WPIAL Class A semifinal preview: Clairton vs. Sto-Rox
Class A semifinals
NO. 1 STO-ROX (11-0)vs. NO. 4 CLAIRTON (10-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Chartiers-Houston
Well, what do you know? Clairton and Sto-Rox won't be playing in the WPIAL Class A championship game.
After facing each other for the title the past two seasons, they'll meet this time in the semifinals.
That's not all that's different in this intriguing rivalry. Fourth-seeded Clairton isn't undefeated, like it was the past two years, when it went on to win its third and fourth consecutive PIAA titles, only the third team in Pennsylvania history to claim four in a row.
“As coaches, we've had to coach more and coach harder, and they've accepted it,” said Clairton coach Tom Nola, whose team graduated a number of standouts from the past title teams.
Clairton, appearing in the WPIAL Class A semifinals for an eighth consecutive season, saw its state-record 66-game winning streak halted against Monessen.
“We're a little bit younger, and it's a challenge for us,” Nola said.
Sto-Rox, not Clairton, is the top seed in Class A. It also is the team with the Division I prospects. At the top of the list is QB Lenny Williams, who's passed for more than 8,000 career yards, the most in WPIAL history.
Receiver Mallory Claybourne and RB Brendan Blair, among others, have given Williams some great support.
“We really don't talk about what happened last year,” Sto-Rox coach Dan Bradley said, referring to Clairton's 58-21 win over the Vikings at Heinz Field in the WPIAL championship game. “They were the better team ... we felt we had a better team than what we showed. But that's in the past and we're playing for the present now.”
Clairton also defeated Sto-Rox, 42-6, for the 2011 title.
— Dave Mackall
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 â 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.