Upper St. Clair coach Jim Render has never handled losing well. So don't look for him to be skipping around and whistling these days
It has been a while since Render's team has had such a rough start.
Upper St. Clair is 1-3. With a game looming Friday against 4-0 Woodland Hills, Upper St. Clair is staring 1-4 in the face.
It has been 14 years since Upper St. Clair started 1-3. In 1998, the Panthers started 1-4. But maybe Upper St. Clair can look to that '98 season for motivation. After the 1-4 start, Upper St. Clair won four in a row and made the WPIAL playoffs before losing in the first round to New Castle.
Render has more wins than any coach in WPIAL history. Sure, he has his detractors but is there anyone around the WPIAL who does it better? But no matter the coach or the school in the WPIAL, there are going to be these down years, every once in a while, right? And really should we be all that surprised by the 1-3 start? Upper St. Clair had one starter back from last season and the Panthers' schedule has been awfully tough. The losses have all been on the road to Penn Hills, Bethel Park and North Allegheny.
But after Woodland Hills, Upper St. Clair's final four games are all winnable against Baldwin, Canon-McMillan, Montour and Mt. Lebanon. I think they win at least three.
It will be interesting to see how much Upper St. Clair improves in the second half of the season.
Varsity Xtra video
Here is Varsity Xtra's version of This Week In High School Sports with yours truly and Terry Shields. We talk about some big games, including game of the week North Hills vs. Pine-Richland.
The Pennsylvania Football News state rankings are out for this week.
Here are the Post-Gazette state rankings:
1. Central Catholic 4-0
2. Woodland Hills 4-0
3. St. Joseph's Prep 1-2
4. Pennsbury 4-0
5. Parkland 4-0
1. Archbishop Wood 4-0
2. Bishop McDevitt 4-0
3. West Allegheny 4-0
4. Erie Cathedral Prep 4-0
5. Thomas Jefferson 4-0
1. South Fayette 4-0
2. Aliquippa 4-0
3. Southern Columbia 4-0
4. Berks Catholic 4-0
5. Seton-LaSalle 4-0
1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 4-0
2. Clairton 4-0
3. Wellsboro 4-0
4. Jeannette 4-0
5. Sharpsville 4-0