South Hills notes: Thomas Jefferson grads team up at Duquesne
Sunday, August 22, 2021 | 10:01 AM
Notebook items from around the South Hills:
• TJ is 60-5 overall and 41-2 in regular-season play over the past five football seasons, including one 10-0 and two 9-0 records.
The Jaguars have won 19 of 22 playoff games, along with four WPIAL and two PIAA titles, and have been victorious in 34 of 36 conference games with four conference crowns.
• TJ graduate Jon Muehlbauer is a 6-foot, 190-pound senior defensive back on the Duquesne football team.
Muehlbauer started his college career at Robert Morris (2017-18), followed by one season at Mount Union (2019) before moving on to the Dukes’ program.
He was a two-time all-conference player in high school and had 16 career interceptions for the Jaguars. He also logged 24 receptions for 574 yards as a senior.
• Another TJ grad, Shane Stump, is listed as a 6-1, 205-pound freshman linebacker at Duquesne.
Stump was a three-year starter at QB in high school. He garnered all-state and All-WPIAL honors and was a three-time all-conference selection.
Stump’s uncle, Dave Roberts, played football at Youngstown State and for the Philadelphia Eagles.
• Muehlbauer and Stump are teammates at Duquesne with freshman Thomas Jefferson IV, listed as a 6-2, 295-pound offensive lineman from Springfield, Va.
• The play of the day in last year’s PIAA Class 4A title game was registered by Rex Miller, who knocked a Jersey Shore third-down pass at the goal line in the game’s final seconds.
“When they motioned away from me, I knew there was a good chance the ball was coming my way,” said Miller, a senior last year. “When I saw the ball was in the air, my first instinct was just to make sure the WR didn’t catch it. I wasn’t necessarily worried about the pick. I just couldn’t let them score. I was able to get into the right position to hit the ball away.”
Miller continued: “I thought our team was great the whole year. We were really good at finding ways to win in close game situations. I couldn’t be more proud to be on the team the last four years. The memories I made with my teammates will last a lifetime.”
• TJ has won 10 WPIAL football championships in school history; the first was in 1980 under coach Bap Manzini. The Jaguars are 68-22 in WPIAL playoff games, and 64-16 under coach Bill Cherpak.
• Kudos to 6-5, 230-pound junior TE/DE Jordan Mayer for landing early scholarship offers from Boston College, Bowling Green and Duquesne.
Mayer was a second-team all-state selection as a sophomore defensive end.
• Football senior leadership this season at Brentwood will be provided by co-captains Jase Keib (QB/DB), Jack Wisenauer (OL/LB) and Alec Troy (OL/LB), along with Mitchell Fox (WR/DB), Tate Jones (FB/NG), Riley Jesensky (WR/B), Lamarr Williams (WR/LB).
Coach Kevin Kissel delivered a preseason message not only to the senior athletes but to the entire 31-player team.
“I guarantee we will work hard,” Kissel said. “When you put the pads on, we’ll see who wants to hit. It’s all about effort. You want to have fun, but you gotta work hard to have fun. The weeks fly by in a season. Enjoy it, but it takes a lot of work. It’s not the easiest way; we’re looking at the best way. If everybody gets better individually, we get better as a team.
“Your time in high school football is very small. It goes fast; it’s a very small window. When it’s over, it’s over.”
• Keib has a tall and athletic group of players to throw to this season, led by Williams and Fox, both 6-3 wideouts, Tavian Miller, a 6-2 junior, and Zach Wuenschell, a 6-3 sophomore tight end.
• The Spartans’ two biggest players this year are juniors Jeff Beck and Tyrin Bowie, both listed as 5-11, 220-pound linemen.
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