Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday notebook

I'll be at tonight's Ringgold at Franklin Regional game. For updates, follow me on Twitter @TheMikeKovak, and feel free to send updates of your game to me as well.

The WPIAL spotlight will shine - of all places - on the Keystone Conference tonight when one-loss Ringgold plays at unbeaten Franklin Regional.

"This is the first time we've gotten this much publicity going into a game since I've been here fore sure," Ringgold coach Matt Humbert said. "It's a good thing for the conference. Everybody always wants to knock our conference, and sometimes they're justified."

Those knocks are because of the conference's dismal postseason record, but Ringgold and Franklin Regional are both intriguing Class AAA contenders.

Should Ringgold win, the Rams all but lock up the conference title with a win against Greensburg-Salem already in the books. Ringgold won the Keystone last year, part of the team's first undefeated, untied season.

The Rams got good news today when they learned quarterback Quad Law is cleared to play, and not doubt the playmaker will prove vital to their chances.

But Ringgold will be counting on several others players, particularly on defense against a Franklin Regional team that has yet to be tested.

"I kind of disagree with people who say they haven't played anybody," Humbert said. "They beat two Quad-A teams and I don't care who they are, that's not easy to do by the margins Franklin Regional did it."

Key to that defense is senior defensive end Michael Beveridge.

"When we pinpoint people we need to have a big game, he's one of those guys," Humbert said. "He needs to be extremely disciplines to do what we need him to do, and we're confident he'll be exactly that."

Beveridge, a member of the Observer-Reporter Elite 11 as a junior, has a knack of playing his best in big games. Earlier this year at Greensburg-Salem, Beveridge had four tackles behind the line of scrimmage during the fourth quarter. He also forced a fumble and recovered another.

* Fort Cherry quarterback Tanner Garry ranks second in the WPIAL in passing yards and first in touchdown passes.

Waynesburg's Nick Zupper ranks third in the WPIAL in rushing yards.

Ringgold's Quad Law leads the WPIAL in yards per carry.

Fort Cherry's Ryan Babirad and South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth rank high in receiving yards.

Beth-Center has intercepted 19 passes, and quarterback Sal Faieta has accounted for 25 touchdowns.

* Six area golfers - Tom Nettles and Trent McPherson of Peters Township, Canon-McMillan's Ben DuCarme, South Fayette's Evan Lestini, Bentworth's Garrett Damich and Waynesburg's Emily Rohanna - qualified for the PIAA West Region semifinals, which were held Tuesday at Tom's Run Golf Course in Blairsville.

All six golfers advanced to the PIAA Championships, a two-day event which tees off Monday at Heritage Hills in York. That's hardly a surprise, but considering how the top of the leaderboard was crowded with the local competitors, it's safe to say the Washington-Greene region is a high school golfing haven.

Nettles enters the state championship as the PIAA West Region champ after he birdied three of the final four holes to finish with an even-par 72. Nettles, a junior attracting serious Division I interest, became the first golfer from Peters Township to win the West Region.

McPherson, DuCarme and Lestini all tied for fourth, while Damich tied for 11th.

Rohanna finished tied for third on the girls side.

What is about the area that produces so many top-notch individuals and golf teams?

* Washington junior Jaylin Kelly will not play tonight against South Allegheny. Kelly injured an ankle during last Saturday's win over Quaker Valley.

Kelly starts at linebacker and running back for the Prexies.

* Waynesburg hasn't been in many postseason discussions since the playing days of Lee Fritz and Lanfer Simpson, but the Raiders play a key game tonight at Mt. Pleasant.

If the Raiders beat the Vikings, they position themselves for their first postseason berth since 2003.

* I'd imagine Beth-Center senior linebacker Jake Sofran would rather the Bulldogs be undefeated at this point, but he's still notched a a couple impressive milestones the past two weeks.

Sofran, who is receiving interest from a number of Division I-AA and II schools, set B-C's career tackles mark during the Bulldogs' 46-0 win over Monessen two weeks ago. Last week in a one-point overtime loss to Avonworth, Sofran set a single-game record with 20 tackles.

A four-year starter, Sofran has 400-plus tackles in his career.


Anonymous said...

Can you please tell me why you think its appropriate to publish a letter to the sports editor criticizing a coach publicly? I am referring to letter about WHS volleyball. I find it hard to believe you would publish that and I am hoping someone else gave the stamp of approval to have that printed. That is a very cheap shot and classless move in my opinion. Would you publish an article that I write describing how classless and unfair the O-R reporting is? Dawn Goodman publish an article on WHS grad. rates which was fine. However, she used two sets of data that used two different formulas to show a highly distorted drop off in grad. rates. The PostGazette did an article the day after stating that the new data should not compared to the previous years data due to 2 different formulas used. Enough is enough from this paper.

mike_kovak said...

It was published under Letters to the Sports Editor.

I am not the sports editor. If you have a problem, please take it up with him or the person who wrote the letter.