A record-keeping snafu will keep Monessen boys basketball coach Joe Salvino from picking up career victory No. 500 for a little longer than originally thought.
It was believed that Salvino had 498 career wins heading into the Greyhounds' game tonight. After some extensive record checking, Salvino has 489 wins. The way Monessen - the No. 2 team in the Observer-Reporter Class AA rankings - is playing, Salvino should pick up his 500th win sometime in February.
* We've reached the halfway point of the regular season in basketball and candidates for player of the year have certainly emerged.
In boys basketball, it looks like a three-player race between South Fayette teammates Mike Lamberti and Pat Zedreck and Trinity sharpshooter Josh Valentic. Fort Cherry's Nate Bellhy can make a push if the Rangers contend for the postseason. So could Canon-Mac big man Dylan Berger.
Canon-McMillan's Emily Hansen, Monessen's Geena Shrader and Avella's Amanda Temple are in the middle of outstanding seasons.
The boys team at Monessen and the Fort Cherry girls - both teams capable of extended playoff runs - are so balanced it's difficult pinpointing a Player of the Year candidate.
* Finally got a chance to watch the Ringgold boys team this week when the Rams played at South Fayette in a game between two of the top teams in Section 5-AAA.
South Fayette won handily but there were definitely some things I liked about the Rams.
One was the play of forward Zack Smith, who finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Smith had his hands full trying to guard all of South Fayette's big men as teammate Michael Beveridge was plagued with foul trouble, but he gave it full effort. With about a minute remaining, Smith gasped his way toward the Rams bench, looked at Ringgold coach Pete Logan and said, "I'm so tired." He looked it, but that kind of effort is one of the reasons why Ringgold is 8-2 and 3-1 in section play.
I've seen a few teams already this year that could learn a few things from watching tape of Smith's effort.
I also liked the quick release of shooting guard Andrew Stine. If Stine has a tiny window to get off a jumper, he's taking it. I can't recall seeing a quicker release for a jump shooter at the high school level the past couple years.
* As I sit here typing this, Channel 11 noon news is on and they are doing a live remote from the Steelers pep rally at the courthouse in Pittsburgh. Who are they interviewing? South Fayette's Josh Patterson, who attended the rally with several members of the Lions football team.
Patterson had surgery this week on a broken nose suffered in a basketball game at Wash High.
* According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Nick Milchovich is one of five candidates to make it to the second round of interviews for the Peters Township football coaching position.
Milchovich, the Indians coach the past four years, had his job opened in December. At the time, it appeared to be a move to oust the coach, who guided Peters Township to 10 wins the past two years.
* As for the other four candidates, if I can confirm names, I'll let you know. I can put to rest at least one rumor that I heard multiple times from a few high school football coaches, Thomas Jefferson's Bill Cherpak is not believed to be among the candidates.
Every time I heard his name mentioned with Peters Township, it just seemed hard to believe for obvious reasons. The only one I could come up with was maybe he'd be interested if Peters Township combined the football and athletic director positions.
Peters Township wants to keep those positions separate.
* Another coaching rumor has Washington's Mike Bosnic headed to Connellsville for the vacancy there. Bosnic attended Albert Gallatin, which is not far from Connellsville.
* It's mid-January and the fall sports varsity coaches at Peters Township don't know if they'll be hired back for next season. There is a school board meeting next week.
* Count me among the many who believe that Pitt can not thrive as a football program by concentrating on recruits from Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania in particular.
Sure, it's nice to keep some local products at home but the WPIAL and City League hasn't been fertile recruiting round for years. True, every Super Bowl has had a participant from the Big 33 Football Classic but how many elite NFL players call the WPIAL home?
I can count one, Darrelle Revis.
Pitt's challenge will be keeping the occasional elite recruit from the WPIAL home. Players like Terrelle Pryor haven't thought about playing for Pitt in some time. That's where Todd Graham needs to make a difference.
* One player who'd be willing to listen to Graham and Pitt if it needs to fill out the recruiting class in South Fayette's Christian Brumbaugh.
Brumbaugh committed to Division I-AA William & Mary two days before South Fayette beat Forest Hills in the state semifinals. At one point, Brumbaugh had three Division I offers - Akron, Bowling Green and Buffalo.
After watching Brumbaugh in seven games this season, the only thing I can see that kept him from fielding more offers was foot speed. Funny, I don't recall Dan Marino being a burner, not that I am comparing the two, I'm just pointing out how recruiting is more about shuttle runs, vertical leaps and bench presses these days than it is production on the field and knowing how to win.
I asked Brumbaugh last Friday if he'd be willing to listen to a recruiting pitch from Pitt and he answered yes.