Scholastic Notebook – 10/02/2015

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Friday, October 2, 2015 | 2:49 PM


Anthony Welsh of Bethlehem-Center will likely run his way into the WPIAL record books Friday night. Welsh, a senior, needs only 62 yards rushing to reach 4,000 for his career. He would become the 63rd player in WPIAL history to reach 4,000 yards. With that in mind, here are some factoids about the 4,000-yard milestone: * The first player known to reach 4,000 yards was Jerry Patterson of Chartiers-Houston, who graduated in 1970 with 4,075 yards. * Welsh would be the second Beth-Center runner to reach 4,000. Keith Miller, a 1997 graduate, ran for 5,121. * The 4,000-yard mark isn’t as big as it used to be decades ago. The reason is because so many have reached the milestone. Before the 1990s, only seven players reached 4,000 yards. Since 1990, 55 players have run for 4,000. * The seven players to reach 4,000 yards rushing before 1990 were Mapletown’s Derek Bochna, Mon Valley Catholic’s Jon Green (Mon Valley Catholic no longer exists), Aliquippa’s Rapheal “Pudgy” Abercrombie, Swissvale’s Brian Chizmar (Swissvale no longer exists), Washington’s Brian Davis, Wilmington’s Blair Sweet (Wilmington is no longer in the WPIAL) and Patterson. * Only one City League player has rushed for 4,000 yards. Perry’s Chuck Griffy had 4,332 from 1995-98. * Aliquippa has four members on the 4,000-yard club, the most of any school. They are Dravon Henry, Terry Swanson, Raphael “Pudgy” Abercrombie and Chico Williams. * Beaver Falls has three players with 4,000 yards – Cody Cook, Daine Williams and Trey Hall (Hall also played two seasons at New Brighton). * Three players with 4,000 yards averaged better than 10 yards a carry for their careers – Belle Vernon’s Nick Kalcevic (10.6), Rochester’s Essex Law (10.4) and Valley’s Brandon Williams (10.2). * North Hills’ LaVar Arrington was the first running back in Class AAAA to reach 4,000. He did it in 1996. * There are only 15 players in WPIAL history with 5,000 yards. Pitt Offers Jurkovec Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec is only a sophomore and in his first year as a starter. But he already has a Division I scholarship offer. On Thursday, Pitt offered Jurkovec a scholarship. Jurkovec is a highly-touted QB who stands 6 feet 4 and weighs 185 pounds. He is a two-sport standout who also excels in basketball. So far this season, Jurkovec has been awfully impressive. He is one of only two players in the WPIAL who is averaging better than 100 yards a game rushing AND passing. He has completed 50 of 76 for 638 yards and also rushed for 430 yards on 38 carries. Another Running QB The other player averaging more than 100 yards a game rushing and passing is right down the road from Jurkovec. North Allegheny’s Ethan Maenza has rushed for 430 yards in four games and completed 25 of 51 for 409 yards. Maenza started the season at running back, but moved to QB when starter Riley Trueman was injured. Trueman does see some time at QB, though. Top Players Done Some bad news concerning a few top players in the WPIAL. North Hills’ Jake Buccigrossi, a standout offensive lineman, is done for the season because of an injured shoulder. Buccigrossi sustained the injury during the summer. Instead of surgery, he tried to rehabilitate the injury, just so he could play this season. Buccigrossi sat out the first two games, but the shoulder was reinjured last week against Seneca Valley. He will soon have surgery on the shoulder. Buccigrossi is a West Virginia University recruit. Elsewhere, Indiana’s Jacob Zilinskas was projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in Class AAA. But he is done for the season because of a torn hamstring. Zilinskas, whose father, Mark, is Indiana’s coach, threw for a school-record 1,617 yards last season. Indiana also was expected to have a top receiver this year in Dylan Stapleton. He sustained an ankle injury last week and his status is uncertain. Indiana has turned to freshman Luke Thomas at quarterback. Leopards Earn Spots Much has been made about the starts of the Deer Lakes and Plum football teams – and rightly so. Deer Lakes is 4-0 for the first time since the school opened in 1969. Plum is 4-0 for the first time since 2001. But don’t overlook what Belle Vernon is doing. The Leopards are 4-0 for the first time since 2000. They broke Thomas Jefferson’s 57-game home winning streak. Peters Township Golf Dominance Coach Dave Kuhn has built a perennial boys golf power at Peters Township. The Indians are the defending WPIAL Class AAA champion and have won four WPIAL team titles since 2004. This year’s team looks good again. In fact, it looks fantastic. The Indians’ strength could be seen Tuesday at the WPIAL individual semifinals at Butler’s Golf Course in Elizabeth. Of the top six finishers, five were from Peters Township – and all five advanced to next Thursday’s championships at Southpointe Golf Club. At the semifinals, Jake Sollon, Alec Stopperich and Tanner Johnson all tied for second with a 70. Hunter Bruce shot 71 and Connor Schmidt 72. The WPIAL girls golf championships for Class AA and AAA is Tuesday at Rolling Hills Country Club in McMurray. Maddy McDanel, a senior at Central Valley, is definitely one to watch in Class AAA. She shot a 69 in the qualifier. She is a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga recruit. Watkins Rule Searching for the top goal scorers in WPIAL girls soccer? It’s elementary, my dear Watkins. In the most recent WPIAL statistics, the No. 1 and No. 3 goal scorers are named Watkins. New Brighton’s Maya Watkins was No. 1 with 32 and Charleroi’s Kyra Watkins No. 3 with 22. Bentworth Worth Goals You usually don’t hear much about Bentworth soccer, but the top boys goal scorer and one of the top girls scorers are both from Bentworth. Bentworth’s Chad Gurdish is No. 1 in boys and Miranda VanKirk No. 5 in girls.

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