TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Schoolboy pick of the week: Clairton

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Folks in Monessen have been saying that if the Greyhounds don't beat Clairton this year, they never will.

That's because the 2013 Greyhounds are considered by many to be the best team the school has had in recent years.

And that point is hard to argue with.

The only problem is, as veteran high school sports observer Lawrence “Deuce” Skurcenski would say, “The Bears ain't too shabby,” either.

Clairton has only won 66 straight games without a loss. That's all.

The truth is, the talent level between the two teams is very similar, although Clairton's talent is younger than Monessen's.

Both teams have superior talent in the skill positions on offense.

And before last week's 49-33 debacle against Fort Cherry, there was strong sentiment that the Greyhounds have the talent on defense to slow down the Clairton scoring machine.

Maybe the talent of the two teams is similar, but there are other intangibles that help determine a winner and a loser when two titans collide.

One is confidence, edge. Real swagger.

That is Clairton when the Bears play everybody.

That is Monessen when the Greyhounds everybody ... except Clairton.

Looking back at the most recent Monessen-Clairton matchups, all were lopsided scores in the Bears' favor even though Clairton did not always have such a large advantage in talent over Monessen.

Since 2008, the teams have met four times and Clairton has outscored Monessen, 189-7.

Amazing domination.

Some teams just have another team's number.

The difference is the Bears always know they will win, and when these two teams meet, the Greyhounds seem to struggle at the first sign of adversity.

Monessen coach Andy Pacak hit the nail on the head earlier this week when he said the team that finally ends Clairton's amazing nation's best winning streak will be a team that actually believes deep inside it will win.

My dad used to tell me, “Until you've done it, you haven't done it.” Who am I to argue with my dad?

The pick: Clairton, 26-12.

Best of the rest

• BV Area at Elizabeth Forward. The Leps have lost two straight and may not have ability to answer the kind of firepower the Warriors have. Pick: EF, 28-24.

• Uniontown at Ringgold. Something tells me the Rams are going to make a move up in the Big Nine. Pick: Ringgold, 41-20.

• Charleroi at Mt. Pleasant. If there is one team that could use a break, it is Charleroi. But this isn't the week. Pick: Mt. Pleasant, 28-0.

• Yough at Washington. The Cougars are closing the gap, as evidenced by last week's close loss to Jeannette. But even without Shai McKenzie, the Prexies are still potent. Pick: Washington, 28-20.

• West Greene at Frazier. Commodores won't be caught looking ahead to Jefferson-Morgan next week. Pick: Frazier, 41-7.

• Bentworth at Beth-Center. If there is another team that could use a break, it is Bentworth. Again, not this week. Pick: Beth-Center, 42-6.

Last week: 6-1. Season record: 20-3.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. 10 of Jon Stewart’s highlights from ‘The Daily Show’
  2. U.S. asks Supreme Court to reinstate convictions of portfolio managers who won on appeal
  3. Facebook ready to test giant drone
  4. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  5. Man wounded in Marshall-Shadeland shooting
  6. Roundup: Shell to cut jobs to cope with prolonged period of cheap oil; U.S. Corrugated building $43.5M plant in California; more
  7. Economy’s 2Q best since last year
  8. Mon Valley school districts wait out budget impasse
  9. Home rental prices jumped again in June
  10. Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
  11. Equestrian coach inspired with skill, dedication