Thursday, September 4, 2008
Considering the past few years, the Interstate Conference standings look a little different following the opening week of high school football.
Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic, each 1-0, are no surprise. The Jayhawks are the Observer-Reporter's No. 1 Class AA team, while GCC is ranked No. 5. Each figure to factor into the WPIAL playoff picture.
Three teams - McGuffey, South Allegheny and Waynesburg - are also 1-0. Each won its opening game convincingly. The Highlanders crushed Mt. Pleasant, 28-0. South Allegheny east past Brownsville, while Waynesburg beat Wash High 20-6.
The trio combined for six wins (four by McGuffey) and were outscored 316-745 a year ago.
It's early, but each has reason for optimism.
McGuffey has made significant strides each year for head coach Derek Bochna and has teetered on the verge of the playoffs the last several seasons in the WPIAL's most difficult Class AA conference. South Allegheny has been infused with a new head coach, Pat Monroe, who won a lot of football game at Duquesne High School. Waynesburg, formerly an annual playoff team, had nowhere to go put up after last year.
"If you look at the teams in this conference that have been struggling, I mean, Waynesburg is a good football program. They won the WPIAL not too long ago. That's not a team that can be phased out," McGuffey coach Derek Bochna said. "Brownsville won't be down forever. They were playing for WPIAL championships a few years ago. It's just tough to sustain everything in this conference."
Could the gap between Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic and the rest of the conference be closing? It's possible. At least conference coaches no longer have to contend with Terrelle Pryor.
"Over the course of time, this conference will get closer whether anybody believes that or not," Waynesburg coach Scott Orndoff said. "Sometimes, the public schools get stuck in a rebuilding phase."