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October 22, 2009

Coaches lean on dads for assistant roles in WPIAL

THURSDAY ACROSS THE STATE: When North Allegheny coach Art Walker Jr. needed a quarterbacks coach, he knew exactly who to ask.

His dad.

As Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier this week, the Walker father/son coaching duo isn't the only one in the WPIAL this year.

At Sto-Rox, Tony Ruscitto serves as assistant coach to his son, Jason.

In Lawrence County, Frank Bongivengo is the quarterbacks and outside linebackers coach for his son, Frank II, at New Castle.

In Washington, Little Prexies head coach Mike Bosnic relies on his dad, Mike Sr., as an offensive assistant.

First-year head coach T.J. Wiley at Penn-Trafford quickly snagged his dad, John, as his offensive coordinator.

And Mt. Lebanon head coach Chris Haering is aided by his dad, Chuck, who used to coach at the Division II college level.

It doesn't stop there though. At Avonworth, Joe Zeglowitsch coaches the offense for his stepson, Jason Kekseo.

"Why do I still keep coaching? That's a good question," Walker Sr. said to the Post-Gazette. "I don't have a super answer. I think it's a combination of things. I think if you still feel you can help kids and help as a coach, then why not?

"Plus, I think the thing that keeps me coming back is I enjoy so much working with my son and seeing the job he's doing. There are millions of fathers who don't get an opportunity like this."


THINKING PINK AT ST. JOSEPH'S PREP

If you're planning on attending Saturday night's matchup between St. Joseph's Prep and Cardinal O'Hara, your eyes won't be deceiving you. St. Joseph's will indeed be wearing pink.

As Ted Silary reported Wednesday, the Hawks will add pink to their uniforms for the game in support of breast cancer research.


DEFENSES ON DISPLAY

It'll be a battle of conference unbeatens on Friday night as Central York (7-0, 4-0) faces off against South Western (5-2, 4-0).

But as Cory Mull of The (Hanover) Evening Sun suggests, it'll be the teams' defenses that will truly be on display.

The two defenses have completely different approaches, Mull writes. While Central York touts linebacker and Penn State commit Kyle Baublitz as the heart and soul of its defense, South Western relies on a trio of defensive talent - Jake Myers, Jake Shaffer and Billy Utz.

"We have two very different types of defenses," Central York head coach Don Seidenstricker said to the Evening Sun. "We're very geared to gameplanning, playing tendencies of teams and not giving up the big play. We're a little bit of bend, a little bit of don't break.

"They're much more a roll-the-dice defense. It's just two different styles."


YES, THAT IS INTENTIONAL GROUNDING

The Post-Gazette's Rich Emert brings up a good point in his Thursday high school football notebook this week: Spiking the ball from the shotgun is indeed intentional grounding.

The issue came up during last weekend's game between Springdale and Brentwood, as the Springdale quarterback spiked the ball while lining up in the shotgun and was flagged by the official.

"The rule is that to stop the clock, the quarterback has to be under center and can take no more than one step back when spiking the football," Dick McHenry, a local PIAA rules interpreter told the Post-Gazette. "If [spiking the ball] is done out of the shotgun, it's intentional grounding."


BREAKING TIES

This weekend's games have big-time playoff implications for many teams across the state.

In the WPIAL Class AA, Sto-Rox and Keystone Oaks will try to break the tie for second place in the conference standings, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Both teams are sitting at 6-1 overall, a game behind undefeated South Fayette.

Sto-Rox quarterback and Penn State commit Paul Jones is expected to play, but still doesn't appear to be at 100 percent after coming back from an ankle injury earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in the eastern part of the state, the playoff picture is still pretty complicated, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, as 19 teams in Class AAAA are still vying for 16 positions in the postseason.

Those on the bubble? Quakertown, Conestoga, Perkiomen Valley, Souderton, Penncrest, Unionville and Upper Dublin. Heading into Week 8, the first four are in. The latter three are out. But that could all change.



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