A-K Valley H.S. football notebook: Central Catholic QB returns to area

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

Fox Chapel and Central Catholic aren't exactly football rivals, but you wouldn't have known that last season.

Back-and-forth jabs on Twitter and a school prank made it look as if the teams had been antagonizing each other for decades.

Central Catholic students allegedly spray-painted the fox statue in front of Fox Chapel Area High School two days before the teams played, and the incident was brought to the attention of law enforcement.

They meet again Friday at Highmark Stadium, and J.J. Cosentino once again will be at quarterback for Quad-A's top-ranked Vikings (3-0).

Cosentino, who transferred from Kiski Area, will make his first appearance against an Alle-Kiski team as a senior.

“Our team is pumped; Fox Chapel week is always huge,” said Cosentino, a Florida State recruit. “There's lots of smack-talk. We have a lot of Fox Chapel kids at our school.”

Cosentino (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) began the season with high expectations. Maxpreps named him its Pennsylvania “Preseason Mr. Football.”

The quarterback doesn't seem fazed my the hype.

“I feel good about (handling the pressure),” he said. “I don't feel the pressure. I just play.”

Plum in Class AAA?

Plum's losing streak hit 19 with a 29-0 loss to Mt. Lebanon last week, and the Mustangs have been outscored 105-6 this season.

Plum (0-3) plays in the Quad Central against much larger schools such as Penn Hills, Mt. Lebanon and Bethel Park.

It might be just speculation, but imagine Plum playing in Class AAA. The Mustangs seemingly would fit nicely into the Greater Allegheny Conference, with teams like Highlands and Knoch.

Enrollment numbers would have to change for Plum to make the move, although not as much as you might think. Like Kiski Area, the school annually is one of the smallest in Quad A. It's numbers were the second-smallest among football schools during the last classification cycle behind McKeesport.

When Plum submitted numbers to the WPIAL at that time, it was just 15 boys over the cutoff for Class AAA.

It again looks to be close to the line with about 530-540 boys in grades 9-11. The new cutoff for classifications will be determined based on whether enrollments for schools statewide fluctuate.

Hazlett coaching again

Former Deer Lakes coach Todd Hazlett is back on the sidelines. Hazlett is serving as interim head coach at Vincentian while Tim Storino serves a WPIAL-imposed, one-season suspension for alleged recruiting violations.

Hazlett said Storino contacted him about becoming Vincentian's line coach.

“Next thing I know, I am running the team,” Hazlett said.

Hazlett was not rehired last year after six seasons. He led Deer Lakes to its only WPIAL playoff appearance in 2010.

Vincentian, a second-year program playing an independent schedule, improved to 1-2 with a 65-0 win over Geibel last week.

Friday night lights

In what has become an annual tradition, Riverview will put up portable lights for next Friday's homecoming game against Wilkinsburg at Riverside Park.

The temporary lighting, which also includes a girls-boys soccer doubleheader at the Park on Thursday, has happened once a year in Oakmont since 2006.

Tipton update

Apollo-Ridge junior wide receiver/defensive back Tre Tipton remains day-to-day with a sprained ankle he sustained in last week's win over Western Beaver.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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