Scholastic Notebook – 09/30/2016
Friday, September 30, 2016 | 3:19 PM
Fort Cherry is in a drive for five. If the Rangers complete the drive, it will be the first time in 18 years.
The Fort Cherrry football team is 4-0. The Rangers have been somewhat of a surprise this year after going 2-7 and 3-6 the past two seasons.
Fort Cherry is likely to go to 5-0 because the Rangers play Friday night against West Greene, which is 1-4. This is the fourth time in nine seasons that Fort Cherry has started the season 4-0. The others were in 2008, 2009 and 2013. But every year, Fort Cherry lost its fifth game to Clairton.
The last time Fort Cherry started 5-0 was 1998. That year, the Rangers finished the regular season with a 9-0 record before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Clairton.
There is no doubt that moving to the Tri-County South Conference this year has helped Fort Cherry. The Rangers played the past 14 seasons in the Black Hills Conference, where the competition was much tougher. But give Fort Cherry credit for this start, even if it hasn’t been against the stiffest competition.
One of the reasons for the success is the emergence of Ryhan Culberson at quarterback. Culberson is a junior who transferred from South Fayette. He was a tight end for the Lions and caught 31 passes last year.
But he has excelled at quarterback for Fort Cherry and is averaging close to 200 yards offense a game.
Steel Valley’s DeWayne Murray and Clairton’s Lamont Wade are right next to each other in the top 15 rushers in the WPIAL. Murray is 12th with 604 yards and Wade 13th with 577. Coincidentally, their yards-per-carry average is almost identical. It’s astronomical.
Murray has carried 37 times and is averaging 16.3 yards a carry. Wade has carried 36 times and is averaging 16.0 yards a carry. Reportedly, neither has carried the ball much in the second half, if at all, because of blowouts.
Another impressive yards-per-carry average is owned by Beaver’s Darius Wise. He is the WPIAL’s fourth-leading rusher with 909 yards and is averaging 14.4 yards a carry. Wise is, by the way, Beaver’s quarterback.
If there were a WPIAL fantasy league, you’d want Penn Hills quarterback Cam Tarrant on your team. Tarrant has 22 touchdown passes. No other quarterback in the WPIAL has more than 14.
28 and Counting
The Albert Gallatin football team has scored only 28 points this season. That matches the number of games the Colonials have lost in a row.
Albert Gallatin has a 28-game losing streak. With five games left, if the Colonials don’t get a “W,” they will move into the top six for longest losing streaks in WPIAL history.
The sixth-longest losing streak in WPIAL history is 32, by North Belle Vernon from 1938-42. But there is hope for Albert Gallatin to get into the win column. The Colonials still have games left against Greensburg Salem, Laurel Highlands and Uniontown. Greensburg Salem is 1-4 while Uniontown and Laurel Highlands are both 0-5. Uniontown has scored fewer points and given up more than Albert Gallatin. Uniontown has been outscored, 242-21.
By the way, the longest losing streak in WPIAL history is 46, by West Shamokin from 2007-12.
Norwin Girls Rank Nationally
The Norwin girls soccer team is one of the top 20 teams in the entire country. Says who? USA Today and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. In the most recent USA Today-NSCAA super 25 rankings, Norwin is ranked No. 14.
Norwin is 12-0 after beating Latrobe, 7-0, on Thursday night. Norwin has allowed only eight goals in 12 games. But it’s not like the Knights have not been challenged this season. They have won three 2-1 games against Mt. Lebanon, Seneca Valley and Penn-Trafford.
Young Blood in Golf
Riverside’s Skyler Fox won the WPIAL Class AA boys golf individual championship Thursday at Allegheny Country Club. Some might say it’s surprising because Fox is only a freshman.
But the way WPIAL golf has gone lately, it is a sport for the young ones. Since 2010, a freshman or sophomore (including Fox) has won a WPIAL championship six times.
A year ago, Peters Township sophomore Hunter Bruce won the WPIAL AAA title. Latrobe freshman Brady Prevarnik was third and Franklin Regional freshman Palmer Jackson fifth. Also in Class AAA, Fox Chapel sophomore Anthony Cordaro won the 2014 championship while Baldwin freshman Zack Taylor won in 2011.
In Class AA, Quaker Valley’s ChrisTanabe won the 2014 title as a sophomore while Serra’s Max Kaminsky won the title in 2010 as a freshman.
The Class AAA boys championships will be played Tuesday at Oakmont Country Club.
More Young Blood at Bentworth
A freshman is the fifth-leading scorer in WPIAL girls soccer. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette statistics, Bentworth’s Paige Marshalek entered the week tied for fifth with 17 goals.
But she isn’t the only ninth-grader having an effect on Bentworth soccer. Jocelyn Timlin, another freshman, was tied for 10th in scoring with 13 goals.
Bentworth is 10-0 after beating Seton-LaSalle, 1-0, Thursday night.
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