• Brentaro Yamane

Merry Christmas!!

Updated: Jul 25

Thomas Jefferson's football team celebrates after beating Dallas High School 46-7 in the PIAA 4A Football championship on Thursday December 5, 2019.

SOURCE: Eric F. Epler | eepler@pennlive.com

As today is Christmas Day, let's take a look at some of the presents that some of the WPIAL high schools and WPIAL athletes have received in the month of December.

1. Thomas Jefferson's PIAA 4A Football Title: The 2019 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars football team is going to go down in history. They won the PIAA 4A Football championship on Thursday December 5, 2019 against Dallas High School. The Jaguars won the game by a score of 46-7 as they finished undefeated in 2019 with an overall record of 16-0. Last year, after the Jaguars lost to South Fayette in the WPIAL 4A Football championship, the Jaguars showed no mercy on all the teams they played this year, as they won the WPIAL 4A championship and got the PIAA championship that they have wanted for a while. This is the first PIAA football championship for the Jaguars since 2008. Winning that PIAA football championship is the best gift that Jaguars head coach, Bill Cherpak, could ask for.

2. The Arrival of Rodney Gallagher: When Bryce Laskey graduated from Laurel Highlands in 2018, they did not have a star basketball player that could play at an elite level in the 2018-19 WPIAL basketball season. This season, Rodney Gallagher arrived at Laurel Highlands. That was true Christmas gift for the Mustangs. The freshman is currently averaging 21.3 points per game this season as his Mustangs have an overall record of 3-3 and a section record of 2-1. Gallagher scored 14 points against Connellsville in his Mustangs debut on December 7, 2019.

3. Shaler defeated Mars: Shaler basketball player, senior Mekhi Reynolds scored 26 points against Mars in a 73-62 section win on December 17, 2019. Mars did not have their star basketball player Michael Carmody play in that game due to an injury. During Mekhi's time in high school, before the December 17th game, he was 0-3 all-time against Mars. This month, beating Mars was really a true Christmas gift for Reynolds and the Shaler Titans.

4. KSA Classic Tournament Win For Chartiers Valley: The Chartiers Valley Girls basketball team won the KSA Classic Tournament in Orlando as they defeated Argyle High School, located in Texas, in the championship game by a score of 40-35. Argyle's Girls basketball team have won the state championship for five straight years (2015-19) in 4A. The Colts are currently 6-0 on the season as they have won 36 straight games that is including regular season and postseason. Enjoying Disney World in Orlando and winning a tournament are Christmas gifts that the Lady Colts definitely enjoyed having.

5. Eric Wilson's Offers: Eric Wilson was known as the star quarterback for Sto-Rox High School. This season, in his senior year, he led the WPIAL in passing yards (3,228), was ranked second in the WPIAL in completions (211) and was tied for fourth in the WPIAL in passing touchdowns (30). Wilson's Sto-Rox team lost to Clairton by a score of 41-19 in the WPIAL 1A football championship game back in November. This month, Wilson received an offer from Seton Hill University. An offer from Seton Hill could be considered a nice Christmas gift. Wilson also has offers from Cincinnati Christian University, Lincoln University, and Urbana University. Now, for Wilson he will decide which college he wants to attend to play college football at.

6. Gabe Lawson's Hard Work Is Paying off: Seneca Valley starting quarterback, Gabe Lawson, just finished his senior year of high school football. Before he graduates high school, he will have to decide if he wants to play college football. If he does want to play college football, he'll have to decide where he would want to play at. Lawson led Seneca Valley to the WPIAL 6A football championship game in his junior year in 2018 as they lost to Pine-Richland by a score of 34-7. This past season, Lawson and the Raiders, had an overall record of 4-7 as they lost to Mt. Lebanon by a score of 35-14 in the WPIAL Class 6A Quarterfinals. He threw for 1,404 yards, and 8 touchdowns in his senior year. This month, Lawson received offers to play college football at Virginia Military Institute, Valparaiso University, Fairmont State University, and West Liberty University. He received the offer from West Liberty University on Christmas Eve. Getting four college offers in the month of December had to be some nice early Christmas gifts for Lawson.

