High school football notebook: Home winning streak nears 50 games at TJ
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The stadium doesn't have the history of Woodland Hills' Wolvarena or The Pit in Aliquippa, but recent visitors to Thomas Jefferson's field haven't fared well.
A win Friday would be the 50th consecutive home victory by the Jaguars. TJ hasn't lost there since 2004.
“Our kids take a lot of pride in defending their own turf,” coach Bill Cherpak said. “The home crowd helps as well.”
Thomas Jefferson's most recent home loss was a 34-21 nonconference game against Gateway on Oct. 8, 2004. During the streak, the Jaguars' average winning score has been 40-7, which included 16 shutouts. This season, they've beaten Elizabeth Forward (42-0), Trinity (44-7) and Belle Vernon (35-0) at home. Uniontown (2-5, 2-4) visits Friday.
Among the memorable wins was a 3-0 victory over Chartiers Valley on Oct. 19, 2007. The Jaguars went undefeated that season and won the state title.
Last year's 28-14 victory over West Mifflin also stands out, Cherpak said, when both teams entered Week 9 unbeaten.
“That was exciting because of the huge crowd,” he said.
Two lengthy home winning streaks were snapped this season. North Allegheny had a 24-game streak at Newman Stadium end Week 6 with a 35-32 loss to Gateway. Clairton had won 38 straight at Neil C. Brown Stadium before its Week 4 loss to Monessen, 42-24.
Jeannette's school board will decide Monday night whether the Jayhawks football team remains in Class AA next season or drops to Class A according to athletic director Matt Lebe.
Lebe and football coach Roy Hall have recommended a move to Class A. The school's male enrollment puts it in the smaller classification, but the team has played up in recent years.
“You want to give the kids the best opportunity to succeed,” Lebe said. “(In Class AA), sometimes you're playing schools with 290 boys.”
The WPIAL will realign its football teams for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. In the current alignment, Class A included schools with fewer than 186 boys. Class AA was 186 to 298.
“This year is the lowest we've been in a little while,” Lebe said of the enrollment, which was 163 last year but has declined.
The school's basketball teams will remain Class AA, he said.
Catch and throw
With a 10-catch effort last Friday, Baldwin wideout Luke Smorey became the WPIAL's leading receiver. For the season, Smorey has 45 catches, 822 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Smorey (6-0, 185) also was the WPIAL Class AAA javelin champion last spring and placed third in the state.
“The last couple years he's played a few different positions,” coach Pete Wagner said, “but he's really grabbed the bull by the horns this season.”
His effort has Wagner and athletic director Vince Sortino searching for team records.
Hampton (4-3, 3-3) visits No. 6 Franklin Regional (6-1, 5-1) for a Greater Allegheny matchup televised by Root Sports. The 7 p.m. game will be shown tape-delayed after the Penguins.
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.
- Through the years: Leechburg edges Freeport in mud
- Big games all around the area
- High school notebook: WPIAL title games could stay at The Pete, Heinz Field
- VND high school notebook: Kiski Area’s Heavner keeps things interesting
- Previewing some of Western Pennsylvania’s top Week 6 matchups
- Woodland Hills hangs on for win over Bethel Park
- Through the years: Brown’s heroics lead Burrell to win
- Unbeaten Ringgold, BVA to collide for conference supremacy.
- Previewing some of Western Pennsylvania’s top Week 2 matchups
- High school football notebook: PIAA committees recommend move to 6 classifications
- DC Picks relishes another chance to get it right