Scholastic Notebook – 09/09/2016
Friday, September 9, 2016 | 7:46 PM
Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec has been all the rage of dual-threat quarterbacks in the WPIAL the past two seasons. Jurkovec has gotten many props and loads of publicity – rightly so – for his ability to throw and run.
But up north at small Neshannock High School, there is another quarterback doing big things running and passing. Frankly speaking, he could finish with statistics you don’t see often from WPIAL quarterbacks.
Frank Antuono is a senior at Neshannock. Some have tagged him with the nickname “Frank The Tank” because he goes 6-2, 230 pounds and he was a defensive linemen as a freshman. There is a very good chance Antuono will finish his high school career with at least 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing. Good luck in trying to find many quarterbacks in WPIAL history who have reached those milestones.
In two games so far this season, Antuono has 482 yards offense. He has rushed for 142 yards on 26 carries and completed 17 of 33 passes for 340 yards.
For his career, Antuono now has 5,497 yards offense. Neshannock has eight regular-season home games remaining and almost assuredly will make the playoffs. So he has a great chance to reach 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 rushing.
Antuono’s future, by the way, is not at quarterback. He has made a verbal commitment to Robert Morris. He was recruited to play linebacker.
Robert Morris Recruits
Speaking of Robert Morris football, the Colonials already have commitments from three top WPIAL players. Highlands’ Brayden Thimons, also a quarterback-linebacker, committed earlier this summer.
Earlier this week, Apollo-Ridge running back-defensive back Duane Brown committed to Robert Morris. It’s questionable whether Brown will play this season. He is still recovering from a torn ACL sustained in the spring.
Novak Goes for 300
Only two men eat at the table for WPIAL coaches with 300 wins. It’s likely they’ll need a place setting for a third tonight.
Woodland Hills coach George Novak has 299 career wins and goes for 300 tonight when the Wolverines play at Fox Chapel. Novak’s career record is 299-136-1. The only other coaches in WPIAL history to win 300 games are Jim Render and Joe Hamilton. Render is still Upper St. Clair’s coach and is 385-130-6. He coached at Carrollton, Ohio, and Uniontown before coming to Upper St. Clair in 1979. He has a chance to become only the third coach in Pennsylvania history to win 400 games. He started the season tied for 17th for the most wins among active coaches in the country.
Joe Hamilton was 342-170-11 in his career before retiring after the 2014 season. He coached at Midland, New Brighton, Hempfield and for a long time at Blackhawk.
Novak began his career at Steel Valley in 1977 and went to Woodland Hills in 1987.
Major Offers for Major
Penn Hills receiver Julian Major is fast becoming one of the top college prospects in the WPIAL junior class.
Major was offered a scholarship by Arkansas this week. Wisconsin also recently offered him. Boston College, Cincinnati were among the other schools that had offered. Neither Pitt or Penn State has offered yet.
After two weeks, Major leads the WPIAL in receptions with 17.
A Blue Devil With Kick
Mt. Lebanon has an offensive weapon other than quarterback, running back or receiver.
Garrett Montilla is one of the WPIAL’s best kickers and leads the WPIAL with four field goals after two games. That gives Montilla 11 field goals in two seasons. He made seven last year.
Big Cross-Country Meet
Who are the WPIAL runners to beat in cross country this season? We’ll have a better idea after Saturday morning’s Red White & Blue Invitational in Schenley Park.
The event features many of the top boys and girls runners in the WPIAL. There are two races for boys and two for girls. The Class AAA girls race is at 8:30 a.m., and the A and AA at 9:05. The Class AAA boys race is at 9:40 and the Class AA and A at 10:15.
There will also be races for freshman and JV teams.
Kalin Gets Kicks
Pine-Richland’s Amanda Kalin is one of the top girls basketball players in the WPIAL and she already is committed to Duquesne University. But Kalin continues to play soccer – and continues to excel. Kalin scored three goals in a game this week.
Hopewell High School will honor Olympic volleyball player Christa Harmotto-Dietzen at a ceremony Sunday night. The event will take place at Tony Dorsett Stadium, Hopewell’s home, at 6 p.m. Harmotto-Dietzen is a Hopewell graduate who played on the past two U.S. Olympic volleyball teams.
More Cross Country• Penn Hills notebook: Cross country makes best of Gateway Invitational
• Runners of varying experience levels mix together on Norwin cross country teams
• Strong freshman class adds to lineup for defending PIAA champion North Allegheny cross country teams
• Kiski Area cross country teams set goal of improving as season progresses
• A-K Valley Boys Athlete of the Week: Fox Chapel’s Jack Lorence