Sunday, September 27, 2009

TVL's WPIAL Football Rankings

Three teams enter (or re-enter) the Class AAAA rankings following a tumultuous week in which Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair and Erie McDowell each lost. And, for the first time since the preseason, a Washington County team is ranked.

(Last week's ranking in parenthesis)
Class AAAA
1. Gateway 4-0 (1)
2. McKeesport 3-1 (4)
3. Woodland Hills 3-1 (NR)
4. Shaler 4-0 (NR)
5. Pittsburgh Central Catholic 3-1 (NR)

Class AAA
1. Thomas Jefferson 4-0 (1)
2. Hopewell 4-0 (2)
3. Chartiers Valley 4-0 (3)
4. West Allegheny 3-1 (NR)
5. New Castle 3-1 (3)

Class AA
1. Beaver Falls 4-0 (1)
2. Seton-La Salle 4-0 (2)
3. Mt. Pleasant 4-0 (3)
4. Jeannette 4-0 (4)
5. South Fayette 4-0 (5)

Class A
1. Rochester 4-0 (1)
2. Laurel 4-0 (3)
3. Clairton 3-1 (5)
4. Avonworth 4-0 (4)
5. Fort Cherry 4-0 (NR)


Anonymous said...

Not bad. I'd put Fort Cherry over Avonworth. And to be honest i'd still leave Serra @ 5. Avonworth just doesn't impress me. I say they lose to Springdale this Friday.


Anonymous said...

does anyone beleive this is the year that TJ falls to a WPIAL team?

Anonymous said...

id also put Laurel over Rochester. Im telling you, Laurel is for real and Rochester is small. Laurel is going to beat them.

Also, I know TJ obviously has to be #1, but I am going to make a bold prediction...Char Valley WILL beat TJ this year and TJ will NOT win AAA this year...Hopewell is going to take AAA.

R. Keith Taylor said...

Yes. TJ will fall to Char Valley.

I watched TJ play Ringgold and I was not impressed. TJ had 1 player: Giasante. Even though TJ aired it out against Ringgold, a team with an experienced secondary will shut down TJ. As far as TJ's running game is concerned, they did not get many rushing yards against Ringgold. The next game for Ringgold determines if they are contenders or pretenders.

PS If Char Valley doesn't do it, Hopewell will in the playoffs.

Sarcastic Sword said...

I watched TJ on Friday beat Ringgold. They are good - but they are not the dominating team that went undefeated last yr. If they do not win the WPIAL, I would not be surprised. But they will be in the mix Im sure....

Anonymous said...

We'll find out real quick if Laurel should be ranked #1 since they play Rochester this week.

Question for you Wash County folk. Do you think Fort Cherry will win because they are the local team or do you actually think they'll win the game against the Bears?

I think Fort Cherry definately has a shot to beat Clairton. But if you drop 21-7 after the 1st and 28-16 at the half like you did last week don't expect a victory. Clairton's defense is far superior to Serra's. You have to wear the Bears down with long sustained drives and keep it close until the 4th and then see what happens. And as a Bears fan I think this game will end up being a statement game to prove that Clairton is the top team in the state. I think this game will get ugly early.

Anonymous said...

thats what i was thinking too. TJ is good, of course, but maybe not as dominant as in the past. whereas previous TJ teams would never get a scare from the likes of uniontown, this team did. but who knows. cherpak is an awesome coach that knows how to prepare his team

R. Keith Taylor said...

Sarcastic sword. Do we know each other? You seem to be a Ringgold person.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Hopewell game on Friday and New castle torched them through the air - without their sophomore RB #1 Shell - Vikings lose easily. Shell did everything - even returned the opening kickoff 98 yards. New Castle's offense is awesome, but they turned the ball over 3 times after long drives as they were going in to score. They probably should have beat Hopewell. Their defense is not very good though - average at best.

I saw Chartiers Valley beat Belle Vernon 2 weeks ago and their defense is soft; I honestly think Ringgold's defense is better. Capers is their entire offense, but he is not a strong passer. He is extremely athletic though. He should probably be a WR or RB right now, not a QB. You can tell that he just doesn't have much experience at the position. Most of the passes he does complete are near the line of scrimmage and then his guys get him yardage running after the catch. I'm just not sure that they can stop TJ's passing game, or that Capers can beat them by himself.

I still think TJ might get beat this year though; but next year they should be really down in comparison to what they've been in recent years.

After that, they have an amazing group in 7th and 8th grade - they might be better than the group that just graduated over the last 2 years - so someone needs to beat them this year or next. This run has to slow down for them at some point - maybe this year; but for sure next year.

