HSFB preview by position: Touches tough to come by for elite receivers
TribLIVE Sports Videos
one of the best receivers in the WPIAL had just 11 catches last season. Clairton's Aaron Mathews, a talented 6-foot-5 junior, was in the backfield throwing passes instead.
As a part-time quarterback, Mathews was a 1,000-yard rusher last season who also completed 40 of 59 passes for 503 yards and threw six touchdowns.
It was a smart way for Clairton to involve one of its best athletes in the offense. But now that Mathews is a full-time wideout, keeping him involved will be Clairton's challenge.
It's a familiar dilemma for every team that has a star receiver. A running back can be guaranteed carries. A quarterback can take every offensive snap. But receivers require some creativity.
Compared to 42 rushers with 1,000 yards, the WPIAL and City League had only five 1,000-yard receivers last season; two were South Fayette teammates who graduated.
Only nine receivers reached 50 catches, including Pine-Richland senior D'ondre Gastion (64-766) and Indiana senior Riley Stapleton (50-702), who both return.
1. Aaron Mathews
Clairton, jr., 6-5, 180
Mathews has Pitt among his early scholarship offers. He rushed for 1,034 yards last year as a part-time quarterback, but his size, speed and skills should serve him well as a full-time receiver. Five of his 11 catches last year resulted in touchdowns.
2. Tre Tipton
Apollo-Ridge, sr., 6-2, 165
Tipton verbally committed to Pitt in June. He had two touchdown catches of 70 yards or more last season, with an 82-yarder in the WPIAL Class A playoffs. He finished with 44 catches for 697 yards and 14 touchdowns. A two-way player, he also made five interceptions.
3. Danzel McKinley-Lewis
Seton-La Salle, sr., 6-0, 180
McKinley-Lewis had 791 yards and eight touchdowns on 40 catches last season as a junior. He also returned two fumbles for scores. His junior season included a three-touchdown game against McGuffey and an 80-yard touchdown catch against South Park. He verbally committed in June to Toledo, where he'll play slot receiver.
4. Patrick Anderson
Aliquippa, sr., 6-4, 185
Anderson's best performance came at Heinz Field, where he made four catches for 122 yards and a touchdown in the WPIAL Class AA championship. He finished his junior season with 20 catches for 361 yards and eight touchdowns. West Virginia ranks among his college options.
5. Tim Vecchio
Penn-Trafford, jr., 5-9, 155
As a sophomore, Vecchio had 682 yards and nine touchdowns on 40 catches. He added three touchdowns on returns, including a 96-yard kickoff against Central Catholic. He scored in nine of his team's 12 games. His best performance was a seven-catch, 122-yard effort vs. McKeesport.
One to watch: Tim Jackson
Allderdice, jr., 6-1, 155
Jackson led the City League with 1,009 yards and nine touchdowns on 33 catches last season. He and twin brother James, the team's quarterback, led Allderdice to the City League championship game.
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.
- HSFB preview: New coaches set to lead teams to victory
- From football savvy to smarts, Freeport’s Thimons seems to have it all
- Birdie says heat is on for another season of football picks
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity
- Some of the WPIAL’s top teams leaning toward two-back ground game
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic
- Class AAA breakdown: Armstrong merger shakes up Greater Allegheny Conference
- McKeesport’s offensive motor and defensive stopper, Hudson is special
- Kiski Area’s Clayton eager to take on greater role on offense as senior
- Knoch tailbacks look to ‘take it and run with it’ in battle for No. 5 jersey
- Gateway, Plum seniors among Best of the Batch All-WPIAL football team