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High school football notebook: Despite forfeit, Geibel wants to keep playing

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

God willing, Geibel Catholic will finish its football season.

“We're going to say our prayers and go from there,” said coach Pete Nace, whose shorthanded team must forfeit Friday's game against Beth-Center. “We're a Catholic school with a lot of faith.”

Geibel had only 12 healthy players at this week's practices, one fewer than the number required for competition, Nace said. But the first-year coach said three players likely will recover in time for the Week 3 matchup with Vincentian Academy on Sept. 13; one injured player had bruised ribs, two others had concussions and a fourth had an illness.

“I'm getting good (medical) reports,” Nace said. “Right now, it looks like God is smiling on this team.”

The private school in Connellsville has only 46 boys enrolled in grades 10-12, making it the WPIAL's smallest. Imani Christian Academy also had 46, but the East Hills school folded its football team before the season. The next smallest is Mapletown with 68.

Despite an 81-0 loss to Frazier last week, morale remains good, Nace said.

“They're fine,” he said. “Some comments that have been made about them made them angry and they wanted to react, but I told them not to. I told them to be bigger than that. That's what they're doing.”

Taking the night off

This will be the second consecutive season that Beth-Center won't have a Week 2 game. Roster issues forced Geibel to forfeit its first two games last season, before the Gators played the final seven.

“It's very disappointing that we're not playing,” Beth-Center coach Ed Woods said. “These kids have worked very hard since last winter to play a complete schedule and now this is one less game for the seniors.”

Notified on Monday that Geibel wouldn't play, Beth-Center didn't have time to pursue a replacement.

“It caught myself and the athletic director off guard,” Woods said. “We were told they were going to play so we planned for that. This is the second year, now, for this. It's not fair for the conference, but it's also not fair for the kids at Geibel who are trying to compete.”

Finding a new home

With its field damaged by flooding, Southmoreland will play its three remaining home games at California (Pa.) University.

The school's Russ Grimm Field in Scotdale was wrecked Aug. 23 when heavy rains wrinkled and ripped the artificial turf installed in 2006.

The three relocated games are Sept. 13 vs. Mt. Pleasant, Oct. 4 vs. Greensburg Central Catholic and Oct. 11 vs. Brownsville. All begin at 7 p.m.

Southmoreland's soccer teams will play all of their games on the road.

Must-watch TV

Root Sports' schedule of Thursday night televised games begins this week with Seneca Valley (1-0) visiting Pine-Richland (1-0). The 7 p.m. Quad North matchup will be shown live. Next week, the Neshannock at Sto-Rox game will be shown on tape delay after the Pirates game that night.

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