PIAA makes basketball player eligible .... Record holder will be at Shell's game

Written by Mike White on .

Varsity Blog note: I will have a live blog tonight from the Mt. Lebanon-Hopewell game. Check to see if Hopewell's Rushel Shell breaks the WPIAL rushing record. I'll also have score updates and notes from other games. If you ahve a score update, send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post on Twitter @mwhiteburgh.

The PIAA has overturned the WPIAL on another eligibility decision.

Ryan Skovranko, one of the better sophomore basketball players in the WPIAL, transferred in the spring from West Mifflin to Lincoln Park. The WPIAL ruled him ineligible, saying he transferred for athletic intent.

But this morning, the PIAA had a hearing with Skovranko and overturned the WPIAL's ruling, and made Skovranko eligible. Skovranko is a 6-6 forward.

The PIAA has overturned the WPIAL in many eligibility rulings over the years.

About Shell and the record

Hopewell's Rushel Shell might set a new WPIAL rushing record tonight. The current record holder will be in the stands watching.

Mike Vernillo will attend the Mt. Lebanon at Hopewell game. Vernillo rushed for 7,646 yards on 927 carries from 1996-99 at Fort Cherry High School. Vernillo lives in Bridgeville and works in downtown Pittsburgh in the on-line higher education department for Education Management Corporation.

Vernillo met Shell for the first time this summer at a photo shoot for the cover of the Post-Gazette football preview edition.

Shell needs 134 yards to tie Vernillo's mark. Will he get the record tonight? Well, Mt. Lebanon "held" Shell to 137 yards in last year's game.

I say Shell gets the record, but don't forget about Mt. Lebanon's running back. Luke Hagy is one of the best in the WPIAL.

More in all-star game

Representatives of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will present Shell with his game jersey tonight before the game. Shell will play in the inaugural all-star game in January in Phoenix.

But Shell is actually one of six WPIAL players in the game. The others are Fox Chapel offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty, Jeannette defensive back Demetrious Cox, McDowell running back Greg Garmon, South Allegheny tight end-defensive end Jesse James and Sto-Rox linebacker Deaysean Rippy.


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