Anonymous said...

i agree fc over avenworth and laurel over rochester, i would even put clairton over rochester, this friday might as well be wpial semis with rochester and laurel facing off, and fc and clairton facing off. cant wait

Clairton Alum said...

Fort Cherry definitely has a chance to beat Clairton. It wont be easy but I think they can do it if they have a solid, fundamentally sound, mistake free night. I watched a little of Fort Cherry from last week against Serra. FC seems to have some size up front and looks good running the ball. What I will caution FC against is playing too much ball control and not enough offense. Chartiers Houston last year came into the game with Clairton and attempted to control the clock and grind it out on the ground. While it was a good strategy to try and keep the ball out of the hands of Clairtons offense, it appeared that they forgot to actually do something with the ball once they had it. They had so many 3 and outs that their offense never got going and ended up getting blown out. FC needs to play ball control but needs to take some chances...while they may have some success early running I have no doubt that Clairton will key on that and force FC to throw (or do something out of the ordinary) to beat them.

The post above me was correct...if you get down to Clairton by 14 or 21 early you will lose...there wont be any big comebacks. Clairtons running attack coupled with a lightning fast defense wont allow you to have the ball long enough to come back from a large defecit.

Interesting fact: since 2006 (when this current senior class were freshman) thru the first 4 games this season Clairton is 39-0 when holding their opponents to 14 points or less and only 5-5 when their opponents score 15 or more. I've seen that FC can score some points. If they get off to a good start and get some points on the board early their odds of pulling this off dramatically improve. If FC's young team can do it, they will be beating a senior class that has a 44-5 record (41-2 record against WPIAL teams), 3 playoff appearances, 2 WPIAL Titles, 2 state semi-final appearances and 1 state championship game appearance. That would be a huge accomplishment for a young team.

Honestly, I am hoping that this is a good game because last week (53-0 over Bentworth) was tough to watch.

Anonymous said...

I expect that one big leveling factor will be that this game is at FC, not Clairton. FC plays much better at home, and will not have the intimidation factor going against them from all the crazies yelling at the buses in Clairton. I think FC will try to keep their scoring up, not pull that lame Char Hou crap that killed them last year. I truly believe some of FC's playmakers (RB, WR, even QB) are better than last year's so that should help too. I'm predicting a 10-12 point win, just not sure which team yet. How about the team with less turnovers...??

Anonymous said...

I think Fc will win by six. 21-15. Now for the last post to say that the Qb,Wr,and Rb is definatly questionable being that the Qb, all 3 Rb's, and Wr were all conference/all media. Fort Cherry is a very good team, but they will have to prove how good playing Clairton this week. Serra may have been over-rated. Clairton will be true test on how good this Ranger team is. Last year Fc did the same thing won all four games.Look what happened to them 55-7? But Clairton isn't nearly as good as last year and Fort Cherry is close to as good if not as good then last year. Anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Clairton Alum. Forcing Tanner Garry to beat us would indeed be a start. But so far Tanner Garry has proved that he is an adequet QB. Fort Cherry must win the battle in the trenches to win this game. There is another factor in this game that can help the Rangers and its the weather. Its supposed to rain on Friday. If the Rangers can use the sloppy weather to their advantage they can upset the Bears. Like I said if they can keep it close and bring out Clairton's lack of discipline like Laurel did next week we could be asking how good is this Fort Cherry team. But I really think Clairton is out to make a statement much like last season at this point. I think Clairton is going to roll quite easily.

Anonymous said...

Fort Cherry's backfield is the biggest in single A. I don't think Clairton will be able to stop the 1-2-3 punch of Garry, Guidi and Kiefer. Furthermore, FC was intimidated by Clairton last year. These kids aren't intimidated by anyone this year.
FC 31
Clairton 30

Anonymous said...

Coach Garry has done a fine job so far. But if the team was intimated last season what makes me think they won't be this year. Yes Fort Cherry has a fine backfield and Garry does a great job on his checkdowns finding his cousin turing short passes into long passes. Clairton is a different animal than Bentworth and Serra. Fort Cherry in 2010 and esp 2011 could potentially be the machine Clairton is now. Your defense is indeed good but i'm not sure if they can handle Weatherspoon, Howard, Ball, Coles, Page and Clairtons defense just yet. Your on your way indeed.

Anonymous said...

You ask what makes you think that they wont be intimidated??? Its going to be at home, no long bus ride, no fan buses, cant wait to see it hope its a good game...

Anonymous said...

Clairton will win this game for fun. The Bears have way too much speed for Fort Cherry.

