Scholastic Notebook – 10/29/2010

Friday, October 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM

When it comes to records, maybe its time to stop thinking about Rushel Shell in a WPIAL sense. Maybe its time to look at the entire state.

Shell, Hopewells wonderful junior running back, ran for 193 yards against West Allegheny in a 34-31 overtime win last night. That gave him 6,358 yards for his career.

Hopewell has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs, so Shell will have at least one more game this season, plus all of next year. Barring injury, he would seemingly get the WPIAL record fairly easily. He is only 1,288 yards away from the record of 7,646, set by Fort Cherrys Mike Vernillo.

Considering Shell has rushed for more than 2,000 yards in the past two regular seasons, maybe its time to start thinking about Shell possibly breaking the state record. Jeremiah Young, a 2009 graduate of Steelton-Highspire near Harrisburg, holds the state record of 9,027 yards.

Right now, Shell is only 2,669 yards away from Young. If he gets maybe two playoff games this season, and stays healthy for next season, he would seemingly have a legitimate shot at that record.

"The personal stats are nice, but Im just worried about what our team and what our record is at the end of the year," Shell said.

Where Is He Now?

We usually save the last section of this scholastic notebook for Where Are They Now? But since we bring up state record holder Jeremiah Young, here is an update on his status: Young plays at Bucknell, but it has been rough going for his college career. He did not play last year as a freshman because of a torn ACL sustained before preseason camp even started. He redshirted.

This season, Young has played in only five games and has rushed for 45 yards on 21 carries.

More Where Are They Now?

* Tim Brennan came to West Mifflin as football coach in 2007 after an impressive run as a coach in Idaho. He won state titles in Idaho. But after three years at West Mifflin, Brennan left and went back to Idaho to become the coach at Caldwell High School. Caldwell is winless (0-9) this season.

* West Allegheny graduate Amy Palko, daughter of West Allegheny football coach Bob Palko, is one of the top players on Duquesnes womens volleyball team. Amy Palko is a senior and had helped the Dukes to a recent seven-game winning streak, longest in the programs history, before a loss earlier this week. Duquesne has an 18-7 record.

Coach on the Mend

Beth-Center will be without football coach Ed Woods for tonights game against Jefferson-Morgan, as he recovers from injuries suffered last Saturday when he fell off the roof of his home.

Woods was painting at his home when the accident occurred. He was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Frank Pryor, Beth-Centers baseball coach and a volunteer assistant in football, was at Woods home shortly before the accident. Pryor returned when he received word of Woods fall.

Woods was taken by ambulance to Beth-Centers field, where the medical helicopter picked him up. Woods was still in the hospital as of the middle of this week.

"He was on a ladder and the ladder slipped," Pryor said. "He fell probably 20 to 25 feet. Basically, he fell to a porch roof and then from that roof to the ground. Hes very lucky."

Pryor said Woods wants to return for the first round of the WPIAL playoffs next week, but that is still questionable.

Offensive coordinator Royce Sofran and defensive coordinator Scott Faieta will handle the team in Woods absence.

Titanic Feeling

Not much was expected of the Shaler Titans this year, especially with only one or two starters back. But on the final night of the regular season, Shaler can gain a playoff berth with a victory against Pine-Richland. This despite the fact that Shaler has lost three tailbacks to injuries this year.

Shaler coach Neil Gordon said, "We were totally outmatched against North Allegheny. Other than that game, and maybe the Upper St. Clair game, weve been very competitive. This has been, by far, one of the most rewarding and satisfying seasons Ive had as a coach. Just because pretty much nobody had been on the field before this year, let alone start."

Five Guys in Girls Final

The Greensburg Central Catholic field hockey team will play in the WPIAL Class AA championship Monday against Ellis School. Ellis is an all-girls school. Greensburg Central Catholic has five boys on its team.

Threes Are Wild

It was a highly successful day for North Hills cross-country teams at the WPIAL championships Thursday and the good news for the Indians came in threes.

North Hills Zach Hebda won the Class AAA race. Teammate Juris Silenieks was second. Teammate Joe Kush was third. It is believed to be the first time that three runners from the same team finished 1-2-3 in the race.

On the girls side, North Hills didnt have the first three runners, but the Indians had a highly unusual occurrence. Three sisters finished in the top eight. And North Hills won the girls title for the first time in school history.

Margo Malone, a junior, finished first. Her sister, Shannon, a sophomore, was fourth. The youngest Malone sister is Mary, a freshman. She finished eighth.

Hockey Players Rate

Two hockey players from the Pittsburgh area are being pegged as first-round picks in the 2011 NHL draft.

Gibsonias Brandon Saad, who used to play for Pine-Richland, is ranked as the No. 5 player for the draft by Red Line Report.

Moons J.T. Miller is ranked No. 14. The Pittsburgh area has had only one player taken in the first round of the NHL draft. That was Plums R.J. Umberger in 2001. Umberger currently plays for Columbus.

Saad, who turns 18 on Oct. 27, plays this season for the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound winger ranks third on the team with seven goals and 13 points through 12 games. Saad spent last season with the U.S. National Team Development Program (NTDP) and won a gold medal for the USA at the World Under-18 Championships.

Miller, 17, skates for the USNTDP Under-18 team and has collected four assists through three games. The 6-1, 198-pound center played last season for the Under-17 team and won a gold medal for the U.S. at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

But three other Pittsburgh area players are ranked highly by Red Line Report. They are John Gibson, 17, of Whitehall, who is ranked No. 31. Vince Trocheck, formerly of Pittsburgh, is No. 78. Barrett Kaib of Upper St. Clair is ranked 107th.

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More Cross Country

Ligonier Valley cross country team battle tested heading into WPIAL meet
Highlands cross country team finds plenty of positives in up-and-down season
Training changes have Shaler cross country runner on top of her game
Ringgold sophomore repeats, runners get WPIAL preview at Tri-State cross country meet
Westmoreland County boys athlete of the week: Greensburg Salem’s Jacob Smith

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