WPIAL grants eligibility to pair of football players

Monday, April 19, 2021 | 9:54 PM

The WPIAL granted eligibility to Central Catholic’s Jayden Thrift and McKeesport’s Jake Miller, two football players who switched schools this winter.

Each took part in separate eligibility hearings Monday at the WPIAL office in Green Tree.

Thrift, a freshman, transferred from Norwin. Miller, a junior, came from Plum.

Thrift was made eligible for regular season and postseason competition, said WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman. However, Miller remains ineligible for the postseason next fall under a PIAA rule that targets all transfers after the start of 10th grade.

A hearing for another Central Catholic freshman who also transferred from Norwin, Jackson Pons, was postponed at the family’s request until a later date.

Norwin flagged both transfers as possibly motivated by athletics. Scheuneman said the WPIAL did not find “clear and convincing” evidence to support that allegation, but the vote to make Thrift eligible was not unanimous.

In another hearing, the WPIAL denied a postseason waiver request from Central Catholic sophomore Daron Smith, a transfer from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Smith is ineligible for the football playoffs next fall.

Similarly, Miller can ask the WPIAL to waive his postseason ineligibility, but the PIAA criteria for a waiver are difficult to meet.

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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