High school notebook: Washington's McKenzie taking aim at 3,000 yards
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Shai McKenzie fell just shy of setting a new WPIAL single-season mark for rushing yards last year. For an encore, the Washington senior tailback hopes to shatter Rushel Shell's record.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pounder ran for 2,689 yards and 41 touchdowns last season — just 52 yards short of the Hopewell graduate's mark — and believes he can do even better this season.
“My junior year, my coach saved me a lot. Some games, I really sat out the second half — I believe eight games I sat out the second half — so this year I'm going to try to keep it going and try to carry the ball as much as possible,” McKenzie said Tuesday at WPXI's Skylights media day at Heinz Field. “I plan on trying to get over 3,000 this year.”
McKenzie is a four-star prospect, according to Rivals.com, which ranks him the No. 177 player and No. 20 running back in the nation. After receiving more than 30 scholarship offers, McKenzie narrowed his choices to Florida State, Pitt, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Arkansas. He said he is considering playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and could announce his decision at the game.
“I'm not really too worried about the stars or the scholarships. I'm just going to be humble and keep all my teammates going and try to have a good season,” said McKenzie, who took an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech last weekend. “I want to get past all the recruiting so I can have a good season.”
Curry commits to WVU
Beaver Falls' Sage Curry verbally committed to West Virginia, though the senior-to-be might wait until 2015 to join the Mountaineers, said Tigers coach Ryan Matsook.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker/tight end could attend prep school before arriving in Morgantown, W.Va.. As a junior, Curry had 14 catches, 536 yards and six touchdowns.
• West Mifflin left-handed pitcher A.J. Olasz verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati.
Olasz is coming off a junior season in which went 3-4 with a 2.68 ERA and struck out 64 in 401⁄3 innings for the 10-9 Titans. Olasz started 19 games in three years, going 9-10 with a 2.83 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 1061⁄3 innings.
• Franklin Regional rising senior Brandon Nania, who hit .390 with four home runs and 24 RBI this spring, has committed to West Virginia. Nania also is a member of the United States Specialty Sports Association's High School Varsity National Team.
• Greensburg Salem rising senior Max Ponzurick a verbally committed to play college baseball at Virginia Tech while playing in a wood bat tournament in Marietta, Ga. Ponzurick was injured for most of his junior season but has had a solid summer. He, along with Norwin rising senior J.J. Matijevic, were picked to play for the Staten Island Yankees in a tournament later this month in Los Angeles.
Canon-McMillan rising junior Abby McCartney verbally committed to Robert Morris. The catcher/outfielder and Terrific 10 selection hit .515 with five home runs and 31 RBI for the WPIAL and PIAA champion Big Macs this spring.
Taking the field
There won't be any pads or hitting, but there will be football played Thursday at Franklin Regional, where the annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association 7 on 7 tournament will be held.
Taking part will be teams from Norwin, Hempfield, Penn-Trafford, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Mt. Pleasant, Kiski Area, Valley, Yough, Southmoreland, Jeannette and Franklin Regional. The games will start at 9 a.m. Each team will play five games in the round-robin portion, and the top two teams from each division will advance to a championship game.
The Leechburg School Board voted, 4-3, last week to stay a member of the WPIAL, where the school has resided since March 10, 1919. The district was considering a move to the District 6 Heritage Conference and had approval from the WPIAL and District 6 to do so. When the item came up for consideration at the PIAA board of directors meeting earlier this summer, the motion was tabled while Leechburg officials reconsidered.
Hoke back at St. Vincent
Avonworth assistant football coach and former Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke will serve as a coaching intern for the Steelers at this year's training camp at St. Vincent in Latrobe. Hoke is in his second year as an assistant coach for Avonworth and is joined by former Steeler Jeff Hartings, who is in his third season as an assistant coach for the Antelopes.
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.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin bringing officials to practice
- Flags lowered to mourn Pa. state trooper shot dead during gun training
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs
- Sparks fly at 2nd Corbett, Wolf campaign debate
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- Police identify, release people involved in I-70 collision
- Pittsburgh rises up for a 2nd year of Pirates magic
- Indiana County infant hit by bullet will be blind
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- September ranks with driest ever in Western Pa.
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy