Some items that fell off my laptop.
Before we get to some football notes, let's address one basketball item. Can we set the record straight on some facts about Maverick Rowan? It seems there is plenty of wrong information circulating about Rowan.
Rowan is a Pitt recruit who played his first two seasons at Lincoln Park in Beaver County but last week decided he will transfer to Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Rowan accepted a scholarship to Pitt last summer before his sophomore year.
Here are some facts about Rowan (pictured):
AGE - Rowan is 18. No, he is NOT 19. His birthday is early July and he will turn 19 next summer.
ELIGIBILITY - Rowan would have been eligible to play the next two years at Lincoln Park. Under PIAA rules, a student-athlete is ineligible only if they reach the age of 19 before July 1 of their senior years. Rowan would turn 19 a few days after July 1 of next year.
EIGHTH GRADE AGAIN - Yes, Rowan repeated eighth grade, but that would not have affected his eligibility in this state. Under PIAA and WPIAL rules, a student can repeat eighth grade and still have four years eligibility on the high school level, but those repeating eighth grade can NOT participate in school sports during that year.
PLAYING UP TO NINTH GRADE - An eighth-grade student can play "up" on a ninth-grade school team and it does not count as one of four varsity years. The clock starts when a student reaches ninth grade. There are athletes everywhere around the WPIAL who are in eighth grade and play on a ninth-grade team, but that does not count as a year of varsity.
However, 8th graders in Pennsylvania are not permitted to play on JV and varsity teams. They can play on ninth-grade teams, though. And if a school chooses, an eighth-grader can play on a ninth-grade team, and then play again on the ninth-grade team the following year when he is in ninth grade.
ABOUT MONTVERDE - Yes, Rowan was considering attending Monteverde Academy in Florida, but Montverde has a high school and a prep school team. Rowan would've played on the high school team. And the coach of the high school team is Kevin Boyle, who had tremendous teams at St. Patrick in Elizabeth, N.J., before going to Montverde. The coach of Montverde's prep school team is Dante Calabria, a former Blackhawk High star. Calabria is in his first season at Montverde.
Alright, onto some football ...
The return of ...
Yes, it's the return of the wildly popular Varisty Xtra's "This Week In High School Sports." Colleague Terry Shields and yours truly blither about some high school topics and pick the top games every week. The show will run weekly through basketball.
Here is the first of the year:
Game of the week
The Post-Gazette game of the week for the first night of high school football is North Allegheny at Seneca Valley Friday. It's a big Northern Eight Conference game right off the bat.
And does anyone in the WPIAL have a tougher schedule than North Allegheny the first few weeks? After Seneca Valley comes a home game against Pine-Richland. Then North Allegheny plays at Central Catholic, and meets Upper St. Clair the following week in a non-conference home game.
WPIAL flavor at Pitt
Looking at Pitt's depth chart today ... wow is there a strong WPIAL flavor on this team. There are 10 starters from the WPIAL and one from the City League.
The City League starter is Manesseh Garner of Brashear. The 10 from the WPIAL are Tyler Boyd (Clairton), Adam Bisnowaty (Fox Chapel), J.P. Holtz (Shaler), Jaymar Parrish (Gateway), Khaynin Mosley-Smith (Woodland Hills), Todd Thomas (Beaver Falls), Lafayette Pitts (Woodland Hills), Reggie Mitchell (Shady Side Academy), Terrish Webb (Clairton) and James Conner (McDowell). McDowell wasn't in the WPIAL for Conner's senior season, but McDowell played in the WPIAL in Conner's other years.
Facing a WPIAL QB
While Pitt has a number of starters from the WPIAL, the Panthers will open the season against a quarterback from the WPIAL.
Trent Hurley a graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic, will be Delaware's quarterback against Pitt in the season opener Saturday at Heinz. Hurley is the first three-year stater at QB since Matt Nagy from 1998-2000. Hurley has played at Heinz Field once before. It was in 2009 when he was the quarterback of a Greensburg Central team that defeated Aliquippa, 33-7, in the WPIAL Class AA title game.
I remember the last game Hurley played in high school. It was in a snowstorm in Hershey in 2009 when Greensburg C.C. lost to Lancaster Catholic, 21-14, in the PIAA Class AA title game. (Check picture of Hurley diving in the snow).
Hurley started his career at Bowling Green, but transferred after two years. He threw for more than 2,000 yards last season.