Scholastic Notebook – 11/11/2016

Friday, November 11, 2016 | 1:46 PM

The latest national high school rankings were released earlier this week and there is a WPIAL team at No. 3 in the country.

You might be thinking that Pittsburgh Central Catholic is gaining more national acclaim. But this has nothing to do with Central Catholic, or any other WPIAL team. In fact, this has nothing to do with football.

We’re talking girls soccer.

The Norwin girls are the No. 3 team in the country in the weekly National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings. Norwin’s impressive season has jumped the Knights up the rankings. They were No. 10 two weeks ago, and No. 4 last week. The only teams ranked ahead of Norwin are Davis High School (Utah) and Glastonbury (Conn.).

Look at the statistics and you’d have to say Norwin is on one of the most impressive two-year runs that been seen by any team over the years in the WPIAL’s largest classification. The Knights win – and they rarely give up goals.

Norwin is 21-0-1 this year and won the WPIAL 4A championship last week by beating Canon-McMillan, 3-1. The same two teams play in the PIAA quarterfinals Saturday. Norwin has allowed only one goal in five postseason games and only eight in 22 games overall. Norwin tied Hempfield, 1-1, earlier this season.

Going back to last year, Norwin has a 45-1-1 record. Last year, the Knights were 24-0 before losing in the PIAA final to Upper St. Clair, 2-1. Norwin allowed only eight goals all of last year also.

KO’s Alex Smith

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is having a decent season. Keystone Oaks’ Alex Smith is having a tremendous season.

KO’s Alex Smith might have the best season of any quarterback in WPIAL history – at least by yardage totals. Smith has 2,885 yards throwing and 985 rushing. Keystone Oaks plays Beaver Falls Friday and Smith could become the first player ever in the WPIAL to have 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing in a season.

Smith is a Duquesne University recruit who really is having two great seasons. Smith became the starting quarterback last year. In two seasons, he has 6,430 yards combined running and throwing.

A Difference in Style

McKeesport plays Gateway Friday in a 5A semifinal. Could there be a matchup of teams with more different styles?

Gateway quarterback Brady Walker has more than 2,000 yards passing and last week threw for 464 yards in a playoff win against Upper St. Clair. That is the fourth-highest total in WPIAL history. Then there is McKeesport quarterback Jayvaun Shears. He hasn’t thrown for 464 yards this ENTIRE SEASON.

Shears has thrown for only 422 yards. He has completed 16 of 45.

TV Times

The times for the four WPIAL championship games next Friday have not been set yet and TV will have a big say.

Root Sports will televise all four games, but two will be shown on delay because the Penguins are playing on Root that night. The first two WPIAL games will be televised live. The order will likely be Class 3A, 6A, 5A and 4A.

Salvino Resigns

There is another coaching opening in WPIAL football.

Joe Salvino’s career as Monessen’s boys basketball coach has lasted 32 years and is still going. But his tenure as Monessen’s football coach lasted only two years.

Salvino has resigned as Monessen’s football coach. The Greyhounds were 1-9 this season, their worst season in almost four decades. Salvino will continue to coach the Monessen basketball team.

Kness to Seton Hall

Peters Township’s Mia Kness won a PIAA girls golf championship last month, and next year she will golf for Seton Hall University. Kness signed a letter of intent with the Pirates earlier this week.

Kness will be the second PIAA champion from the WPIAL on Seton Hall’s roster next year. Mackey Fouse of Central Valley is a junior. She won a PIAA title in 2013.

Lackovich Charged with Child Pornography

Nick Lackovich guided the Aliquippa boys basketball team to an undefeated record and a state championship last season. Now he is facing child pornography charges.

On Thursday, Lackovich was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of children for allegedly having a handful of child pornography images on his computer.

The computers were taken by police and investigators last year while authorities investigated Lackovich for being part of a dogfighting ring. Lackovich was never charged for that, but authorities discovered the pictures on a computer.

In comments made to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Lackovich claimed his innocence and said he will fight the charges.

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