Scholastic Notebook – 10/04/2013

Friday, October 4, 2013 | 4:10 PM

In a year when the Pirates ended a long playoff drought, a long WPIAL football playoff drought could end for one school.

Avella in the WPIAL playoffs. It’s likely to happen.

Avella takes a 4-0 record (5-0 overall) into Friday night’s game against Frazier. No matter what happens Friday night and in the final three games, Avella stands an excellent chance to make the playoffs. The last time the Eagles were in the playoffs was 1976.

Avella’s playoff drought is the current longest in the WPIAL. The next-longest playoff drought belongs to Southmoreland, which hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1979.

This is the second year in a row Avella takes a 4-0 conference record into Week 6. Last year, the Eagles lost three of their final four games and didn’t make the playoffs, finishing one game behind Jefferson-Morgan and Frazier. But Avella isn’t likely to miss the playoffs this year. Here’s why:

Avella has four games left, including this week, against Frazier, Carmichaels, Beth-Center and Bentworth. Even if the Eagles would lose all four and end up 4-4 in conference, they still would likely beat out Jeff-Morgan for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Jeff-Morgan is 2-3 in conference and still must play Beth-Center, Mapletown and Geibel. Beating Geibel and Mapletown is likely, but it’s hard to see Jeff-Morgan beating Beth-Center, which is 5-0. If Jeff-Morgan and Avella tie at 4-4, Avella would go to the playoffs because Avella beat Jeff-Morgan.

Wheeler Keeps Pace

West Mifflin defeated Elizabeth Forward, 40-16, on Thursday night and West Mifflin running back Jimmy Wheeler kept on pace for the WPIAL regular-season rushing record.

Wheeler carried 30 times for 257 yards and now has 1,569 yards in six games. He needs only 580 yards in the final three games to reach the record of 2,149, set by Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams a few years ago. That might seem like a lot in three games, but consider that Wheeler is averaging 261.5 yards a game rushing.

Where Did He Come From?

California’s Lester McGriff had carried the ball nine times before last Friday’s game against Serra. In that game, he carried nine more times – and rushed for 269 yards.

For the Record

Sto-Rox’s Lenny Williams has a chance to become the WPIAL’s all-time passing yardage leader tonight.

Williams, a senior, has thrown for 6,906 yards. The WPIAL record is 7,162 by South Fayette’s Christian Brumbaugh. Also, Williams needs only three TD passes to reach Brumbaugh’s career record of 88.

Going Pink

You might see a lot of pink at WPIAL football games and other sporting events this month.

October is the month for “pink outs” at football games. This is the fifth year of the “pink outs” to raise awareness and money for young women with breast cancer. The events are sponsored by the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, a Pittsburgh-area non-profit group.

The “pink outs” were started in 2009 when Ellese Meyer, a cheeerleader at Mt. Lebanon, lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of 46. Ellese approached Mount Lebanon officials about putting together an event at a Mount Lebanon football game. Mount Lebanon athletic director John Grogan then contacted all WPIAL schools to see if they wanted to participate in a “pink out.”

The event was so successful that other schools and teams have participated over the years.

The official date for this year’s “pink out” football games is Oct. 25. But teams that aren’t playing a home game that night can opt for other dates.

Another Title for South Park

It’s sweet 16 for the South Park girls soccer team and the Eagles might turn it to 17 next week.

The South Park girls have won an impressive 16 section titles in a row and 202 section games during that time. The Eagles could get 17 in a row if they beat Belle Vernon next week.

South Park leads WPIAL Class AA Section 4 with an 8-0-1 record. Belle Vernon is close behind at 8-1. South Park plays Belle Vernon Oct. 12.

Shot in the Arm for City

Since the City League joined the WPIAL in some sports in 2012, the City teams have mostly struggled. But one young man from a City League school is having quite the impact against WPIAL competition.

Sasha Lobel, a junior at Allderdice, finished in seventh place at the WPIAL Class AAA boys golf championships Wednesday at Diamond Run Golf Course in Ohio Township. Lobel shot 72 and qualified for the PIAA regional Oct. 15.

The only other non-senior to finish ahead of Lobel was Central Catholic’s Nick Cuny, who was sixth with 71.

Threesome of Names

Nick Cuny is one of three boys to Jeff and Dianna Cuny. Do you think the parents like golf?

Nick’s full name is Nicklaus Cuny. The names of his two brothers are Hogan and Palmer.

On the Run

One of the bigger cross-country invitationals will be held tomorrow. The Pittsburgh Central Catholic Invitational for boys and girls is at Schenley Park. The first varsity race is at 9:30 and the races include a number of the top runners in the WPIAL.

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