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Alle-Kiski high school notebook: Rule mix-up cost Kiski Area boys soccer playoff victory

| Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, 11:03 p.m.
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Knoch's Connor Shinsky (59) blocks against Franklin Regional during their game at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville on Friday, October 4, 2013.

Incorrect shootout rules applied by game referees cost Kiski Area's boys soccer team a WPIAL Class AAA first-round win over Bethel Park.

Rather than follow a sudden-victory format after the Cavaliers and Black Hawks remained tied through five shooters, the referees held another five-shooter round and determined the winner by the cumulative score.

Bethel Park won the shootout 6-5 on Oct. 21 and made its way to the WPIAL semifinals.

Cavaliers coach Bob Wright knew pro-level shootouts followed sudden-victory rules — after the initial five shooters, each goal must be matched by the opponent's shooter, or the game ends.

But he trusted the referees knew the high school rules better than him, so he didn't object to the officials' request.

After speaking with coaches and reviewing the rule book the next day, Wright realized the referees ran the shootout wrong.

Kiski Area, which got a goal and then stopped Bethel Park's shooter, should've won the sudden-victory portion.

“I was not prepared to proceed with any kind of argument and didn't have any support or basis beyond my own understanding,” said Wright, who had never witnessed a high school game go past the initial five-shooter phase. “I simply assumed this was one rule that had been altered slightly for the purpose of high schools, and that the referees were aware of it.”

Wright informed Kiski Area athletic director Ryan Berberich, who brought the mistake to the attention of WPIAL and PIAA officials. Wright and Berberich received little feedback; the crux of the response, Wright said, was that a referee's decision is final.

The coach has encouraged his team to move on, rather than obsess over something that can't be reversed.

“I guess I resolved it in the sense that I can't argue that it was an unfair procedure that was applied,” Wright said. “If that (10-shooter format) happened to be the procedure, it was as fair as any.”

Knoch senior drawing offers

Knoch senior Connor Shinsky plans to endure more than a few long car rides during the next couple of months.

Until the two-way standout lineman investigates several college campuses in person, he said he's unlikely to commit himself to a school's football program.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Shinsky has scholarship offers from five FBS or FCS schools — Bucknell, Kent State, Lafayette, UTEP and St. Francis. He's also fielding heavy interest from Akron, Bowling Green and Massachusetts.

Shinsky visited Lafayette on Sept. 14 to see the Leopards play William & Mary, and he saw Kent State's campus during a workout this spring. The rest of the possible destinations remain unexplored.

He expects his college visit schedule to stretch into January.

“I kind of wanted to focus on the team during the season and let it play out a little bit,” Shinsky said. “Now that the season is over, I can focus on more extensive research, planning visits and stuff like that.”

Lafayette wants Shinsky as a defensive tackle, while the rest are recruiting him for offensive tackle. Shinsky said he has no position preference.

Nolf is No. 1

At one showcase after another this offseason, Kittanning senior Jason Nolf proved himself against the nation's best.

Nolf's reward? A No. 1 ranking in his weight class by multiple national wrestling websites.

Amateur Wrestling News and Flowrestling list Nolf, a Penn State recruit, as the country's best 138-pounder. He cemented his reputation this fall by winning the Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, N.C., on Oct. 27 and then defeating Blair Academy (N.J.) standout Joey McKenna, 10-5, in the Who's #1 dual meet at Lehigh on Nov. 2.

Nolf, who won each of his seven Super 32 matches by at least seven points and had three pins, had 128 wrestlers in his weight class.

In the Who's #1 event, Nolf beat McKenna, who won a National Prep title last season and claimed a Junior national championship in Fargo, N.D., this summer.

Nolf enters his senior season with two PIAA titles, three WPIAL titles and a career record of 132-1.

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

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