Scholastic Notebook – 10/05/2012

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Friday, October 5, 2012 | 1:31 PM


One and four. When those three words are uttered about a football team after five weeks, it usually indicates bad things. But for Blackhawk and Chartiers-Houston records are indeed deceiving.

Blackhawk and Chartiers-Houston are two teams that are usually much more than respectable. You could say both have fallen on hard times this season as both are 1-4. But are there many 1-4 teams as good as Blackhawk and Char-Houston?

Blackhawk and Char-Houston are the hard-luck stories of the WPIAL this season. A few points here and there, take away a turnover here and there, and their seasons could be vastly different. Want proof? Three of Blackhawk’s losses are by a total of five points. Char-Houston’s four losses are by a total of 17 points.

Three of Blackhawk’s losses are to Beaver (41-40), West Allegheny (31-27) and Hopewell (7-6). Their only loss that wasn’t close was to Central Valley (42-14).

Holding leads has been a problem for Blackhawk. In the season opener against West Allegheny, Blackhawk blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes. Against Hopewell, Blackhawk mised two field goals. Against Beaver, Blackhawk led, 40-21, with 9:55 left in the game.
Chartiers-Houston, on the other hand, came close to knocking off powerful Clairton in the season opener, losing by only 22-20. No WPIAL team has come that close to Clairton in the past few years. Chartiers-Houston’s other losses have been to Bishop Canevin (10-4), Imani Christian (18-16) and Brentwood (14-7).

Suffice it to say, Blackhawk and Char-Houston might be the best 1-4 teams in the state. But despite the losses, Blackhawk and Chartiers-Houston are still in playoff contention. Blackhawk is 1-3 in the Class AAA Parkway Conference and Hopewell is in fifth place at 2-3. The top five teams make the playoffs.

Chartiers-Houston is 1-4 in the Black Hills Conference. The Bucs would seemingly have to win out to have a chance at the playoffs. But looking at how competitive they have been, could that be a possibility? They finish with Carlynton, California, Monessen and Fort Cherry.
Maybe we shouldn’t go to sleep on either Blackhawk or Char-Houston just yet.

Mr. Accuracy

Upper St. Clair’s Pete Coughlin doesn’t throw much, but his accuracy is uncanny.

Coughlin, a senior, has thrown only 44 passes in five games. But he has completed 36 for 583 yards. In case you can’t find the calculator under your “accessories” folder on the computer, that comes out to 82 percent. He also throws a touchdown about once every five attempts. He has nine TD passes for the year.

Successful Saints

This is Imani Christian’s first year of WPIAL football. You could call it a smashing debut.

Imani has had some administrative problems with the WPIAL, but on the field, the Saints are doing extremely well. They have a 4-1 record and look like they would be headed to the WPIAL playoffs. Except those administrative problems have the Saints on probation and ineligible to participate in the WPIAL playoffs for two years.

Imani quarterback Khari Hicks is second in the WPIAL in passing yardage, completing 72 of 101 for 1,195 yards. Eric Scott is tied for eighth in receptions with 26 for 457 yards. Running back Ron Brown, who transferred from Woodland Hills a few days before the first game, has rushed for 545 yards on 57 attempts.

It will be interesting to see how Imani does against Clairton later in the season.

Neely Done

One of the top running backs in Class A of the WPIAL is done for the season. Isiah Neely, a senior at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, had season-ending surgery on an injured ankle.

Neely attended Cornell as a freshman before transferring to OLSH as a sophomore and finished his career with more than 3,000 yards.

Krivanek Done

Thomas Jefferson High School has decided Rich Krivanek will no longer be the Jaguars’ baseball coach.

The West Jefferson Hills School District opened Krivanek’s position Tuesday night. Krivanek was the coach for four seasons and guided the Jaguars to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals this past season.

School personnel aren’t saying why the job was opened. The school did suspend him for two games last season for unspecified reasons.

Bad Start

Golf can be a funny game, yes? Just look at the plight of Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s Brent Rodgers.

Rodgers won the WPIAL Class AAA golf individual championship Wednesday. But the road to the title had a horrible start for Rodgers, and he almost didn’t make it out of section championship play.

At the Section 3 championships two-and-a-half weeks ago at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course, Rodgers took a 9 on the first hole. The WPIAL uses a “target score” in section championship play, which meant Rodgers had to shoot an 80 that day to advance to the semifinals. He was behind the proverbial eight ball from the beginning that day, but he pulled himself together and shot a 79 to advance to the semifinals.

To think. Two more strokes and Rodgers would not have even made it out of section play.

Minnie Ineligible

Basketball player Elijah Minnie has been ruled ineligible to play basketball this season at Lincoln Park.

The WPIAL made the ruling after a hearing Wednesday, declaring Minnie enrolled at Lincoln Park, a charter school, at least partly for athletic reasons, which is against WPIAL and PIAA rules.

Minnie is 6 feet 8 and considered one of the top junior players in the WPIAL. He attended Monessen as a freshman but was sent to Summit Academy as a sophomore. Summit is a school for adjudicated youth. Minnie then enrolled at Lincoln Park this summer.

Lincoln Park has a strong basketball program and has won the past two WPIAL Class A titles. Minnie and Lincoln Park will appeal the decision to the PIAA.

Record Performance

On the eastern side of the state last Friday, a player had the best game of any running back in the history of Pennsylvania.

Alex Cooley of Eastern York High School set a state record when he ran for 500 yards on 26 carries in a 62-37 victory against Hanover. Cooley broke the old record of 488 yards, set by Harbor Creek’s Stephen Blose in 2005.

For the season, Cooley has 1,405 yards rushing in five games.

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