Scholastic Notebook – 10/21/2011

Friday, October 21, 2011 | 5:32 PM

At the start of the season, Montour seemed to be the No. 1 WPIAL Class AAA team in just about every media poll.

But with two weeks left in the regular season, will the real Montour please stand up?

Even coach Lou Cerro doesn’t know what to expect from his team. Are the Spartans the team that destroyed Blackhawk last week? Or are they the team that struggled to score against Central Valley and blew a lead in the Hopewell game earlier this year?

Montour is 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Parkway Conference. The Spartans have a big game tonight at West Allegheny. Montour has so many returning starters, so much talent and experience. But if Montour would lose, there is a chance the Spartans could miss out on the WPIAL playoffs.

Cerro has dual titles these days – coach/psychiatrist.

“I’m still trying to figure them out,” Cerro said of his team. “Some weeks, we look like the best team in the state. Some weeks, we’re not very good. Even the game we won, we haven’t really played as well as I thought we would play. It’s not like the competition has been easy, but that’s no excuse.”

But Montour still can establish itself as a top team in Class AAA and even get one of the top two seeds in the Parkway Conference.

“When you’re up two scores against Hopewell and don’t win the game, it’s inexcusable,” Cerro said. “But it’s just not the players who have to get the job done. It’s everyone in the program, including the coaches. Hopefully, we get things righted and rolling because we’re running out of time.”

Four for four

During the game against Blackhawk, Cerro saw something he had never witnessed as a coach. The Spartans scored touchdowns on four consecutive plays.

Hagy to Cornell

Mount Lebanon’s Luke Hagy has made a verbal commitment to Cornell of the Ivy League.

Hagy made the commitment to Cornell last weekend. Cornell had been recruiting him for a while, along with a few other Ivy League schools and Patriot League schools. What is interesting is that Hagy also had a scholarship offer from Pitt to play defensive back. But he could play running back at a smaller level like the Ivy or Patriot.

More Recruiting

*  Woodland Hills receiver Shakim Alonzo has committed to Cincinnati.

Alonzo is 6-5, 200 pounds and also had scholarship offers from Pitt, Wisconsin, West Virginia and a few others.

*  Penn Hills football player Chaz Whittaker made a verbal commitment to West Virginia University.

Whittaker is a tall, slender 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior who has played quarterback, receiver and defensive back in his career at Penn Hills. He was the team’s starting QB two years ago, moved to receiver last year and has played receiver and a little QB this year. But West Virginia recruited him as a defensive back.

Whittaker is the first WPIAL player for West Virginia in the class of 2012. But Penn Hills has another player who is headed to Pitt. Receiver Corey Jones committed to the Panthers earlier this fall.

*  North Hills’ Margo Malone, considered the premiere distance runner in Western Pennsylvania, has decided she will run track and cross country at Syracuse.

Malone Sisters Hit Trifecta

At the Tri-State Coaches Invitational cross-country meet Thursday, the Malone sisters had a veritable party at the finish line. The three sisters finished 1-2-3 at the meet near Slippery Rock University.

Shannon and Margo crossed the finish line together and both were clocked at 19:41. But Shannon was declared the winner and Margo second. Not long after that, Mary Malone finished third in 19:58.

The race is the precursor to the WPIAL championship meet next Thursday.

Red Locke Dies

Sad news on the WPIAL baseball front. Former Bishop Canevin coach Red Locke died of an apparent heart attack earlier this week.

Locke coached Canevin for 19 seasons from 1989 through 2007. He was highly successful, winning two WPIAL championships, section titles and making the WPIAL playoffs all 19 seasons. Locke was let go as coach after the 2007 season.

Top Wrestler Ineligible

Cody Wiercioch, a PIAA championship wrestler as a freshman at Charleroi two years ago, was ruled ineligible to wrestle this season at Canon-McMillan.

The WPIAL Board of Control made the ruling after a hearing Monday with Wiercioch and officials from Charleroi and Canon-McMillan. Wiercioch transferred from Charleroi to Canon-McMillan for the start of this school year. Canon-McMillan is a perennial power in Class AAA wrestling and the WPIAL contended that Wiercioch transferred, at least partly, for athletic reasons, which is against PIAA and WPIAL rules.

Wiercioch, who was second in the state last year as a sophomore, will likely appeal the decision to the PIAA. The PIAA could uphold the WPIAL’s decision or overturn it.

In another WPIAL matter, Lincoln Park basketball coach Mark Javens and school officials had to go before the WPIAL on Monday to answer questions about illegal recruiting at the Beaver County charter school. A former Lincoln Park player, Alex Kross, and his parents filed a formal complaint with the WPIAL, accusing Javens of recruiting players.

The WPIAL listened to Kross and the case but did not make a ruling or hand out penalties. Instead, the league asked Lincoln Park to file a report on how it plans to deal with the accusations. The case will come up again at a future WPIAL meeting.

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