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Trib HS Insider Q&A: South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth

| Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Christopher Horner
South Fayette receiver Zach Challingsworth. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
South Fayette receiver Zach Challingsworth. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
South Fayette receiver Zach Challingsworth. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

South Fayette senior Zach Challingsworth ranks among the WPIAL leaders with five receiving touchdowns, a star wideout for a pass-oriented offense that already has scored 156 points. But the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Pitt recruit also plays cornerback for a Lions defense that has allowed just six points.

Q:What are your expectations for this season?

A: First and foremost, we want to win the (conference) championship. We don't want to share a title with anyone. That's our first goal. But we're really eyeing up the WPIAL championship because we believe we can definitely get there and win.

Q: Has your defense taken pride in earning shutouts?

A: The one touchdown that McGuffey scored was in the last minute of the game against JVs, so our varsity defense hasn't been scored on yet. We haven't gotten any credit for our defense at South Fayette over the last couple years. We really tried to step it up this summer, and we know what we're capable of doing. We'll try to hold that goose egg up there as long as we can.

Q: Why has defense become an emphasis at South Fayette?

A: We don't want to just be known for our high-powered offense. We want to be known as a great all-together team, so we emphasize defense a lot. We do pursuit angles for the first 15 minutes of defensive practice every day. We tackle every day. We're really trying to emphasize defense this year and not just our aerial attack.

Q: What made Pitt a perfect fit?

A: I fell in love with Pitt. (The coaches) were considering me for awhile and hadn't pulled the trigger. Once they did, I knew it was the right school for me. My mom actually went to West Virginia and my dad went to Penn State, so I kind of fall right in the middle with Pitt.

Q: Can your mom root for Pitt?

A: We bought her some Pitt shirts and she's been wearing them proudly. Her family still lives in West Virginia and they're all Mountaineer fans. They said as much as they hate Pitt, they love to see me there. It's a funny ordeal.

Q: Do you have a favorite catch?

A: At Heinz Field for the WPIAL championship against Aliquippa (in 2010). I caught a corner route on the sideline and got my toe just inbounds. That to me is my biggest catch. I didn't score on that play — it got a first down — but that catch led to a touchdown and us winning the WPIAL championship. No other touchdown or catch compares to that because of the scale.

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