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High School Sports

Interest blossoming at Northgate

| Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011

First-year Northgate coach T.J. Wiley was warned that he shouldn't expect more than about 25 players to come out for his team this year.

By the end of July, he had seen more than 40 kids on the field.

"I'm having kids coming out of the woodwork," he said. "I think anytime something new goes on, it's exciting, it's fresh. People want to be a part of it."

Wiley, who was last a head coach at Penn-Trafford in 2009, took the Northgate job because it was closer to his home in Allison Park and minimized the time he had to spend away from his family. He said the talent on the team, which went 2-8 last season, also appealed to him.

"Their athleticism impresses me — just their hunger to improve and get better," he said. "They're staying after practice, actually doing extra drills and throwing and running routes. (They're) just soaking everything in like sponges and asking me, 'What can I do to run better routes• What can I do to do this?' "

The offense will center on third-year starting quarterback Jon Girvin and last year's leading rusher, Cody Walter. Walter racked up 283 yards and four touchdowns in 2010.

"We're a multiple offense," Wiley said. "Some people may label us this year as a spread team because of some of the things that we do, but I like to just label us as a multiple team."

Since Wiley was hired in mid-June, he and his new coaching staff have been running workouts four days a week. Aside from instilling a winning mindset in the team, he said replacing the majority of an offensive line lost to graduation is the staff's main challenge.

"A lot of the skill positions are kids that are battle-tested and had played over the course of the last couple years, which, as the new coach, that's very appealing to me," Wiley said. "The line is definitely going to be the area where we're going to have to find those guys, coach them up and get them ready."

2011 schedule

Sept. 3, at OLSH, 7:30

Sept. 9, at Jefferson-Morgan, 7:30

Sept. 16, Bishop Canevin, 7:30

Sept. 23, at Springdale, 7:30

Oct. 1, at Wilkinsburg, 1:30

Oct. 7, Leechburg, 7:30

Oct. 14, Riverview, 7:30

Oct. 21, at North Catholic, 7:30

Oct. 28, Avonworth, 7:30

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North Gate

North Gate

Additional Information:

Northgate Flames

Coach: T.J. Wiley

2010 record: 2-8, 2-6

All-time record: 172-170-7

Stadium: Sheridan Avenue Field

Additional Information:

2010 statistical leaders

Passing: Jon Girvin • 47-132, 625 yards, 6 TDs

Rushing: Cody Walter • 35-283 yards, 4 TDs

Receiving: JD Hoover* • 13-142 yards, 0 TDs

*graduated

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