Scholastic Notebook – 11/05/2010

Friday, November 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Ten teams have the perfect outlook on the WPIAL playoffs. The playoffs start Friday night and 10 WPIAL teams enter the postseason with perfect 9-0 records. A year ago, not one team made it through the WPIAL playoffs with an undefeated record. Only three years ago, all four WPIAL champs (Serra, Jeannette, Thomas Jefferson and Central Catholic) were undefeated.

Here are some factoids on this years perfect teams (keep in mind, when we mention undefeated, we mean undefeated AND untied in the regular season only):

Pittsburgh Central Catholic This is the Vikings fourth undefeated regular season, including one (1964) before the school joined the WPIAL. Three of the four undefeated seasons have come in the past seven years (2004, 2007, 2010).

Mount Lebanon This is Mount Lebanons eighth perfect regular season, but the first since 1981.

Ringgold This is Matt Humberts first year as head coach and he guided the Rams to their first undefeated regular season in school history. Ringgold opened in 1969.

Montour This is Montours sixth undefeated regular season, and the second under coach Lou Cerro. Before going undefeated in 2007, the previous time the Spartans were undefeated and untied in the regular season was 1963.

Ford City This is Ford Citys third undefeated season. The others were 2007 and 1941.

South Fayette This is the second year in a row South Fayette finished the regular season undefeated. The previous undefeated and untied season was 1936.

Greensburg Central Catholic This is the fourth undefeated regular season for the Centurions.

Aliquippa Aliquippa finishes perfect for the 11th time. That is second-most in WPIAL history. Jeannette has done it 15 times. Upper St. Clair is third with 10.

Rochester The Rams go undefeated for the ninth time. Six of those times have been since 1990.

Clairton The Bears go perfect for the ninth time also.

Woods Might Return

Beth-Center coach Ed Woods might coach tonights playoff game against Cornell. Woods missed last weeks regular-season finale while recovering from an accident at his home.

Two weeks ago, Woods fell from his roof while painting his house. He suffered five broken ribs and was in the hospital for about a week.

Never in the First

One of the top Class AAAA first-round games tonight is McDowell at Gateway. McDowell is the No. 9 seed and Gateway No. 8. Many feel McDowell will win this game.

But here is something to think about. Gateway coach Terry Smith has never lost a first-round playoff game. He is 8-0.

The Fall of No. 1s

The WPIAL soccer championships are tomorrow at Baldwin and Elizabeth Forward. On the girls side, there isnt a No. 1 seed left.

All three No. 1 seeds were knocked out in either the semifinals or quarterfinals. Springdale (Class A) and South Park (AA) were No. 1 seeds that lost in the semifinals. Mt. Lebanon, the No. 1 seed in AAA, lost in the quarterfinals.

The biggest surprise of the tournament has been Beaver. The Bobcats are the No. 11 seed in Class AA, but have made it to the title game. They will face undefeated Mars (21-0).

Double Play

Two schools have a chance to do a double take on soccer championships tomorrow. Peters Township and Mars both have their boys and girls soccer teams in title games. Only four times in the history of WPIAL soccer has a school won boys and girls titles in the same year.

The last time it happened was South Park in 2006. Quaker Valley did it twice in 1991 and 92. Mt. Lebanon did it in 1984.

PIAA Cross-Country

The PIAA cross country championships are Saturday in Hershey and some teams and individuals from the WPIAL will be trying to break some championship droughts.

Margo Malone of North Hills has a chance at winning Class AAA girls. No WPIAL girl has won the PIAA Class AAA title since West Alleghenys Christine Taranto in 2002.

The Class AAA boys is a similar story. No WPIAL runner has won the PIAA AAA boys title since Baldwins Dan Mazzocco in 2001.

The WPIAL hasnt had a Class AAA boys team champion since North Allegheny in 1997.


* Fort Cherry basketball star Nate Bellhy has committed to play at Seton Hill, a Division II school. Bellhy, a 6-foot-5 senior, was the WPIALs second-leading scorer last season (behind Chartiers Valeys T.J. McConnell) with an average of 28.8 points.

* Vincentian Academys Gabby Baldasare will play next season at Niagara. Baldasare will be one of two WPIAL products on Niagaras roster. The other is former Seton-LaSalle player Katie Gattuso, who is a freshman.

* Robert Morris has a WPIAL flavor on its softball team and it will get even stronger next year. Lexi Schwartzmiller of Chartiers Valley will sign with Robert Morris.

* Two North Allegheny baseball players will play at Ohio University catcher Cody Gaertner and outfielder Brice Nikithser.

* Ford City infielder Dylan Wolsonovich will play at Pitt.

Where Are They Now?

* Former Pine-Richland quarterback Spencer Whipple saw playing time as the Miami Hurricanes quarterback in a 22-19 loss to Virginia last week. Miami starter Jacory Harris got hurt and Whipple relieved him. But Whipple threw two interceptions and was eventually replaced by freshman Stephen Morris, who nearly brought Miami back from a 22-0 deficit. Whipple started his career at Massachusetts, but transferred to Miami. His father, Mark, is Miamis quarterbacks coach.

* Former WPIAL and PIAA champion Michaela Kissell of Latrobe made it to the NCAA tennis singles championship this week. Kissell was one of only 32 players in the country to participate in the event at Flushing Meadow, N.Y., but she lost in the first round to Clemsons Josipa Bek, 6-3, 6-1.

* Robert Morris golfer Brock Pompeani, a graduate of Hopewell, won the Fairleigh Dickinson Invitational with a two-day score of 152. His brother, Brandon, finished fourth.

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