Winovich switch vital to TJ success
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Thomas Jefferson football team beat Ringgold, 41-14, in its 2012 season opener.
In Week 2, the Jaguars narrowly escaped with a 21-19 win at Elizabeth Forward.
Following that close call, the TJ coaching staff decided to make a personnel move.
Chase Winovich, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior, moved from his safety position — where he had started as a sophomore — to inside linebacker.
The Jaguars haven't looked back, reeling off eight overpowering victories in a row including last week's 63-19 shellacking of Hollidaysburg last week in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
In the regular season, Winovich led the team in tackles with 45, including 39 unassisted stops, with four fumble recoveries and five sacks.
“We've found a spot for him, that's for sure. He's been getting better and better every week,” Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson's head coach, said. “He can cover the whole field, he can run, and he has size. He's a football player.”
Winovich joined junior Austin Boyd at inside linebacker, while senior linebacker Derek Toboz switched from inside to outside. He was united with Colton Booher, a senior, on the outside, and Zach Talley, a junior, took over at safety.
The fiery Winovich has been a catalyst in the Jaguars' impressive defensive effort this season. Since the Elizabeth Forward game, the Jaguars have allowed only 55 points (7.9 ppg) and has posted two shutouts.
“(Chase) is aggressive, and he will make plays. He puts pressure on the other team,” Cherpak said. “He likes to create havoc in the backfield.”
Never was that more evident than in the recent Big Nine Conference championship game at TJ Stadium.
The Jaguars defeated rival West Mifflin, 28-14, as Winovich was credited with a team-high 12 tackles, including 11 unassisted stops, with one sack.
He surely is looking forward to providing the Jaguars with a sterling performance on possibly an even bigger stage — Heinz Field in the WPIAL finals — on Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- HSFB preview: New coaches set to lead teams to victory
- Knoch tailbacks look to ‘take it and run with it’ in battle for No. 5 jersey
- Lineman Groh back from injury, ready to help Mustangs
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity
- Some of the WPIAL’s top teams leaning toward two-back ground game
- Freeport football star Thimons might be even better off the field than on it
- McKeesport’s offensive motor and defensive stopper, Hudson is special
- Merger sparks position battles at Armstrong
- Former rivals from Kittanning, Ford City bond to form River Hawks
- Salvino set to lead Monessen football
- Mon Valley football teams finally get to hit somebody else