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Football scrimmages set for South Hills squads

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The end of the first week of preseason drills for high school football teams means one thing — it's now time for their first scrimmage of the year.

High school squads prepare for a season by participating in two scrimmages, usually one in the morning and another, a week later, at night.

The first round of scrimmages around the Western Pennsylvania area will take place Saturday. All but two are slated to be held in the morning.

Each of the four local varsity teams — Baldwin (Class AAAA), Thomas Jefferson (Class AAA), Seton-La Salle (Class AA) and Brentwood (Class A) — is scheduled to scrimmage Saturday at 10 a.m. Each will face the same opponent as last year.

Baldwin is at home against Ringgold (Class AAA), Thomas Jefferson hosts South Park (Class AA), while Seton-La Salle entertains Brashear (City League).

Brentwood, meanwhile, is on the road against Southmoreland (Class AA).

Baldwin finished with a 3-6 record and missed the Quad-A playoffs in 2012. The Fighting Highlanders are led by first-year head coach Pete Wagner this season.

“Our staff has put in a great deal of time and effort to install all new schemes,” Wagner said. “(The) staff has done a great job instilling confidence in our kids in order to clear away the clutter so they can read, react and play a physical brand of football.”

Seton-La Salle ended up 9-2 overall last season. The Rebels are led by Greg Perry, who is in his ninth year as field boss.

“Our defense is much more ahead of our offense,” Perry said. “We're kind of excited with what we have coming back.”

Brentwood was 7-4 overall last season under Kevin Kissel, now in his 17th year as head coach.

“We have a good nucleus coming back,” Kissel said. “There's not a lot of depth, but the kids coming back were very instrumental for us (last) year. The more guys we have play, the better we'll be as a team.”

Thomas Jefferson compiled an 11-1 record last year under Bill Cherpak, who is the Jaguars' all-time winningest football coach. Cherpak is in his 19th season as TJ's field boss.

The Jaguars won the Big Nine Conference crown in 2012, and advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinal round.

The second round of preseason scrimmages will be held next weekend, followed by the opening week of the 2013 high school football season.

Three local squads — Baldwin, Thomas Jefferson and Brentwood — will kick off their 2013 regular season Aug. 30.

Baldwin opens at home versus Peters Township at 7:30 p.m. in a Quad Central Conference matchup.

Peters Township defeated the Fighting Highlanders last year, 40-12.

Thomas Jefferson visits Ringgold at 7:30 p.m. in its Big Nine Conference opener.

The Jaguars socked Ringgold last season, 41-14, then went on to win their 23rd conference title in school history with an 8-0 slate — the eighth undefeated regular season in school history.

TJ also qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA semifinal round for the 15th time in the past 16 years.

Brentwood is scheduled to host Serra Catholic at 7:30 p.m. in its Black Hills Conference lidlifter.

The Spartans blanked Serra Catholic last year, 48-0, and ended up advancing to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinal round.

Seton-La Salle meets South Allegheny on Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. in a Century Conference battle at Baldwin Stadium.

The Rebels clipped South Allegheny last season, 35-0, and went on to qualify for the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal round.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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