Scholastic Notebook – 01/17/2014
Friday, January 17, 2014 | 4:56 PM
Jared Walker and his brother, Zach, brought a lot of people to the ground during football season. The Walkers led undefeated South Fayette in tackles.
In the winter, the Walkers are pretty good at taking more people down to the mat.
You’ll have to think long and hard to come up with two brothers in the WPIAL who were so good at football – and so good at wrestling.
Jared Walker, a South Fayette junior, is the No. 1-ranked WPIAL Class AA wrestler in the 170-pound division. He entered the week with a 7-0 record.
Zach Walker, a senior, is No. 1-ranked at 195 pounds. He was 6-1 entering the week. The Walkers are two of the main reasons South Fayette is the MSA Sports’ No. 3-ranked team in Class AA.
During football season, the Walkers both played linebacker. Jared had 159 tackles, 16 for loss, six sacks and two interceptions. He already has won two WPIAL individual wrestling titles.
Zach Walker was second on the football team in tackles with 144, 12 for loss, eight sacks and one interception. He finished second in WPIAL wrestling last year.
Both Walkers were first-team all-conference selections in football.
More Brother Talk
The Wilps brothers of Chartiers Valley aren’t wrestling on the same team, but they also are having impressive seasons.
Noah Wilps, a senior at Chartiers Valley, is the No. 1-ranked WPIAL Class AAA wrestler in the 170-pound division. He finished second at the WPIAL championships a year ago.
Meanwhile, older brother, Tyler, is having an excellent career at Pitt. Tyler is currently ranked No. 8 in the country in NCAA Division I at 174 pounds by Intermat Wrestling.
A Class of Scorers
If you want to find the top scorers in WPIAL boys basketball this season, look in Class A.
Of the 18 leading scorers in the WPIAL, half of them are in Class A and the top six are also in Class A. That’s quite a contrast with what is happening in WPIAL girls basketball. Of the top 18 scorers on the girls side, only two are from Class A.
The nine Class A boys who are among the top scorers are Western Beaver’s Nick Miller, Cornell’s Dane Jackson, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’s Cam Johnson, Vincentian’s Ryan Wolf, Carmichaels’ Brandon Lawless, Mapletown’s Derrick Riggleman, Union’s Ben Young, Avella’s Brandon Miller and Lincoln Park’s Maverick Rowan.
Isn’t it strange how WPIAL Class AA Section 1 in boys basketball has totally flip flopped this season?
A year ago, Burrell and Deer Lakes tied for the section championship. This year, Burrell is tied for fourth in the six-team section with a 4-10 overall record. Deer Lakes is in last place with a 2-12 record.
Meanwhile, Summit Academy finished last in the section a year ago. This year, the Knights are in first place with a 4-0 record. Apollo-Ridge is not far behind with a 4-1 section record. Apollo-Ridge is trying to win its first section championship since 1994 and plays host to Summit Academy Friday night.
Woodland Hills Struggles
It seems you can always count on the Woodland Hills football team to be one of the best in WPIAL Class AAAA. But the school that has produced so many strong football teams continues to struggle mightily in boys basketball.
Woodland Hills is 0-14 this season and has been outscored, 71-41. Only two years ago, Woodland Hills won a section title with a 17-6 record. But Mike Decker, the coach of that team, no longer is around. He moved to Ohio.
Woodland Hills was 4-17 last year. From 2003-09, Woodland Hills was 33-127.
Also, the Woodland Hills girls are struggling this year. The girls are 1-13 and have been outscored by an average of 57-26.
WPIAL Football Realignment
Tuesday will be a big day in WPIAL football. That’s when the league will release its conference realignment for the next two seasons.
It is questionable how much change there will be in Class AAAA. The only team changing classes is Gateway, which moved from Class AAAA to AAA. But will the league make a couple changes in conferences with teams like Plum or McKeesport?
In Class AAA, many are interested to see where Gateway will be placed. The most logical place is in the Greater Allegheny. Although that conference has some teams in the northern suburbs, it also has eastern teams Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Derry and Indiana.
There should be much more shifting of teams in Class AA and A.
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