Westmoreland County high school notebook: WPIAL rushing champ Shoaf pledges to Mercyhurst

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Saturday, January 26, 2019 | 9:03 PM


The two-time WPIAL regular-season rushing champion has a college destination.

Yough senior running back Dustin Shoaf, who racked up 5,053 yards during his highlight-packed career, announced Friday he has committed to Mercyhurst.

Shoaf made a short video to declare his school of choice and posted it to Twitter with the teaser, “110% Committed.”

The video displayed some stats — like his 48 career touchdowns — and some highlights, while showing logos of the other schools from which he had offers: Cal (Pa.), Seton Hill and Slippery Rock.

It began, “Committed to …” and ended with “Committed, Dustin Shoaf, Mercyhurst.”

Consider a new take on the traditional choose-a-hat game, only without a news conference — so not Shoaf’s style.

“I had something like that in mind and then I thought, you only get this chance once so why not have fun with it,” Shoaf said of the video presentation.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Shoaf, the only player in WPIAL history to run for 400 or more yards in a game twice, said Mercyhurst felt like home.

“It is home,” he said. “I picked Mercyhurst because of the academics; I loved the area up there; and they’ve got something special happening there. I felt like that was my best opportunity and of course I know we can win championships there.”

Always Huss-ling

Derry’s Justin Huss is back playing football and basketball, but there was a time when his return to sports was in question.

It has been a long journey back to form for the junior.

Huss suffered a broken fibula during summer seven-on-seven football and missed three months. He returned to help Derry make a run to the Class 3A football title game at Heinz Field and a runner-up finish in the WPIAL.

Now, he is a crafty guard for the basketball team, which also is making some noise.

He had 17 points, seven rebounds and six steals in a recent 67-54 win over Freeport in a key Section 1-4A game.

“It was a tough process to get through,” Huss said. “I just had to try and overcome it and stay focused on getting back to doing what I wanted to do.”

Spare time

Greensburg Central Catholic boys coach Greg Bisignani was so flustered after a recent home loss to Clairton, so desperate for desperate to reconnect his team, he veered off in a different direction for the next practice.

“They came in and sat on the bleachers,” Bisignani said. “I looked at them and said, all right, everyone into the van, we’re going bowling.”

The Centurions decompressed at Hillview Lanes, nary a basketball to be found on a different, shiny hardwood floor.

“We needed to do something else to clear our minds,” Bisignani said. “We did that in the past, and the kids had fun. The kids came back energetic. We’ll do it again … if we have to. Maybe we’ll try axe-throwing next.”

Eisaman commits

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Anna Eisaman announced last week she will continue her track and field career at Point Park.

A two-sport standout at GCC, Eisaman considered walking on to run track and possibly play basketball at Robert Morris. She also had interest from Washington & Jefferson.

More recruiting buzz

IUP offered Norwin senior running back and safety Zeke Houser last week.

• IUP also offered a pair of standouts from Penn-Trafford in seniors Niko Rosso, a linebacker and tight end, and Dimitri George, a receiver and defensive back.

• Derry senior football standout Dom DeLuca picked up an offer from Mercyhurst.

• Senior Natalia Zucco of Greensburg Salem, committed to run track and cross country at Point Park.

• Greensburg Salem football player Ty Williams was offered by Lake Erie College.

• Norwin senior wide receiver and cornerback Billy Kerston has interest from Slippery Rock, Grove City and Culver-Stockton, a private NAIA school in Canton, Mo.

• Belle Vernon senior center and defensive end Eric Oblak (6-3, 230) picked up an offer from Lock Haven.

• Hempfield senior tight end Clay Metz (6-4, 245) received an offer from Seton Hill.

• Southmoreland had two girls athletes sign with Pitt-Greensburg: Jenna Conty for soccer, and Hannah Corvin for softball.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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