Woodland Hills has plans to return to Heinz Field
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A strange thing happened at Woodland Hills in 2012. For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the Wolverines, who a couple of years ago had more players in the NFL than any school in the country, didn't have a Division I FBS recruit on its roster.
It didn't matter in the end.
The Wolverines found a way to get on a roll at the right time and make it to the WPIAL Class AAAA championship game at Heinz Field.
This year, things are back to normal at the Wolvarena as two players — defensive back Harry Randall and wide receiver Trevon Mathis — are getting college looks, and the team is considered a title contender.
“The guys that are coming back from last year, whether they're Division I or II, you expect them to be your leaders and they lead by example,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “It doesn't just take the kids with Division I offers. It takes a whole team to be leaders, and that's what I've seen out of this senior class.”
Randall, projected to be a safety in college, was supposed to be one of the team's top running backs in 2012, but injuries limited him to four games. Despite that, he was second on the team with 28 carries for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
Mathis is being recruited as a wide receiver but also was a defensive standout in 2012, leading the team with three interceptions.
“Just looking at them over the summer, I could see that they're bigger, faster and stronger,” Novak said. “They're focused. They know what they have to do, and I don't think that it puts any more pressure on them being looked at by Division I schools.”
Randall could get the added pressure of being the team's starting quarterback as he battled with sophomore Jeremiah Jones in camp. Whichever player lines up under center in the season opener against Upper St. Clair will be the third signal-caller for the Wolverines in as many years.
Both also will have to develop a rapport with sophomore running back Miles Sanders, who had a stellar season cut short in the playoffs because of an injury.
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.
- Leechburg’s Burtick, Knapp developing rapport in passing game
- Quaker Valley gains confidence after winning seasons
- Big doings on tap for BVA’s home opener
- West Mifflin will enter season without bona fide No. 1 running back
- Birdie says heat is on for another season of football picks
- Uniontown’s Washington poised to have breakout season
- HSFB preview by position: WPIAL full of game-changing kickers
- From football savvy to smarts, Freeport’s Thimons seems to have it all
- Size up front a boost for Deer Lakes
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic