Scholastic Notebook – 05/04/2012

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Friday, May 4, 2012 | 4:36 PM


Peters Township not in the WPIAL baseball playoffs? It will seem strange, but it could happen.

And if Peters Township doesn’t make the postseason, you can almost be assured it will be a close call.

Peters Township, one of the WPIAL’s top baseball programs, hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2002. But the Indians are in fourth place heading into today’s game against Mt. Lebanon. Peters Township is 6-4 in section and 7-10 overall. The top three teams make the playoffs, and Bethel Park (8-2), Upper St. Clair (8-3) and Mt. Lebanon (7-3) are all ahead of Peters Township.

If Peters Township loses to Mount Lebanon Friday night on MSA, Peters Township is out of the playoffs.

While it will be unusual to not have Peters Township in the postseason, what also is unusual is the amount of close games Peters Township has played this season. Of the Indians’ 17 games, an unbelievable 11 have been decided by one run, and Peters Township has lost seven of those one-run games. The Indians’ past five games have all been decided by one run.

Jeter Picks Vanderbilt

Beaver Falls basketball star Sheldon Jeter, a member of the MSA Sports All-Netters all-star team, made his college decision Thursday night – and he will be playing for a team that beat the University of Kentucky this past season.

Jeter, a 6-foot-7 forward, decided to sign with Vanderbilt University. The Commodores are a member of the Southeastern Conference, and defeated eventual national champion Kentucky in the SEC tournament championship game.

Jeter’s choice of Vanderbilt was a surprise in some ways. The Commodores didn’t start recruiting him until after the season. Jeter said the reason for that was because Vanderbilt had to wait until Jeter raised his grades. But Vanderbilt came on strong and landed Jeter.
Jeter’s other finalists were Penn State, South Carolina and Wisconsin. He made official visits to all of his finalists. His Vanderbilt visit was only a few weeks ago, and he visited Penn State last week. When asked why he chose Vanderbilt, Jeter said, “I just like everything about i. I like their playing styles, I like the coaches, I like the players and I thought I fit good into their system.”

GCC Gets New Girls Hoops Coach

Greensburg Central Catholic is a perennial participant in the WPIAL girls basketball playoffs, and the Centurions will have a new coach leading them next season.

Don Favero has retired and the school announced Friday that Chris Kallock is the new coach. Kallock was Kisk Area’s coach from 2005-11 and made the playoffs four of six seasons. His record was 86-56. Kallock is an eighth-grade teacher in the Kiski Area school district.

New Castle Picks Cowart

New Castle has turned to a former Red Hurricane quarterback to lead its football program.

Last week, New Castle hired Joe Cowart as coach. Cowart is a 1999 New Castle graduate who played quarterback and defensive back on the Red Hurricane 1998 team that won the WPIAL Class AAAA championship at Three Rivers Stadium. In fact, Cowart scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter as New Castle defeated North Allegheny, 14-7.

Cowart was a New Castle assistant for four seasons, including the past two at defensive coordinator. He is a New Castle junior-high math teacher and takes over for Frank Bongivengo, who resigned after seven seasons.

One of the other finalists for the job was Bruce Clark, a former New Castle star in the 1970s who went on to play at Penn State and eight years in the NFL. Clark is living in State College these days.

East-West Game Sunday

After a one-year hiatus, the East-West all-star football game is back – and it’s in the Pittsburgh area.

The game, officially called the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania – PSFCA East-West game, will showcase some of the top senior players in the state. It is put together by the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association, and will be played Sunday at Gateway High School at 2 p.m. on here MSA Sports. This is the 11th year of the game, but it was played from 2001 through 2010 in Altoona.

After a one-year hiatus, it was brought back this season, but it will alternate every year between Gateway and Downingtown West High in Eastern Pennsylvania.

The game is supposed to be for top seniors in Pennsylvania who didn’t make the Big 33 all-star game next month. Some of the top WPIAL players in the game are Central Catholic quarterback Perry Hills, defensive back Chaz Whitaker of Penn Hills, receiver Dontez Ford of Sto-Rox and receiver Darren Massey of Montour.

Cosgrove Retires?

Randy Cosgrove has asked to retire as Ambridge athletic director.

The school district suspended Cosgrove from his job April 4 while officials conducted an internal review of athletic finances. Since then, Cosgrove resigned a seat on the Cornell school board and also resigned as P.A. announce for the Steelers, a job he held for the past 16 seasons.

Cosgrove recently submitted a retirement letter to Ambridge officials.

Where Are They Now?

Former Mount Lebanon baseball standout Jordan Steranka is the leading hitter on the Penn State baseball team with a .365 average. A first baseman, Steranka has 15 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 33 RBIs. Penn State has a 22-22 record.

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