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High school notebook: Kuhn's recruitment path focused on football

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Bill Shirley | Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area tight end Shane Kuhn, shown during practice last season, has made football recruitment a top priority this summer. He's a Division I prospect in football and wrestling.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

In late May, just before the start of a stretch of football skills camps, Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn vented a bit on Twitter about a process he has come to know better than most local athletes.

“Recruiting is probably the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced,” he wrote.

Bouts of frustration come with the territory for Kuhn, a 6-foot-4, two-sport standout who just finished his junior year. His 230-pound frame, which could easily carry even more weight if Kuhn wanted, appeals to college football coaches who want him as a tight end/linebacker and to wrestling coaches who'd like to add him as a heavyweight.

Through June and into July, Kuhn has chosen to focus on the gridiron rather than grappling.

“The offers should come if I produce like I need to this offseason,” said Kuhn, who averaged 19.56 yards per catch and led the Cavaliers in tackles (99). “Right now, football has my attention.”

The list of schools that have his interest includes Pitt, Penn State, Michigan State, Youngstown State and Rutgers.

To turn interest into offers, Kuhn committed to a summer schedule of weekend camps.

Stops included Temple, Pitt, Penn State and Rutgers. He competes in seven-on-seven passing tournaments as a member of Team Western PA Swag, which also includes his former teammate and current Central Catholic quarterback J.J. Cosentino, who committed to Florida State.

“I'm looking forward to it,” Kuhn said of the grind. “I want to have options for the (fall) season; that'd be ideal.”

Kuhn, a two-time PIAA place-winner, might attend a team wrestling camp at Clarion this summer, he said. He plans to attend for the bonding time with teammates.

Mat machine

New Burrell wrestling coach Josh Shields wants to keep the men who helped build the Bucs' program into a powerhouse close by.

Shields, a 2006 Burrell graduate, hopes to retain the coaching staff assembled by his predecessors. The group includes former head coach Chris Como as well as Isaac Greeley, Joe Makara, Zach Pisano and Gino Lanzino.

“I'd love to have them involved as much as we can,” he said. “Maybe we'll have some new faces. Maybe not. I don't know for sure yet. We just have to keep the machine running.”

Burrell's other new hire, boys basketball coach Shawn Bennis, also expressed interest in embracing the assistants who helped guide the Bucs to the WPIAL Class AA finals this past winter.

But he said he's likely to bring on at least one of the men he trusted most while he coached at Highlands, Jeff Karaica. He might also add former Highlands coach — and later a Bennis assistant — Rich Falter, he said.

For the love of the game

The coach in charge of Highlands' revived hockey team, Rick Lawes, cared about PIHL life well before he became responsible for the Golden Rams' development.

Since arriving in Pittsburgh six years ago, Lawes has been a dedicated attendee of the Penguins Cup championships.

He also kept an eye on the achievements of teams that called the Valley Sports Complex their home rink.

“For me, high school hockey was very important,” said Lawes, a Vermont native who later played club hockey at the University of Maine. “It was a very important part of my high school experience.

“You can say that before I was just a fan of (the PIHL). Now I'm a coach in it.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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