Scholastic Notebook – 10/28/2011

Friday, October 28, 2011 | 1:13 PM

If you had to pick the most famous Beaver Falls football player ever, it would undoubtedly be Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. But Beaver Falls is becoming the place known for running backs.

Running backs who run for 4,000 yards.

Beaver Falls senior Trey Hall needs only 39 yards rushing to reach 4,000 for his career. Beaver Falls plays Beaver tonight, and Beaver Falls already has clinched a WPIAL playoff berth. So, barring injury, Hall will most certainly reach 4,000.

Hall would be the third running back in Beaver Falls history to reach 4,000 yards. No other WPIAL team can boast of three 4,000 yard rushers.

Beaver Falls’ other two members of the 4,000-yard club are Cody Cook, a 2010 graduate who had 4,277 yards, and Daine Williams, a 1998 graduate who had 4,210 yards.

In the history of WPIAL football, there are 52 running backs with 4,000 career yards. Besides Beaver Falls, there are seven other schools with two runners on the 4,000-yard list. The others are Fort Cherry, Aliquippa, Greensburg Central Catholic, Belle Vernon, Mars, California and Pittsburgh Central Catholic.

Hagy Moving Up

Mount Lebanon’s Luke Hagy continues to move up the list of the top rushers in WPIAL Class AAAA history. Hagy now has 4,405 yards and last week surpassed Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s Eugene Jarvis and North Hills’ LaVar Arrington to move into fifth among Class AAAA rushers.

The top four Class AAAA rushers of all time are Penn-Trafford’s Matt Gavrish (6,512), Connellsville’s Marcus Furman (5,041), North Allegheny’s Alex Papson (4,533) and Gateway’s Justin King (4,519).

Another Crown for Shell?

Hagy and Hopewell’s Rushel Shell are battling for the WPIAL rushing crown. Shell is first with 1,548 yards and Hagy second with 1,517. If Shell wins, it will be his second WPIAL rushing crown. He also led the league as a sophomore and was second to Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams last year.

It might seem like a pretty special feat to win the WPIAL rushing crown twice in a career – and it is. But it wasn’t all that long ago that it happened. Mars’ Billy Bair won the WPIAL rushing title twice – in 2006 and 2007.

Making Heads or Tails

There is an outside chance three schools could be throwing money at the WPIAL to get into the playoffs. Well, at least a coin.

The situation in the Class AAAA Great Southern Conference is this: If Baldwin would, by chance, beat Bethel Park by 10 or more points tonight, and if Peters Township would beat Canon-McMillan by 10 or more, then Baldwin, Bethel Park and Canon-McMillan would tie for third in the conference. Four teams go to the playoffs.

Under the aforementioned scenario, Baldwin, Bethel Park and Canon-McMillan would tie in head-to-head competition, tie in Gardner Points and also tie in WPIAL tiebreaker points. That means the two playoff spots would have to be decided by a coin flip, er, coin flips.

WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley said the coin flips would be Monday morning at the WPIAL office in Green Tree and would be broadcast here on MSA Sports. Each school would have to be represented. Here is how it would work: All three teams would flip a coin. The team that has the odd coin would be in third place. In other words, if two heads and one tail came up, the tail would be third place.

Head-to-head would then decide the remaining playoff spot. In other words, the winner of the game between the two remaining teams earlier this season will be fourth.

The First to 800

It’s 800 and counting for the Mount Carmel football team. Mount Carmel, located in Northumberland County in Eastern Pa., became the first Pennsylvania team to reach 800 wins when it beat Shikellamy last Friday. Mount Carmel’s record is now 800-289-57.

Mount Carmel has been playing football since 1893 and is only the fifth team in the country to reach 800 wins.

New Castle is the winningest program in the WPIAL with 697 wins.

Sophomore Sensations

There was certainly a youth movement in goal scoring this year in WPIAL girls soccer.

In the final statistics, four sophomores finished among the top six scorers in the entire WPIAL. Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Frannie Crouse was first with 43 goals and Peters Township’s Vernoica Latsko second with 36. Sophomores Malean Fabean of Greensburg Central Catholic and Jordan Toohey of Mount Pleasant tied for sixth with 32 goals.

Sand In Their Faces

The state of Arizona is the first in the country to adopt girls beach volleyball as an official high school sport. Play will start this spring.

A team will consist of 12 girls and a match will consist of five games between doubles teams. Two players will be alternates.

You think this would ever fly in Pennsylvania?

Where Are They Now?

We mentioned former North Allegheny running back Alex Papson earlier. He has started all eight games at running back for Gannon, an NCAA Division II college. It has been a little rough sledding for Papson, though, as he has only 369 yards on 130 carries (2.8 average).

Another North Allegheny graduate is tearing up Division II football. Adam Neugebauer, a quarterback at West Virginia Wesleyan, is No. 1 in the country in NCAA Division II passing yardage with 2,895 in eight games (he has completed 264 of 392 for a 67 percent). Neugebauer also is by far the leader in touchdown passes with 33. That comes out to four touchdown passes a game.

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