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WPIAL hands out suspensions for Wilkinsburg-Monessen fight

Chris Harlan
| Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, 10:18 a.m.

Wilkinsburg must suspend two football players and Monessen must suspend one as punishment for an on-field fight last weekend, the WPIAL announced Wednesday.

All three players must be suspended for at least two games.

As long as the schools comply with that discipline, both teams will be allowed to play Friday, WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said. The names of the individuals involved were not disclosed publicly, but both schools were notified.

The WPIAL also wants the two schools to devise a plan to avoid future conflicts. They have until Nov. 1.

“We're asking the student bodies from the two schools to have representatives get together on their own and develop a plan that would ensure sportsmanship in the event they come together in a competitive venue,” O'Malley said.

With 6:59 left in the third quarter Saturday, the Class A Eastern Conference game was stopped when a fight broke out between the teams at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg. Monessen, which led 18-0, was declared the winner.

Coaches and administrators from the two schools along with several on-field game officials attended a hearing Tuesday at the WPIAL office in Green Tree. Both schools asked that the hearing be closed to the media.

Along with the suspensions, the WPIAL announced that Wilkinsburg's administration will be censured for failing to provide adequate security, and both football programs will be placed on probation, O'Malley said. Monessen football already was on probation for using ineligible players last season, so that condition will be extended for another year.

“We also asked (both schools) to continue to investigate internally any actions that may not have been divulged (Tuesday),” O'Malley said, “and if found, to report to us in writing what they were and what it is they've done in response.”

McKeesport coach to be honored Saturday

Saturday will be a special day for McKeesport football coach George Smith. At halftime of his team's nonconference homecoming matchup against Hopewell, the district will officially name the Weigle-Schaeffer Stadium playing surface George L. Smith Field.

Smith, who took over as coach of the Tigers in 1982, has produced a record of 222-111-5 with two PIAA and WPIAL Class AAAA championships.

Smith, 65, a member of the Pennsylvania Football Coaches and Western Pennsylvania Sports halls of fame, resigned in 2010 while at odds with the school board but has coached McKeesport to a two-year record of 24-4 since returning. In all, Smith has led the Tigers for 30 seasons.

Root starts coverage

Friday night, Root Sports will televise its first game of the season, the Century Conference showdown between South Fayette and Steel Valley at 7:30 p.m. Root also will broadcast to-be-determined games Oct. 16, 23 and 30.

Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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