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High school notebook: McKeesport back to full strength this week

| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:56 a.m.

With one win in four games, McKeesport is off to one of its worst starts in years. Coach Jim Ward, however, has reason to be optimistic.

The Tigers (1-3) return seven players from suspensions for Friday's game at Altoona. Quarterback Eddie Stockett, an Akron recruit, is back after missing the Penn-Trafford game for violation of team policy. Mikell Moore, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior running back, returns after sitting out one game due to an ejection and two games as punishment for his involvement in a fight in the season opener.

Five other players also served a one-game suspension for violating team policy, and two players return from injuries.

“You get more excited when you get some of your better players back,” Ward said. “It doesn't guarantee anything, but we're looking forward to having the team we thought we were going to have and competing with these guys.”

Winless no more

Four weeks into the season, there are 20 WPIAL teams without a win.

That number will be reduced by 20 percent this weekend.

There are four games matching winless teams: Plum at Canon-McMillan, Shaler at Fox Chapel, Serra at California and Riverview at Wilkinsburg.

It has been a trying season for Serra coach Jamie Eckels, who lost five transfers, including WPIAL No. 2 passer Kyle Whipple to East Allegheny. The Eagles are expected to play California without sophomore quarterback Zac Quattrone (knee).

“They're in good spirits,” Eckels said of his Eagles. “They want to learn or they wouldn't be here. You just try to teach, teach, teach. I try to keep it to: ‘We're going to get better. Winning and losing will take care of itself.' ”

Early return

Montour lineman Ty Haddock will rejoin the lineup this week, having recovered earlier than expected from a foot injury. Haddock, a Temple recruit, said in August that he could miss much of the season after fracturing his left foot in a scrimmage. But the 6-foot, 300-pound tackle will play this week vs. Ambridge, Montour coach Lou Cerro said. The Spartans, No. 1 in Class AAA, will have Haddock and Matt Barone, also a Temple recruit, anchoring their lines.

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