Scholastic Notebook – 10/24/2014
Friday, October 24, 2014 | 2:07 PM
Has there ever been a WPIAL football regular season that was so perfect as this one? Probably not.
Fourteen teams go into the final night of the regular season with undefeated records. Two of them play (West Allegheny at Central Valley). That means there could be 13 teams that finish the regular season with perfect records. That would be the most in the WPIAL in a long time. Possibly ever.
Checking records going back 37 years, there has never been a WPIAL season with 13 undefeated and untied teams (there used to no overtime in WPIAL football).
It seems this perfection thing has become much more popular in the past decade. Last year, there were 11 undefeated teams in the regular season, 12 in 2013, 10 in 2010, nine in 2007. One of the reasons for more perfect teams might be the nine-game regular-season schedule. But in 2003, there were only four undefeated teams in the regular season and six in 2005, 2002 and 2001. Teams had nine-game regular seasons in those years.
Go back decades ago and perfect regular seasons were more rare. In 1985, there were only two undefeated teams. There were only three or less in five different years from 1979 to 1988.
Besides West Allegheny and Central Valley, the other teams heading into the final game Friday night with undefeated records are Penn-Trafford, Pine-Richland, Thomas Jefferson, Hampton, Highlands, South Fayette, Washington, Aliquippa, Neshannock, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, Clairton and Beth-Center.
Aliquippa and Jeannette will be in the playoffs for the 38th time, which ties for the most in WPIAL history. Mt. Lebanon will be in for the 34th time while Penn Hills and Upper St. Clair are in for the 33rd time. Monessen is next with 31 playoff appearances, but the Greyhounds did not make it this year. Clairton is in for the 31st time.
Do you think there has ever been a time in WPIAL football history where two brothers are among the top 25 receivers? Well, it’s happening this year.
Indiana’s Riley Stapleton leads the WPIAL in receptions with 54. His brother Dylan, is in the top 25 with 29 catches.
Passing vs. Rushing
The top two passers in the WPIAL play for undefeated teams – Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci and South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh. But putting up big passing numbers often doesn’t equate success.
It’s highly likely that three of the top five passers in the WPIAL won’t make the playoffs. Freeport’s Andrew Romanchak and Keystone Oaks’ Kobe Phillippi play for teams already out of playoff contention. Baldwin’s Dog Altavilla also is in the top five, but the Highlanders need to beat Bethel Park to get in.
Conversely, seven of the top eight leading rushers in the WPIAL have already clinched playoff berths. The only one who hasn’t is Waynesburg’s Hunter Cenname and Waynesburg has a pretty good chance at getting into the postseason.
Bailey Times Two
Look at the list of leading scorers for WPIAL boys soccer for the regular season and Bailey is at the top.
Look at the list of leading scorers for WPIAL girls soccer for the regular season and Bailey is at the top.
It sounds repetitive. But two Baileys indeed have a penchant for finding the back of the net. Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Bailey Cartwright led WPIAL girls in scoring with 43 goals. Meanwhile, Geibel senior Bailey McIntyre tied South Park’s Justin Minda for the WPIAL boys scoring lead with 31 goals. Minda led the WPIAL in goals last year.
Schwartz and the State
Brianna Schwartz, Shaler’s terrific distance runner, won her third consecutive WPIAL Class AAA cross-country title Thursday, setting a course record for the third consecutive year.
But now the question with Schwartz is can she win the next title that has eluded her so far?
The PIAA championships are next weekend. The PIAA meet has not been good for Schwartz. She finished fifth last year, more than a minute behind the first-place finisher. She was third as a sophomore, 23 seconds behind the first-place girl.
It will be interesting to see if Schwartz can finally win the title. Two seniors and two sophomores finished ahead of Schwartz last year. The two seniors obviously have graduated. The two sophomores were Mady of Clahane of Cumberland Valley and Kelsey Potts of Mt. Lebanon. Potts finished third at the WPIAL championships this year, more than a minute behind Schwartz.
The PIAA girls team tennis championships are this weekend in Hershey and if recent history is any indication, North Allegheny, Shady Side Academy or Mt. Lebanon will come home with the Class AAA title. Those three teams will represent the WPIAL in the Quarterfinals Friday.
The WPIAL has dominated Class AAA over the past decade. A WPIAL team has won the PIAA title eight years in a row and eight of the past 11. North Allegheny is the defending PIAA champ.
It is a much different story in Class AA. Since the PIAA started two classifications in 2000, the WPIAL has only one champion. Sewickley Academy captured the title in 2011.
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• Shaler cross country duo to run at Robert Morris
• Alle-Kiski Valley boys and girls cross country honor rolls announced
• Kiski Area runner Miller caps season with All-American honors at Nike meet