Guido: Bright start for Armstrong County football programs

Kittanning's Nick Bowers runs for yardage in the first half against East Allegheny on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, at Kittanning.
Kittanning's Nick Bowers runs for yardage in the first half against East Allegheny on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, at Kittanning.
Photo by Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Most Armstrong County high school football programs have struggled over the years.

No Armstrong team has made the WPIAL finals since Freeport in 1989.

Leechburg remains the only Armstrong school to win a WPIAL football title, doing it in 1953, '65 and '66.

Apollo-Ridge and Kittanning have only one WPIAL playoff victory each in their respective histories.

Then there's West Shamokin (2-0), the school that set a WPIAL record for consecutive losses with 46 and has won just 16 games in its 14 years.

But could the tide be turning?

West Shamokin's victory over Northgate on Friday was the first time the program has won three in a row. The Wolves beat Springdale on opening night and defeated Allegheny-Clarion Valley in a Week 10 nonconference game last year.

On Saturday, West Shamokin can extend the streak when it plays at Riverview.

West Shamokin's troubles are odd, considering one of its predecessor schools, Shannock Valley, was always competitive in football. In fact, Shannock sent two players to the NFL — Bob Pellegrini and Doug Buffone.

For once, the future looks bright at West Shamokin. Only four seniors are among the 32 players on its roster.

Kittanning has a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 2004 if it wins at Greensburg Central Catholic on Friday.

Apollo-Ridge, ranked No. 6 in this week's Trib Total Media Class A poll, also looks strong. The Vikings set a school single-game scoring record with a 56-36 win at Wilkinsburg on Saturday after taking No. 3 North Catholic into double overtime before losing opening night.

Williams on TV

TV viewers can see one of the WPIAL's all-time passing leaders Thursday night.

Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams will be on Root Sports as the Vikings take on Neshannock. The game will be videotaped and played after the Pirates-Cubs game.

Williams entered the season with 5,632 passing yards. The senior has thrown for 564 yards over his first two games for 6,196 yards, placing him seventh on the all-time WPIAL list.

Williams, however, still isn't the top passer in Sto-Rox history. Adam DiMichele passed for 6,741 yards from 2000-03.

Highlands to stream

For those of you who can't make it out to Murrysville for the Greater Allegheny showdown between Highlands (2-0) and Franklin Regional (2-0) on Friday, Westmoreland Sports will have the game on video streaming with New Kensington native Jonathan Whaley behind the microphone.

To log on for a live or an archived game, go to

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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