ShareThis Page

Gulasy: Some bold predictions for Franklin Regional, Norwin, Penn-Trafford

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 5:45 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Latrobe defensive player Joshua Shivetts comes up short while trying to tackle Norwin's Nicholas Amendola on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, at Latrobe.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State's Nico Megaludis is declared the winner over Pitt's Anthony Zanetta by a 4-1 decision during their 125-pound bout during their dual meet at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday Dec. 08, 2013 in University Park. Penn State defeated Pitt 28-9 in front of a record crowd.
Lou Raggiunti | For the Penn-Trafford Star
Maria Palarino passes the ball during the Penn-Trafford girls volleyball team's WPIAL quarterfinal match against Shaler on Oct. 29, 2013, at North Hills.

“I despise guessing games.”

— Uncle Scar, “The Lion King” (1994)

Disney's least-favorite uncle says the above quote fairly early in “The Lion King,” in response to an innocent “Guess what?” from his nephew Simba. And while I feel little empathy for the brother-murdering, nephew-blaming, throne-seizing Scar for much of the movie, I certainly understand his frustration with “guessing games.”

In sportswriting, there seems to be an attraction to making predictions that I've never understood. Whether it's college bowl projections or NFL preview magazines, every prognosticator or wannabe prognosticator feels compelled to share his or her thoughts on any number of subjects.

Of course, I've done it before myself, so I can't really blame people for doing it — but like most other predictions, what I see in my crystal ball fails to happen more often than not. Writing in my high school newspaper sports column in October 2004, I said the Red Sox would win a World Series “when pigs fly.” Since then, the Sox have won three, and I haven't heard any reports of flying bacon. That's just one example.

At the same time, I don't usually let failure stop me from trying something again. And with a new year nearly upon us, it seems like the right time to get back on the horse.

The following are some bold predictions for Franklin Regional, Norwin and Penn-Trafford sports teams in 2014. Maybe because they're bold predictions, I won't feel as bad if they fail to happen.

Franklin Regional, Norwin and Penn-Trafford will combine for 15 conference/division/section titles.

I figured I'd start it off with a bang. The three schools combined for 11 section championships in 2013, with Franklin Regional and Norwin each winning four and Penn-Trafford claiming three. In 2014, I'm betting those schools can grab four more.

It won't be easy, given that the three schools compete against each other for several of those titles. But they certainly have some teams good enough to achieve this goal.

All three schools will make the playoffs in football.

Penn-Trafford has made the WPIAL playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons, and Franklin Regional extended its own postseason streak to 10 seasons in 2013. The Warriors and Panthers both return some key players next season and look to contend for the playoffs again.

That leaves Norwin. The Knights last advanced to the playoffs in 2010 and won a total of four games from 2011-13. But the team is returning many of its top skill players from 2013 and will also benefit from a conference that lost Gateway to Class AAA earlier this month.

The three schools will also all make the playoffs in at least three other sports.

Seems reasonable, right? But in 2013, the only sports that had playoff qualifiers from all three schools were baseball and girls basketball. Two of the three schools made the playoffs in boys tennis, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball. I'm thinking a school can make a jump in at least one of those sports.

Franklin Regional, Norwin and Penn-Trafford alumni will combine to win at least three NCAA athletic championships.

This may be cheating a little bit, as Franklin Regional graduates Nico Megaludis (wrestling, Penn State) and Samantha Pickens (diving, Arizona) are among the best competitors in the country. Pickens won a diving championship last spring, while Megaludis was part of the NCAA champion Penn State wrestling team and also was an individual runner-up at the NCAA Championships. If those two can replicate those performances in 2014, they might be able to achieve this prediction all by themselves.

Franklin Regional, Norwin and Penn-Trafford will combine to win at least two WPIAL team championships, and at least one state title.

The only team to qualify under this category in 2013 was the Penn-Trafford girls golf team, which won its second straight WPIAL championship. The Warriors will look to extend that to three in 2014, and they are also aiming for a state title after two straight runner-up finishes.

Should the Warriors come up short in either venture, there are plenty of other local teams that can step up and win a WPIAL and/or state championship in 2014 — too many, in fact, to list here.

Last but not least, one more prediction:

It's going to be a fun 2014.

This one's not even a bold prediction, but it needs to be said. I know I'm looking forward to covering it.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830, via email at or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.