As for Laurel-Rochy. Should be a great game. A fast game. Never count out Rochy. Gene Matsook is the best coach in Class A and one of the best in the WPIAL. Of course, small school coaches never get any credit on this blog unless Mike gives it to them.

Anonymous said...

Different year...Different attitude...Different result.
No intimidation this year...
Rangers in a close one.

Anonymous said...

Your telling me that Fort Cherry was intimadated because the team and their fans came on a fan bus. They wasn't so intimated going into McKeesport last week.

Clairton is simply on another level. Same with Rochy. Your best bet is playing Clairton the same way Laurel did. Force Clairton to make mental mistakes and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Clairton was a lot faster than Laurel as well and we all know how that game turned out.

Don't be so sure that this will be an easy game for the Bears. They're definately the favorite, but FC is certainly capable of beating them.

Clairton Alum said...

forgive me but i am going to jump around a bit and touch on some points:

I love the discussion taking place name calling, no belittling, good facts, good opinions...i like it.

I've watched some more of FC...ill be honest, they have a good running game. They remind me a little of Monaca last year. They too had some sizable, tough backs and a good running QB. They also had a defense...Now I'm not saying that FC doesnt have a defense but they gave up 34 to Serra and Serra's offense isnt as explosive/quick as Clairton's. To date, that was the best offense by a mile that FC has played and they are playing a better one Friday night. If i am an FC fan that might worry me.

If not for 75 penalty yards (well-deserved penalty yards) on the final drive against Clairton in the Laurel game Clairton would currently be sitting at 4-0. Not to mention, on the last play of the game Clairton threw a 40 yd TD pass to tie it up...only to have it called back on ANOTHER penalty (again, deserved). I only bring this up because if Clairton rolls this Friday night there will be no reason to look back at that game any longer. I believe that game will end up being just a very strange anamoly. Clairton also historically struggles against Big 7 teams (although this senior class is 3-0 against Rochester).

If the weather is bad Friday night it will be a tremendous equalizer. If I'm FC I am praying for rain and sloppy field conditions.

I've read a lot about being intimidated and intimidating places to play. Obviously I grew up in Clairton. I hope this doesnt come across the wrong way but when you come into a place like Clairton its intimidating to certain schools. One reason is because they see Clairton on the news (usually for crime) at least once every two weeks. The second reason is because they know they are coming to play a tough Clairton team, the stadium sits in the middle of the city, people everywhere, saying things to you as the buses pull in, the rap music blaring, Clairton trash talking, a fairly large stadium for a Class A team, etc. Transversely, when we travel to places like Bentworth, Char Hou, Frazier, and all of these places in cow fields, pastures, nice neighborhoods, etc there's nothing intimidating about that. That coupled with the way Clairton plays football (always the intimidator, never the intimidatee) makes the bears impervious to intimidation.

Clairton's lines (O & D) may not be as good as last year but their skill guys are the same. You still have to deal with Weatherspoon, Howard, Ball, Page, Green and now Trenton Coles, Brandon Small and Capri Thompson. Their lines, however, are starting to gel and have gotten progressively better over the last 3 weeks. You may also be surprised when you see the size of some of the lineman Clairton has.

Clairton has a lot more speed than Serra. Quite honestly, pound for pound, Clairton might very well be the fastest team in the WPIAL. At some point FC is going to have to deal with that. Can FC win in a shootout? Can they keep up with that speed for all 4 quarters without getting gassed?

We still have 2 1/2 days before this game. I have looked at it a couple of different ways but I keep coming back to the same conclusion/prediction. FC will start this game on fire...they very well may drive down the field and score to begin the game. The question is what happens when Clairton gets the ball back and scores in 35 seconds? What happens when Clairton blitzes and sends 8 and 9 every single time against the run? I think that young FC team will have a problem handling that and I think Clairton pulls away in the second half. I think its going to be a real good game early but I think Clairton is focused on this game and I KNOW that they arent taking FC lightly...not at all.

Mike, will you be in attendance Friday night?

OSTARA said...

to anon on sept. 27 at 306 pm.

I think Hopewell Vikings look strong and could be primed to beat TJ!!!

By far TJ and Hopewell are the juggernauts of 3A.

mike_kovak said...

Yes, I will be there nustled somewhere inside the press box.

Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you why this years kids wont be intimidated,look at the other sport they participate in they're wrestlers and it takes a special kid to wrestle.The discipline the sacrifice the hard work.Clairton may out speed em but they wont intimidate em.

Anonymous said...

Clairton alum.

