Westmoreland high school football notebook: Penn-Trafford focused on rivalry game
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 5:11 PM
Penn-Trafford could finish atop the Class 5A Big East Conference but not be considered a conference champion.
The WPIAL said it will not recognize conference winners if canceled games would have an impact on the outcome.
Penn-Trafford had covid-19 cases not long after Gateway did, forcing the teams’ anticipated matchup first to be postponed, then canceled.
Penn-Trafford is 3-0 and leading the conference, and Gateway is 2-0. Both teams have one game left. The Warriors are at Franklin Regional on Friday and Gateway goes to Connellsville.
The Warriors are not as worried about a section plaque as they are their next opponent.
“We are happy to be playing football and to have earned a playoff spot,” coach John Ruane said. “We are solely focused on Franklin Regional and all of that other stuff is irrelevant.”
Yough senior C.J. Waldier is having another outstanding season, and colleges are beginning to take notice. The wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner was offered a scholarship by Clarion, a Division II program that competes in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
Waldier had a monster game last week against Valley, pulling in 12 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown, and recording 17 tackles.
He also has an offer from Mercyhurst.
For the season, Waldier has 43 catches for 534 yards and five touchdowns.
Norwin stays clear
There are eight teams in the Class 6A conference. Seven have had games canceled because of covid-19.
The one that has not been affected is Norwin. The school has reported cases of the virus and has had closures at all of its schools, but the Knights have not canceled athletic events.
The regular-season rushing title in Westmoreland County will be up for grabs Friday night. Belle Vernon junior Devin Whitlock is out in front with 767 yards, but Greensburg Salem senior Alex Briggs is lurking with 657.
Senior Gamal Marballie of Yough, who has flip-flopped between running back and quarterback, is third with 552.
Friday is the final night of the regular season, and the WPIAL will not waste any time getting its playoff brackets out.
First-round pairings will be announced at 7 p.m. Saturday on the TribLive High School Sports Network.
Usually, there is an in-person pairings meeting in Green Tree but the WPIAL canceled that because of covid-19 concerns and as money saver.
Dozens of coaches and media members usually populate a large ball room at the DoubleTree Hotel, which goes against modern safety guidlines for gatherings.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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