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HS Buzz: Top-seeded baseball teams move on

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Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

The WPIAL baseball committee seems to have all but nailed their postseason seedings.

Just one team seeded worse than sixth advanced to Tuesday's semifinal games.

No. 14 seed Shady Side Academy upset third-seeded Riverside, the two-time defending PIAA champion, 9-2, in the first round and then beat Chartiers-Houston, 2-1, in the quarterfinals.

The Indians (14-7) join No. 1 Quaker Valley (20-0), No. 2 Beaver (15-3) and No. 4 Deer Lakes (17-3) in the Class AA semifinals.

In Class AAAA, the top four seeds all advanced: Seneca Valley (17-3), North Allegheny (18-4), Hempfield (19-3) and Pine-Richland (17-4).

No. 1 South Park (22-0) and No. 2 Hopewell (19-3) are paired with No. 5 Keystone Oaks (17-4) and No. 6 West Allegheny (17-5), respectively, in Class AAA.

And in Class A, a similar scenario exists for No. 1 Serra Catholic (18-1) and No. 2 OLSH (18-2) facing No. 5 Western Beaver (16-2) and No. 6 California (17-4), respectively.

Jayhawks first

The Jeannette softball team needed extra innings Thursday in the WPIAL Class A playoffs, but a six-run eighth lifted the Jayhawks to an 11-5 victory against Sewickley Academy for the program's first playoff victory. Jeannette will face No. 3 Carmichaels in the quarterfinals at 2 p.m. Monday at Baldwin.

Tough luck

The PIAA track and field qualifying marks can be fair for some athletes, but unfair to others.

In Class AAA, the top four finishers in each event automatically qualify for the PIAA championships. Those who finish in the top eight and surpass the state qualifying marks also earn a trip to the state meet.

However, one girls relay team and three individuals who met the standard but finished ninth will be staying home.

A couple of coaches expressed their disappointment that the PIAA standards seemed unfair.

Ellwood City senior Abbey Eisenbrown (pole vault), Peters Township junior Kaitlyn Janusey (long jump), Peters Township junior Kylie Knavish (1,600) and the Shaler 400-meter relay team all have a gripe.

They easily surpassed the standards, but will watch from the stands at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium as athletes from other districts, who did not reach those qualifying standards but were automatic qualifiers, compete.

Winding down

Greensburg Salem School District board members are expected to name a football coach at Wednesday's scheduled meeting. The athletic committee interviewed numerous candidates who were assistants at the school and coaches from outside the district to replace Casey Cavanaugh, who resigned in March.

Carmichaels opening

High school football season is less than three months away, but Carmichaels will be looking for a new head coach after John Menhart announced his plans to resign last week. Menhart submitted a letter of resignation after going 21-18 in four seasons with the Mighty Mikes. He also coached Carmichaels from 1989-2002.

Among the best

The website compiled a list of high school football programs with the most wins since 2008, and a pair of WPIAL powerhouses were prominently listed. Clairton was tops in the country with 78 wins in that span. The Bears lost just two games the past five seasons, have won the past four Class A PIAA titles and are riding a 63-game winning streak. Class AA Aliquippa was 43rd on the nationwide list with 64 wins and just eight losses since 2008.

Championship change

The WPIAL boys volleyball championship games were scheduled for Friday but will instead be played Thursday at Baldwin High School. The Class AA final will begin at 6, with the Class AAA title game to follow. The consolation games will be played at 6 and 8 in Baldwin's auxiliary gym the same night.

Wrestling honors

Wrestling USA Magazine has named Canon-McMillan wrestling coach Chris Mary its national Coach of the Year.

The longtime coach helped the Big Macs to WPIAL and PIAA team titles the past two seasons. He also guided Cody Wiercioch, Connor Schram and Solomon Chishko to PIAA titles this past season.

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