Good point, but what if Fort Cherry comes out on fire and stays on fire? What if they stop the big plays and clairton cant score in 35 seconds? Then the results are diffrent right? Also every body on this whole blog doubted Fort Cherry, everyone said serra gona handle them up front and serra going to win. They also said they would be suprised if Fc could even hang with them. (not on this typical TVL WPIAL FOOTBALL RANKING blog) but on some of the outher ones. Clairton may be the team everyones picking to win but You will be suprised on how the young fc team will do.

Anonymous said...

Clairton Alum,

Great points about the intimation factor. Growing up in Clairton myself and witnessing countless homegames from middle school to high school I wasn't able to see it like that because I was used to it. But I can definately see how it could be. Thank you for shedding that light.

Also your correct about the weather factor.

If we focus only on the running game Tanner Garry will beat us in the air. He manages the game really well for a sophmore. I witnessed what he can do first hand. He uses Conner Garry extremely well if Hurley and company aren't open downfield. I think the game will be won/lost for us when FC's offense is on the field because I just can't see FC's defense shutting down our offense for 48 minutes.

The game is more intriguing for me because my gf is a Fort Cherry alum. So I might find myself the only Clairton fan on the Fort Cherry side. We already have a friendly wager on this game.

Clairton Alum you seem to be a cool head so if you want to meet up at the game my email addy is


R. Keith Taylor said...

Clairton Alum. What does Clairton's football team future look like.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1109

I never doubt FC against Serra because as I said plenty of times I saw FC play 2X. I was kinda surprised the game turned into a shootout. I was expecting a hard fought low scoring game. The fact that FC gave up 34 points is a eyebrow raiser. Clairton has a far better offense than Serra which leads me to beleive that Clairton is going to score more than 35 points. The question is will FC be consistant enough to score at Clairton's pace. The games i've seen i'm going to say no they can't. FC seems to start out blazing and have a really slow 3Q and pulls away in the 4th. You questioned that what if Clairton doesn't score in 35 seconds what happens? I still would say Clairton will be able to score at will at times. FC is going to allow a few big plays. Comparing this game to the Serra is a big mistake because I beleive Clairton is at least 3 TD's better than Serra.


Anonymous said...

R Keith,

Clairton 2010 will look sort've like this. Josh Page will be the RB, Tenton Coles will be the WR, Green will be a senior QB. The line will most likely be even better than this year. Our defense will need to fill the MLB void left by Eddie Ball. It'll be a definate step down in places and reloading in others. A 2010 FC @ Clairton game(barring Clairton stays in the Blackhills) will be a highly contested matchup as FC will certainly be better than this year at this point.


Anonymous said...

I'm a washington county guy and fan of Fort Cherry and all county teams. Lets not forget how young this team is and where they are after week 4. No one expected them to be 4-0 at this point. Clairton is very good and experienced. Lets not forget that. Not sure if FC is ready to run with them just yet.

Clairton Alum said...

sorry on a different computer and couldnt log in to my google account.

anon at 11:09:

Thats why they play the game. I have no doubt that FC is a very good team. I have no idea what is going to happen Friday night...and obviously if FC stays hot and stops Clairton that should bode well for the Rangers. I think we are going to see an interesting way or another. I hope its a good, exciting game.


I have faith in Weatherspoon, Howard, Coles and Page to provide very good coverage down field when called upon. Two things worry me about Clairtons defense. They dont defend the trap run very well early in games and they tend to over-pursue on delayed screen passes. I think FC has the potential to take advantage of those two things if they choose. I may shoot you an email...I'd like to chat. Sometimes I like to sit on the opposing side and listen to the comments...

Keith Talyor:

8th Grade teams on down are looking pretty strong as they normally do. We are losing a lot of talent this year though and i think thats going to be hard to least for a year or two...but we have some real good young kids waiting.

Anonymous said...

I've said all that I can say about this game. I have to thank all of the Fort Cherry fans for keeping this a respectfull discussion. Good luck to the Rangers on Friday.

In fact i'm heading out to the FC middle school game against Bentworth because my GF's brother plays for FC and her sister is a cheerleader for the middle school. So if anyone wants to shout me a holler i'll be wearing a Pitt hoodie.


mike_kovak said...

Fantastic discussion from both sides. Enjoyed reading every post.

I'd like to add one thing that I don't recall reading in the analysis.

The Fort Cherry secondary lost Serra Catholic receivers on a few occasions during last week's game. For various reasons, the Eagles failed to capitalize on those opportunities.

Assuming Clairton maintains the big-play capability it had last year, those mistakes can't be afforded.

Joey Niklas said...

Excellant points Mike. See you Friday night man.

I forgot that I had an google account. oopsie, but oh well.

Again good luck to Fort Cherry this Friday.