For the past few years, FSN has televised (live) a Thursday night game in the WPIAL. While met with some opposition by schools in the beginning, the games have become popular in recent years.
The start of the 2010 football season is about a month away but FSN has not released a schedule for Thursday games. That might lead one to believe FSN has put a stop to the concept. But sources say the games are still a possibility this season.
FSN apparently has a schedule of Thursday night games ready to go, but hasn't gotten approval from national headquarters.
In other words, stay tuned on this one.
National poll released
The National Prep Poll has been released for the 2010 football season and you have to go all the way to No. 91 to find a WPIAL team. Woodland Hills (91) is the only WPIAL team in the top 100.
That shouldn't be a surprise because there is not an overwhelming team heading into the season. Woodland Hills should be good and will likely be the Post-Gazette's No. 1 WPIAL Class AAAA team at the start of the season. The Wolverines have a handful of Division I college players and plenty of talent. They are good enough to even win a state championship, but don't have the lofty national reputation, at least at the start of the season. Quarterback play will be one of the keys for Woodland Hills.
Four other Pennsylvania teams are ranked higher than Woodland Hills in the National Prep Poll. They are La Salle (defending PIAA Quad-A champ) at No. 23, North Penn at No. 33, St. Joseph's Prep at No. 54 and Cumberland Valley at No. 71. Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt is No. 96.
I'm just thinking, though, that isn't it a little crazy to try and rank 100 high school teams across the country? Oh well, it does create interest.
More on the rankings: Manatee, Fla., is ranked No. 21. Manatee plays Woodland Hills in the season opener Saturday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. It is the fourth and final game of the Rally at the Wolvarena event. Four WPIAL teams will play four teams outside the state.
The top five teams in the National Prep Poll are: 1. Trinity (Texas). 2. Plant (Fla.). 3. Abilene (Texas). 4. Lake Travis (Texas). 5. South Panola (Miss.).
Brian Shorter coaching high school
The Woodland Hills basketball team was playing in a weekend tournament at North Allegheny last month, and one of the coaches on the Woodland Hills bench was former Pitt player Brian Shorter.
Mike Decker was acting head coach of the team. He was an assistant last year under Dave Krakoff, but Krakoff resigned and moved to Florida. Decker might be in line to get the head coach's job. Decker said Shorter just retired this year from playing in Europe and "might" be an assistant coach for Woodland Hills this season.
I thought Shorter looked great. He looked leaner than his Pitt playing days.