Thomas Jefferson football notes: QB Shane Stump comes to appreciate coach Bill Cherpak

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Friday, November 1, 2019 | 6:37 PM


Now that he’s a senior, Thomas Jefferson quarterback Shane Stump understands the method behind veteran coach Bill Cherpak’s madness.

The TJ signal caller said Cherpak has been instrumental in his development on the gridiron.

“Cherp has been the biggest influence because of how hard he’s pushed me to become a better player, person and man,” Stump said. “He’s pushed me to work as hard as I have and earn the opportunities I’ve been given.”

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Stump is a three-year starter and four-year letterman in football.

“I couldn’t imagine playing for another coach,” he said. “You come in your freshman year expecting the worst with all the rumors and stuff you hear. You finish your first year realizing you could never have imagined something as bad as Cherp’s summer workouts.

“Aside from all of that, he does everything in his power to make every person the best they can be, not only on the field but as a person. He pushes you past your limits and expects everything you have every day, but it’s all worth it. The winning tradition started with him, and it’s not going anywhere while he has a say.”

Stump eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark in career passing this season.

Prior to this year’s playoffs, Stump had hit on 252 of 469 passes for 5,217 yards and 73 touchdowns in his career. During the regular season, he connected on 79 of 136 tosses for 1,776 yards and 25 TDs with just one interception.

More notebook items from the TJ football team’s dynamic 10-0 regular season:

• Thirteen senior players were recognized Oct. 25 before the Jaguars’ home game against West Mifflin, won by TJ, 53-0. This year’s seniors are Stump, Bowen Dame (WR/LB), Logan Danielson (OL/DL), Dan Deabner (WR/DB), Mac Duda (OL/DL), Mike Huber (OL/DL), Dylan Mallozzi (RB/DB/OLB), James Martinis (TE/LB), Logan Pazin (OL/DL), Chris Samolovitch (C/DL), Brendan Sluk (OL/DL), Dylan Sullivan (K/P) and Nathan Werderber (FB/LB).

• The Jaguars received the No. 1 seed in WPIAL Class 4A and drew Montour (5-5) in the first round of the playoffs.

• Duda, a 6-4, 280-pound lineman, claims he is an “excellent” basketball player.

A Princeton recruit with a 4.2 GPA, Duda landed nearly 30 offers for football including all eight Ivy League schools. He is one of several honor-roll students on the football team.

• Huber, who is related to former TJ football standout Lucas Nix, intends to play baseball in college.

Huber competed for the Renegades Elite 17U baseball club this summer, traveling to tournaments in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Columbus.

He played first base for the Renegades, which is his primary position for TJ, coached by Tim Vickers.

Huber led the TJ baseball team in several offensive categories last season and was an offensive catalyst for the Renegades.

• Martinis says being a member of the football program means “being part of something bigger than yourself and keeping the tradition of success alive.”

• The first sport the lightning-fast Deabner ever played was soccer.

Deaber reeled in 29 passes for 659 yards and 12 touchdowns through 10 games this season. He had 59 receptions in 2018 and set a team record for receiving yards in a season with 1,365 yards and also scored 19 times. Deabner was a 2019 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star.

• Danielson is the younger brother of Devin Danielson, a redshirt freshman defensive lineman at Pitt.

• Werderber, a team leader in tackles the past two seasons, plans to join the U.S. Marines after graduation.

• Sluk was a drummer in the school band from fourth to seventh grade. He wants to study criminal justice after graduation.

• Mallozzi plans to attend college to study business. Through 10 games, he rushed for 955 yards and 16 scores on 89 carries, good for an average of 10.7 yards per attempt.

• Sullivan also was a defender on the WPIAL playoff-qualifying TJ boys soccer team this fall.

• Dame transferred to TJ from the Clarion area in his sophomore year.

• Pazin plans to go into the carpentry field after graduation.

• Samolovitch can play four musical instruments.

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