- High School
No matter if Seneca Valley wins or loses Friday night against North Allegheny, Seneca Valley’s Jordan Brown and Forrest Barnes have left a lasting impression – not only at their school but on the entire WPIAL.
You’ll have a hard time coming up with many duos in the WPIAL who have been as productive offensively as the Killer B’s. Since their sophomore seasons, Brown and Barnes have accounted for almost 11,000 yards offense.
To be exact, there are 10,725 reasons for Seneca Valley to like Brown and Barnes. That is the total yardage for the two over the past three seasons.
Brown became the Raiders’ starting quarterback in the middle of his sophomore season when starter Don Holl sustained a season-ending knee injury. For his career, Brown has 6,277 yards offense. He has 5,250 passing, completing 373 of 613 passes.
But he also has more than 1,000 yards rushing for his career, with 1,027 on 227 carries.
This season, Brown has completed 111 of 185 passes for 1,726 yards and 20 touchdowns and has rushed for 510 yards on 73 attempts.
Barnes also is a dual threat with his running and ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Barnes has 3,353 yards rushing in his career on 484 attempts. But he also has 1,095 yards receiving on 88 receptions.
This season, Barnes has rushed for 1,636 yards on 218 attempts and also caught 22 passes for 236 yards.
Seneca Valley plays a North Allegheny team Friday night that has defeated the Raiders 11 consecutive times. You’d think Seneca Valley might be tight to play this Class AAAA Semifinal against their longtime nemesis. Not so, says Seneca Valley coach Don Holl.
“This is really a loose bunch,” Holl said. “These guys like screwing around before games, playing catch in the locker room, listening to loud music. It’s not like it’s a party, but it’s that kind of atmosphere before a game. But what do you say because it’s like they can flip on a switch, go out and play.
“You know how it is. I always thought you had to be focused on the bus ride on the way to the game and have things quiet so you’re ready to play. I don’t know if I had it right or wrong all these years. Who knows? But it’s just different with this bunch.”
Two Long Streaks for the Bucks
It could be a historical night for the Clairton football team.
If Clairton defeats Neshannock in a WPIAL Class A semifinal, Clairton will stretch its winning streak to 59 games and tie the record for the longest streak in Pennsylvania history. Central Bucks West won 59 consecutive games from 1997-2000 before losing to Erie Cathedral Prep in the 2000 PIAA Class AAAA championship.
The funny thing is that Central Bucks West broke its own record. From 1984-88, Central Bucks West won 53 games in a row before tying Central Bucks East. That 53-game winning streak set a state record at the time, beating Braddock’s winning streak of 46 games in a row in the 1950s.
As coaching matchups go, two WPIAL semifinal games Friday night are classics.
Between the Woodland Hills-Upper St. Clair semifinal in Class AAAA and the West Allegheny-Thomas Jefferson semifinal in Class AAA, there are 20 WPIAL championships between the coaches.
Woodland Hills coach George Novak has six WPIAL titles and Upper St. Clair coach Jim Render five.
Meanwhile, West Allegheny coach Bob Palko has five WPIAL titles and Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak four.
PIAA Rules Basketball Player Ineligible
Elijah Minnie is considered one of the better junior basketball players in the WPIAL this season, but you won’t see him playing in any games.
On Thursday, the PIAA upheld a WPIAL decision and ruled Minnie ineligible to play basketball this season, saying he transferred from Summit Academy to the charter school in Midland for athletic reasons. The ruling was made after a hearing with Minnie and Lincoln Park school officials. In early October, the WPIAL ruled Minnie ineligible. This is one of the few times in recent years the PIAA has upheld a WPIAL ruling in a student-athlete transfer case.
Minnie is a 6-foot-8 forward who showed promise as a freshman player at Monessen, but got into some trouble and was sent to Summit Academy as a sophomore. Summit Academy is a school for adjudicated youth. Minnie spent a year at Summit and then enrolled at Lincoln Park for this school year. Lincoln Park has a strong basketball program at the Class A level and the Leopards played in the PIAA Class A final the past two seasons.
Friday (11/16) is the first day of official practice for the winter sports of basketball, wrestling and swimming. The first games, matches or meets can be held Friday, Decemeber 7th.
Five Alive on The Pitch
Five teams from the WPIAL will play for PIAA soccer championships in Hershey Friday and Saturday.
This is only the second time five WPIAL teams have made it to the championship games. The other time was 2007.
However, it should be pointed out that this is only the third season the PIAA has had three classifications for both boys and girls.
The PIAA didn’t start girls soccer championships until 1992. At that time, there were two classifications for boys and just one for girls. It stayed that way until 1996 when a second classification was added for girls.
In 2000, the PIAA added a third classification for boys while girls stayed with two classes. In 2010, the PIAA added a third class for girls.
The WPIAL teams in the title games Friday are Sewickley Academy boys and Greensburg Central Catholic girls. The WPIAL teams in PIAA championship games Saturday are Upper St. Clair boys, Peters Township girls and Moon girls.
The WPIAL has never won more than two PIAA championships in a year. The league won two six different times.
Going for Three
One of the big stories at this weekend’s PIAA soccer championships is the Peters Township girls team’s quest for a third consecutive title in Class AAA.
Peters Township is trying to become only the third team to win three consecutive championships since the PIAA started girls title games in 1992. The others are West Chester Henderson (1997-99) and Villa Joseph Marie (2000-02).
Peters Township will meet a Cumberland Valley team that also is a defending champion. Cumberland Valley won the PIAA Class AAA spring soccer title. The PIAA had staged spring soccer for years with mostly teams from eastern Pennsylvania competing. But the PIAA eliminated spring soccer after the 2012 season. This is the first year with only fall soccer.
Peters Township and Cumberland Valley actually met earlier this season and Cumberland Valley came away with a 3-2 win.