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FSN Pittsburgh unveils Thursday night football lineup

New Latrobe coach Ray Reitz will put his rebuilding program on display Sept. 17 in the opener of FSN Pittsburgh's scheduled lineup of Thursday night high school football telecasts.

The opponent: None other than Gateway, which was nationally ranked through most of the 2008 season and has played in the past two WPIAL Class AAAA championship games.

Latrobe was 3-7 last season, but Reitz, who led Jeannette to the 2007 PIAA Class AA title before accepting the Latrobe job this year, greeted the news with enthusiasm.

"It's a great thing for the kids," he said. "It will get them exposure. They haven't had that in a while."

FSN Pittsburgh will televise seven regular-season WPIAL games on Thursdays, beginning at 7 p.m., plus three playoff games (7:30 p.m.) on the first three Fridays in November and four championship games Nov. 27 or 28 at Heinz Field. After the Thursday games, the "Trib Total Media High School Edition" will preview Friday's games.

The package has one fewer game than last year because the network and the WPIAL did not want to go against the Steelers, who open their season Sept. 10.

Must-see TV
Date Matchup Comment
Sept. 17 Latrobe at Gateway Ray Reitz's rebuilding program at Latrobe gets big test
Sept. 24 Central Catholic at Upper St. Clair Rematch of Central Catholic's one-point victory in 2008
Oct. 1 Seton-La Salle at Sto-Rox Penn State recruit Paul Jones leads Sto-Rox at QB
Oct. 8 Ford City at Shady Side Academy Allegheny Conference runner-up visits defending champ
Oct. 15 Thomas Jefferson at Chartiers Valley T.J. puts reputation on line against Big Seven Conference rival
Oct. 22 Fox Chapel at Penn Hills Division I recruits abound in this Quad East showdown
Oct. 29 Montour at West Allegheny Neighboring Class AAA rivals chase past glory
Nov. 6, 13, 20 WPIAL playoff games
Nov 27 or 28 Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A title games at Heinz Field

Another highlight of the schedule pairs Shady Side Academy, trying to defend its Class AA Allegheny Conference championship, against visiting Ford City on Oct. 8.

"We lose a lot of guys," Ford City coach John Bartolovic said, "but we should be ready to go by then."

Bartolovic said he doesn't expect his players to be camera-shy.

"I really didn't think about it," he said, "but once the game gets going that disappears. It's like any big game. I think it'll be pretty neat, being the game of the week."

FSN Pittsburgh's high school telecasts beat all other regions in the country last season in attracting viewers. Of the top 20 telecasts, 11 were on FSN, including six of the top seven.

Play-by-play announcer Rob King and analyst Craig Wolfley will return to call the games.

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