High school notebook: Highlands' Cratsenberg getting looks
Allan Cratsenberg admits he's behind in the recruiting process, but his plans to commit to a Division I college for football seem to be right on schedule.
The incoming Highlands senior is one of the top returning linebackers in the WPIAL and has had big-school interest for a couple of years.
He has been slowed this summer by personal issues that prevented him from attending some prospect camps — a customary practice for almost all D-I recruits.
Maryland reportedly was on the verge of offering a scholarship pending his 40-yard dash time.
Cratsenberg did not want to go into details as to why he could not attend camps at Pitt and Penn State, among others, but he intends to show recruiters what they missed.
The way he sees it, there is plenty of time make an impression.
“I have to have a good senior season,” said Cratsenberg, who is 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds. “I have to show them what I can do on the field. All I have been doing is lifting and football. I am working twice as hard. I have been running three times a day at the field.”
Cratsenberg said he and Highlands coach Sam Albert are trying to set up individual workouts with Pitt, Penn State, Maryland and others.
“As I told him, things happen,” Albert said. “Go have a great senior season and see what happens. VMI really likes him. He's their No. 1 linebacker. They came in and were shocked that no one had offered.”
Two offers already have come Cratsenberg's way. Virginia Military Institute and St. Francis (Pa.) want him. A number of other school are interested.
VMI, Cratsenberg said, has had him on its radar since he was a sophomore.
St. Francis is making a strong push in the A-K Valley, likely due to second-year recruiting coordinator Jake Nulph, an Apollo-Ridge graduate.
Plum softball standout Jordan Seneca was named to the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches' all-state team.
Seneca, who will be a senior in the fall, was the only Alle-Kiski area player to make all-state. The St. Francis (Pa.) recruit hit .564 with five home runs, 10 doubles, 24 RBI and 35 runs last season.
The only local player named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches' all-state team was St. Joseph senior-to-be Joe Luciana. The outfielder hit .447 with 14 RBI last season to earn Class A first-team honors.
Players are nominated and chosen by coaches who are members of the associations.
Add recent Kiski Area graduate Jake Wiskeman to St. Francis' 2013 recruiting class. The 6-foot, 210-pounder was recruited to play linebacker for the Red Flash. Last season, he had 63 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for Kiski Area.
• North Catholic incoming senior Jarred Fragapane, who played at Deer Lakes as a freshman and sophomore, has committed to Lafayette. The 6-3, 220-pounder plays fullback and linebacker.
Deer Lakes has lost several highly regarded prospects to other high schools in recent years, including Shaler's J.P. Holtz (Pitt).
Former Valley star wide receiver Toney Clemons is in the NFL, but that hasn't stopped him from giving back to his high school.
Clemons, who plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been helping Valley at passing workouts in New Kensington. Incoming receivers are learning tips on route running.
“It's been great having him around, especially someone like Toney,” Valley coach Chad Walsh said. “The kids really enjoy having him there.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.