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Black Hills Conference football teams displaying late-season strengths

| Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
South Hills Record
TJ grad Bruno Natter was lauded as a scout team player of the week at Mercyhurst College. Submitted photo

Did you know that:

• Five of the top 10 teams in the WPIAL Class AA football division are Black Hills Conference members, according to the Trib Total Media rankings?

Clairton (No. 1), Monessen (No. 3), Bishop Canevin (No. 4), Imani Christian (No. 8) and Brentwood (No. 10) all were ranked among the top 10 in this week's rankings.

• Thomas Jefferson grad Bruno Natter was named scout team player of the week as a freshman linebacker at Mercyhurst College?

Natter (6-3, 220), who was an all-conference selection in football and baseball in high school, is majoring in intelligence studies at Mercyhurst.

• Seton-La Salle has returned three interceptions and three fumbles for touchdowns this season?

Lou Rotunda, Tom Rizza and Dequay Broadwater have scored on interception returns of 31, 52 and 74 yards, respectively.

Rotunda, Jacob Blahut and James Ross have scored on fumble recoveries of 19, 10 and 59 yards.

• Thomas Jefferson grad Grace Ninesling has made the women's traveling swim team at Penn State University this year?

Ninesling, a sophomore, is a freestyle specialist who also will compete in the breast stroke on the Lady Lions' “B” relay unit.

At Thomas Jefferson, Ninesling was an all-state honorable mention selection in the 50-meter freestyle, setting school records in five events. She also was a four-year letterwinner in high school.

• Amanda Grmusa, a junior midfielder on the Baldwin girls' soccer team, scored with just 34 seconds remaining to lift the Lady Highlanders to a 1-0 nonsection win against Latrobe?

• Seton-La Salle graduate Amy O'Keefe, a sophomore setter on the Franciscan University women's volleyball team, has surpassed the 1,000-mark in career assists?

O'Keefe, a Whitehall resident who has a 3.9 grade point average in math secondary education, already is the all-time assists leader at Franciscan. She also averaged 12.1 points per game as a member of the Franciscan basketball team last year.

O'Keefe was a 10-time varsity letterwinner at Seton-La Salle in volleyball, basketball and lacrosse.

• Thomas Jefferson's varsity football team surrendered its first points in the first quarter last week at Belle Vernon?

The Jaguars have outscored the opposition, 131-7, in the first quarter this season.

• Three Brentwood gridders are averaging more than 20 yards per reception this season?

Brian Jowers, Mike Andrews and Zach Sniadach are averaging 22.7, 21.3 and 20.1 yards per catch on six, eight and seven receptions, respectively.

• Thomas Jefferson's girls' tennis squad qualified for the WPIAL Class AA team tournament?

The Lady Jaguars defeated Indiana in the first round, then lost to Quaker Valley in the following round.

• Seton-La Salle wideout Lou Rotunda has caught at least one pass in all seven of his team's games this season?

Thanks to his 12 catches for 109 yards and one touchdown against Quaker Valley, Rotunda, a senior, has reeled in 16 passes for 245 yards and three scores in the Rebels' past two contests.

• Zach Schademan holds the Thomas Jefferson football team record for receptions in one game with 14, set in 2011?

Schademan, a senior wide receiver/defensive back, achieved the feat a year ago versus the Knoch Knights in the second round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

• Thomas Jefferson's football squad has generated 50 or more points three times this season?

The Jaguars have hammered a nonconference opponent, Hollidaysburg, 55-0; and two conference foes, Albert Gallatin, 50-0, and Belle Vernon, 57-13.

• Both the Seton-La Salle boys' and girls' soccer teams have qualified for the WPIAL Class A soccer playoffs?

• Jake Mascaro, a senior wide receiver at Thomas Jefferson, will celebrate his 18th birthday in 10 days?

TJ's senior center, Pat Hall, meanwhile, turned 18 earlier this week.

• The PIHL varsity season gets under way in 11 days (Oct. 29)?

Baldwin will skate against Ringgold in an open division game at Rostraver Ice Arena at 8:45 p.m.

• TJ is ranked eighth in Class AAA in the state in the (Harrisburg) Patriot News high school football rankings?

• Baldwin's girls' soccer team has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs?

The local squad competes in Class AAA.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or

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