Scholastic Notebook – 10/31/2014

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Friday, October 31, 2014 | 10:33 AM


The Southmoreland football team failed to make the WPIAL football postseason again. The Scotties haven’t been to the playoffs since 1979, the longest current drought in the WPIAL.

But there are some other playoff droughts that are notable as the WPIAL playoffs get under way Friday with 32 games around the area.

Three teams in the postseason have never won a WPIAL playoff game. Never, ever, ever. They are Laurel Highlands, Mapletown and Altoona.

Altoona is a little deceiving. The school re-joined the WPIAL for football only a few years ago. But the school played in the WPIAL a long time ago. Altoona has played in only two previous WPIAL playoff games. The last was in 2012. The first was in 1969 when Altoona lost to Gateway in the WPIAL final.

Laurel Highlands is 0-8 in the WPIAL playoffs and Mapletown 0-6. Those two teams will have a hard time breaking those streaks as Laurel Highlands is the No. 16 seed in Class AAA and playing at No. 1 Central Valley. Mapletown is the No. 12 seed in Class A and playing at No. 5 Avonworth.

In Class AAA, Altoona is the No. 8 seed and playing host to No. 9 Bethel Park.

A few other long droughts for playoff wins: Avella hasn’t won a playoff game since 1961 and Kittanning since 1975.

Perfect Again

This season is another testament to the job Bill Cherpak has done as coach at Thomas Jefferson.

The Jaguars finished the regular season with a perfect record for the 10th time in school history. The 10 perfect regular seasons is the sixth-most in WPIAL history. But eight of those perfect seasons have come during Cherpak’s tenure and all eight in the past 13 seasons.

Brumbaugh Moves Up

South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh is now the third-most prolific passer in the history of Pennsylvania high school football.

Brumbaugh, a senior, has now thrown for 9,450 yards. With a good game tonight in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, Brumbaugh could move into the No. 2 spot. No. 2 is Brockway’s Derek Buganza, who threw for 9,752 yards from 2008-10.

No. 1 on the all-time list is Port Allegany’s Matt Bodamer, who threw for 10,948 from 2009-12.

Getting Their Kicks

Freeport’s Jake Sarver led the WPIAL in field goals this season with nine. Sarver is only a freshman.

Chartiers-Houston’s Mike Cushma was second with eight and Plum’s Jacob Capla third with seven.

Catches vs. Wins

Is it a little interesting that of the nine players who led the WPIAL in regular-season receptions, only two of them qualified for the playoffs? They are Riley Stapleton of Indiana and Mike Merhaut of Pine-Richland.

Year of the Dragon?

While the WPIAL playoffs get under way tonight, the City League championship will be played tomorrow afternoon when Allderdice takes on Brashear at Cupples Stadium on the South Side.

Brashear is trying for its first title since 2008. But Allderdice hasn’t won a championship since 1967. That year, Allderdice beat Westinghouse, 20-13, before 10,000 at South Stadium (now called Cupples Stadium).

Soccer Championships

The WPIAL boys and girls soccer championships will be played Friday and Saturday at Highmark Stadium on the South Side with all six matches here on MSA Sports. The Class AAA boys and girls title games will be played Friday and the remaining four Saturday.

Among the storylines is the “new girls on the block” theme. Every one of the three girls title games has a team that has never played in a championship before. It is Canon-McMillan in Class AAA, Montour in Class AA and Freedom in Class A. Heck, Montour never won a postseason game before this season.

Also among the storylines is the Mars girls team’s effort to put itself into an elite club. Mars is trying to win its fourth title in five years. Only two other teams have won four in five years. Upper St. Clair won four from 1998-2002 and Mt. Lebanon won five consecutive from 1980-84.

For the boys, Upper St. Clair is trying to stop a losing trend. The Panthers have lost in the title game three times in the past five years.

Volleyball Championships

All three WPIAL girls volleyball championships will be Saturday at Baldwin High School with audio and video streams on MSA Sports.

Two of the No. 1 seeds did not make it to the championships.

In Class AAAA, No. 1 Shaler was upset in the quarterfinals. In Class AA, No. 1 seed Freeport was knocked off in the semifinals by Ford City.

In Class A, No. 1 Bishop Canevin made it to the final and will meet Greensburg Central Catholic in the title match for the third consecutive seasons. The two split two previous championship matches.

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More Football

Thomas Jefferson’s McClain Flinn shows flair for dramatic
Pine-Richland routs Cathedral Prep to claim PIAA Class 5A title
Central Valley caps undefeated season with PIAA Class 3A championship
PIAA Class 5A football championship breakdown: Pine-Richland vs. Cathedral Prep
PIAA Class 3A football championship breakdown: Central Valley vs. Wyomissing

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