WPIAL, PIAA football gold pave way for Thomas Jefferson to take Trib Cup 5A title

Monday, July 6, 2020 | 11:24 AM

The Thomas Jefferson football team did more than bring WPIAL and PIAA gold back to Jefferson Hills. The Jaguars also led the way to a Trib HSSN Sports Cup championship in Class 5A.

The Jaguars football team claimed its fourth WPIAL title in the last five years and captured PIAA gold for the first time in over a decade. The 2019 PIAA 5A football crown was the first for TJ since 2008.

“It was one of those special teams that comes around once or twice in a career,” Thomas Jefferson athletic director and football coach Bill Cherpak said. “We had all the pieces we needed. Our big thing was getting over the hump after the district championship.”

The football team accounted for nearly one-third of TJ’s total points. It was far from alone, though, as the TJ girls volleyball, boys and girls basketball, hockey and wrestling teams all enjoyed at least section title success.

Now in its 16th year, the Trib HSSN Sports Cup is a yearlong competition to determine the top WPIAL sports program in each classification. It awards points for section or conference championships, district and state playoff berths and district and state championships and runner-up finishes.

Schools earn 10 points for a playoff berth, an additional 10 points for a section championship, 50 points for a WPIAL or PIAA championship and 25 points for a district or state runner-up finish.

In July and August, the weekly Rebel Yell podcast will be dedicated to the six cup champions. Click here to watch our interview with Bill Cherpak.

Thomas Jefferson picked up points in 10 sports to win by a comfortable 80 total points.

“We’ve had a lot of success, more recently in the last few years when we were in the WPIAL championships in a lot of sports,” Cherpak said. “Our participation is so good here. All of our sports have great numbers. There’s just a lot of interest in the athletic programs here.”

South Fayette was the runner-up, followed by last year’s winner in Mars. Rounding out the Top 5 were Franklin Regional and Chartiers Valley.

Here are the top finishers in Class 5A for the Trib HSSN Sports Cup:

1. Thomas Jefferson – 375

2. South Fayette – 295

3. Mars – 275

4. Franklin Regional – 200

5. Chartiers Valley – 170

6. Penn-Trafford – 165

7. Moon – 155

8. Latrobe – 130

9. Ringgold – 120

10. Plum – 115

11. Laurel Highlands – 110

11. West Allegheny – 110

13. Gateway – 100

13. Trinity – 100

15. Kiski Area – 70

15. Penn Hills – 70

17. Hampton – 65

18. McKeesport – 60

19. Woodland Hills – 55

20. Montour – 40

21. Armstrong – 30

22. Shaler – 30

23. Albert Gallatin – 10

23. North Hills – 10


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