ShareThis Page

High school notebook: Highlands' Cratsenberg getting looks

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Thursday, July 18, 2013, 11:24 p.m.
Highlands quarterback Alan Cratsenberg breaks through the Knoch defensive line for a first down Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Golden Rams Stadium in Harrison.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Highlands quarterback Alan Cratsenberg breaks through the Knoch defensive line for a first down Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Golden Rams Stadium in Harrison.

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.

All-State picks

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.

Recruiting update

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).

Helping out

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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.