Pitt recruit Hayes, Westinghouse set sights on City League title
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 | 9:41 PM
Allderdice knocked Westinghouse out of the City Leagues playoffs the past two seasons, and the Bulldogs aren’t too happy about it.
Last year, however, the Bulldogs made it to the City League championship game for the first time since 2001. While that experience revitalized the confidence level of the program and its players, coach Donta Green said there is a bad taste in their mouth from the 18-8 title game loss to Allderdice.
As a result, this year is all business for the Bulldogs.
“Getting to that game, it boosted the confidence. But the loss—there’s a lot of guys back on the team that experienced that game last year, and they don’t want to have that feeling again,” Green said. “They’re using it as motivation to push themselves and give it their all. They’re focusing on the small details. They’re taking their preparation seriously.
“There’s a definite shift in terms of culture. We very rarely have a guy miss practice. We have a lot of older guys that are coming back and are showing strong signs of leadership. There’s a lot to be excited about.”
And that includes Dayon Hayes.
The 6-foot-3 240-pound defensive end and Pitt commit wreaked havoc last season, spearheading a Bulldogs defense that allowed just 13.4 points per game against City League opponents during the regular season. The senior is talented, but Green said that’s not the only aspect of his game that sets him apart.
“Work ethic. This kid — when we run sprints, he runs with the skill guys. And he beats them. He’s in impeccable shape, and he’s worked hard all offseason,” Green said. “His maturity level is what separates him, too. This team is different when he’s present. His work ethic and who he is, his character, is what makes him different. He has the mental makeup. He’s a really, really special kid.”
Green said he expects opponents will game plan for Hayes. That means plenty of opportunity for the team’s other starting defensive end, Javon Coleman, who had an outstanding preseason, according to Green. Nose tackle Chance Battle (6-6, 367) will have an opportunity to shine next to Hayes. To add to that, the Bulldogs have a strong core of returners in the secondary, including Darius Bruce and senior free safety Khalil Jeter.
“We’re going to be good up front on the defensive line, and we’re going to be good in the secondary, too,” Jeter said. “I feel like we have a really strong defensive unit. It’s going to be another one of those tough, defensive seasons for us.”
On offense, Westinghouse boasts a talented pair of running backs in senior Mike Massey and sophomore Malik Harris.
Establishing a strong rushing attack will be pivotal to the Westinghouse formula for success. However, Green said the Bulldogs might not be as shy with their attempts to integrate more passing into their offense, mostly because of their confidence in returning quarterback Cameron Jones.
“Cameron Jones, he was our quarterback last year and he did a great job. Now, he’s coming back for his junior season and we might be able to have a little more balance,” Green said. “He’s one of the top players in the City League, if not in all of Western Pennsylvania. He’s a really special player and I think this year, he’ll be showcasing that and making a name for himself.”
Westinghouse will begin its season at 2 p.m. Saturday against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the Western Pa. vs. Everyone Showcase at Woodland Hills.
Coach: Donta Green
2018 record: 5-7, 3-2
All-time record: 570-327-40
Date, Opponent, Time
8.24, OLSH+, 2
8.30, Linsly School (W.Va.), 7
9.5, at University Prep*, 7
9.12, Allderdice*, 7
9.19, at Carrick, 7
9.26, at Brashear*, 7
10.4, Hickory, 7
10.11, Perry*, 7
*City League game