Week Zero football showcase returns to Wolvarena in August

Thursday, July 1, 2021 | 6:57 PM

Week Zero is back on the football schedule this fall, and with it returns the Western Pa. vs. Everyone football showcase hosted by Woodland Hills.

The multi-game event Aug. 27-28 matches a WPIAL or City League team against an opponent from either Eastern Pa. or a neighboring state. The six local teams taking part are Woodland Hills, Pine-Richland, Brashear, Central Catholic, Sto-Rox and Upper St. Clair.

The pandemic forced last year’s event to be canceled, but demand for this year was “overwhelming,” Woodland Hills athletic director Ron Coursey said.

“I’d suggest the overwhelming interest is going to grow even more next year,” he said. “I think what covid taught us is try to get as many experiences for your kids as possible, because you never know when something’s going to interfere.”

Among the non-Western Pa. teams is five-time PIAA finalist Imhotep Charter of Philadelphia, which has the state’s top-ranked recruit for 2022. Senior defensive end Enai White, a Rivals four-star prospect, visited Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Ohio State in the past month.

Harrisburg, the PIAA runner-up in 2018 and ’16, also is involved.

Five games are scheduled at the Wolvarena and one at Upper St. Clair. USC will host West Toronto Prep at 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

There are two games Aug. 27 at the Wolvarena. Sto-Rox plays Bishop Sycamore of Columbus, Ohio, at 5 p.m., and Central Catholic faces Imhotep Charter at 8 p.m.

The Wolvarena hosts three games Aug. 28. Brashear faces St. Vincent Pallotti of Laurel, Md., at 1 p.m., followed by Pine-Richland vs. Harrisburg at 4:30 p.m., and Woodland Hills vs. Wayne (N.J.) Valley at 8 p.m.

“After not having it for a year, we wanted to come back with a bang,” Coursey said.

Wolvarena tickets are $10 per day.

Coursey organized the event and plans to attend even though he’s changing AD jobs this month, trading Woodland Hills for Chambersburg.

He and assistant AD/football coach Tim Bostard tried to better balance the competition in this year’s matchups. In 2018 for example, the event’s first year included a 48-0 victory for Aliquippa and an 80-6 win by Imani Christian.

“The first two years we thought were pretty successful, but one of the complaints we got was not all of the matchups were good matchups,” Coursey said. “We wanted to make sure all of the games are competitive. Obviously, you can never predict exactly what the outcome will be when you’re dealing with teenage boys, but we wanted to make sure on paper the games look good.

“I think we did a very good job of that.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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