffaloes defeated Danville, 54-24, in the PIAA preliminary round Monday.

To put the Burrell domination in perspective, a senior at Burrell knows nothing but WPIAL titles starting with the kindergarten year of 2006-07.

To put things in further perspective, when Burrell started its run, you still could buy a Pontiac, a Saturn, a Mercury and, yes, a Hummer.

You still could buy electronics at Circuit City.

The No. 1 hit song that week was “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce, and if you went to the movies, chances are you saw “Night at the Museum,” with Ben Stiller and Carla Gugino.

The Pittsburgh Pirates starting outfield to begin the ’07 season was Chris Duffy, Jason Bay and Xavier Nady.

Burrell also has won 22 team section wrestling titles in the last 25 seasons.

This year’s WPIAL wrestling title also means that Burrell has now tied Fox Chapel with 24 overall WPIAL team titles. Burrell has 22 titles in male sports and two in female sports.

Fox Chapel has 15 titles in male sports and nine in female sports.

Kiski Area wrestling

Also Saturday, Kiski Area won its third straight WPIAL Class AAA wrestling title with 49-17 victory over Seneca Valley.

It gives the Cavaliers five WPIAL team titles.

Kiski Area will face Owen J. Roberts at 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Giant Center .

Owen J. Roberts is located near Pottstown in Chester County. The school is named after the former U.S. Supreme Court justice who served from 1930 to 1945.

Justice Roberts also served on the commission that investigated the attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

The most famous graduate of Owen J. Roberts is Daryl Hall, who teamed up with John Oates for a number of pop hits starting in the 1970s.

Owen J. Roberts defeated Cumberland Valley, 40-28, Monday night.

8-man football

The PIAA Board of Directors recently passed a measure that would survey high schools statewide to gauge the interest in eight-man football teams.

The survey will cover the sub-varsity level only.

This could be important because it might mean the difference in schools being able to field a junior varsity or junior high team.

Many schools have cancelled such teams because of lack of participation.

The end result is athletes coming to the varsity level inexperienced or lacking what can be called football savvy.

Also, the PIAA approved on a first-reading basis an adjustment on how much an athlete can receive in gifts, awards and reimbursement without ruining their amateur status.

If the measure passes, a scholastic athlete can receive up to $750 in goodies.

For many years, the figure was $250, it was elevated to $500 several years ago and now, $750 is the target figure.

What might be more interesting is the part of the new measure that allows reimbursement for participation on teams operated by a national governing body teams or NCAA developmental camps.

A controversy recently took place in Alabama where one of the top high school players in the state, Maori Davenport, was declared ineligible because she received reimbursement from USA Basketball for a summer event in Mexico City.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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