7. The Hot Start For Springdale's Boys Basketball team: Springdale's Boys Basketball team has started 7-0 to start the season and to start the month of December. One of Springdale's wins came against Sto-Rox in an 86-85 thrilling overtime win. The team is currently ranked first in their section, WPIAL Class 2A Section 1. Springdale, Brentwood, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart are the only three teams in WPIAL 2A that are still undefeated. Starting off hot for Springdale is an early Christmas gift that they will take.

8. Wednesday, December 18th Division 1 Football Signing Day: Many high school football seniors from the Class of 2020 were happy on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 as 23 of them signed to play college football at the Division 1 Level. Here is a list of high school seniors that signed last week involving of where they are going to play college football at. Many of these players had an early Christmas present of deciding where to attend to college and not having to worrying about choosing a college anymore.

Division I FBS

Name, High school, Pos., College

AJ Beatty, Central Catholic, DE, North Carolina

Michael Carmody, Mars, OT, Notre Dame

Zuriah Fisher, Aliquippa, LB, Penn State

Dayon Hayes, Westinghouse, DL, Pitt

Ben Jackson, West Greene, RB, Army

Josh Kaltenberger, Seneca Valley, OL, Purdue

Kevin Meeder, Seneca Valley, OL, Ball State

Chase Mitchell, Washington, OL, Liberty

Ron Novosedliak, North Hills, OL, Central Michigan

Michael Petrof, Ligonier Valley, DL, Navy

Josh Rawlings, Woodland Hills, TE, Virginia

Jack Salopek, Norwin, QB, Western Michigan

Michael Snowden, University Prep, LB, Akron

Division I FCS

Name, High school, Pos., College

Hayden Baron, Belle Vernon, OL, RMU

Fintan Brose, Hempfield, OL, Delaware

Cole Graham, Hempfield, OL, St. Francis (Pa.)

Christian Jablonski, Ligonier Valley, DL, Lehigh

Riley Kemper, Burgettstown, OL, RMU

Carson Primrose, North Catholic, OL, Sacred Heart

Jackson Pruitt, Jeannette, DB, Youngstown State

Max Schipani, Seton LaSalle, DB, Albany

Sam Sheridan, North Allegheny, DE, Lehigh

Wylie Spiker, Ligonier Valley, OL, St. Francis (Pa.)

9. The Arrival of Kathy McConnell-Miller: Kathy McConnell-Miller was hired this past Summer to be the head coach of Trinity's Girls basketball team. She made her Hillers coaching debut on December 6, 2019, as they defeated Our Lady of the Sacred Heart by a score of 74-30. The arrival for McConnell-Miller was a nice present for Trinity as the Hillers overall record, so far this season, is 7-1 as their only loss was to Blackhawk on December 7, 2019. If Trinity wants to win in WPIAL 5A, the team that they probably have to face to get that WPIAL championship is Chartiers Valley. And, we all know who coaches the Lady Colts, the one and only Tim McConnell, who is Kathy's brother. If anyone is going to unlock a way in defeating Tim's Lady Colts, wouldn't it be his own sister, Kathy? The Colts and Hillers do not square off against one another until January 2, 2020 when both teams will play at Trinity High School.

10. Jake DiMichele and Dante Spadafora: This season, DiMichele and Spadafora are considered one of the best duos in WPIAL Boys basketball. They have both led the Chargers to an overall record, so far, of 7-0. The true Christmas present that the Chargers realized they got is both of these athletes. They both could have played their high school ball at different schools since Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is a private school. If both Spadafora and DiMichele played their high school basketball at the local high schools that they live close to, the Chargers might have not started this hot as they are both averaging at least 25 points per game. Spadafora could be playing in his home area, South Fayette while DiMichele could be playing in his home area, Sto-Rox. Those two schools missed out.

BY Hilton: bythebossandgoat@gmail.com and Twitter @BYHilton13



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