North Allegheny QB, key players in search of 3rd straight WPIAL title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Mack Leftwich was excited to be the leader of a North Allegheny team trying to make history by becoming the first school to win three consecutive WPIAL Class AAAA championships.
So excited that when his father accepted a coaching job at Arizona, the rest of his family stayed behind.
“I have moved around a little bit, so my dad wanted me to stay,” said Leftwich, who attended three high schools in as many years. “I didn't want to let the guys down. They've been great teammates and they embraced me, so I didn't want to leave them after a year.”
Now, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior quarterback is expected to be the catalyst for the top-ranked Tigers, who return plenty of skill.
Leftwich led North Allegheny in passing and rushing last season, but could see more balance in spreading the ball around this season. NA returns tailback Alex DiCiantis (839 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns), receivers Brendan Coniker (29 catches for 477 yards and six touchdowns), Gregg Garrity (28 catches for 434 yards, five touchdowns) and Elijah Zeise and tight ends Kevin Edwards and Zack Lyons.
“We've got some guys who can catch the ball and definitely have a guy who can throw it,” North Allegheny coach Art Walker said. “Mack gives us an opportunity because we have a lot of confidence in his ability to read and make good decisions. Mack has an understanding of what we're trying to do calling an offense and can adjust during the course of the game.”
It helps to have protection from 6-5, 285-pound senior left tackle Patrick Kugler, a Michigan recruit who is regarded as the top offensive lineman in the state and one of the best in the country.
“It's definitely one of those things where you've got to remember where he's at,” Walker said. “Pat's been very grounded, that he still has a senior season to play. He wants to play extremely well. He wants to have that burden on his shoulders, wants to be the guy that you run behind.”
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.
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- Pittsburgh police make command staff promotions, changes
- Speeds restricted as PA Turnpike under weather emergency
- Spirit Airlines to add daily flights from Arnold Palmer airport to Chicago
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after pitcher experienced elbow discomfort
- Cal U fraternity president cited after police arrest 7 in weekend brawl
- Penguins GM Rutherford not counting on Dupuis’ return
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals