WPIAL Class AA preview: Interstate conference

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Team to beat

Jeannette -- The Jayhawks will attempt to make it to the WPIAL title game for the second season in a row behind an excellent rushing tandem of fullback Jordan Edmunds (907 yards, 14 touchdowns) and running back Shavonta Craft (759 yards, 17 touchdowns). Edmunds (as a linebacker), lineman Logan Hoak and defensive back Seth Miller were named all-conference last season.

Contenders

Washington -- Loaded with outstanding athletes, this could be a special season for the Little Prexies. Running back Shai McKenzie (6-0, 215, Jr.) rushed for 1,203 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, while quarterback Josh Wise (6-3, 190, Sr.) is a three-year starter.

Greensburg Central Catholic -- Akron recruit Zach Guiser, a two-time all-conference safety, is also the team's top running back. Dan Mahoney and Matt Federico will serve as co-head coaches after longtime coach Muzzy Colosimo was not retained.

Mount Pleasant -- Defense will once again be a strong point for the Vikings. They return nine starters, led by all-conference linebacker Eli Holt (5-11, 195, Sr.), who had 101 tackles last season.

The others

Yough -- The Cougars get back a 1,000-yard passer (junior quarterback Tyler Donahue) and a 1,000-yard rusher (senior Chris Williams).

Southmoreland -- All-conference quarterback Dakota Datz passed for 1,730 yards and added 676 yards on the ground as a junior.

Charleroi -- Senior Eric Johnson, the starting quarterback last season, moves to wide receiver for new coach Ed Jenkins.

Waynesburg -- Russ Moore begins his second stint as Waynesburg's head coach. His first ended with a WPIAL championship in 1999.

Brownsville -- The Falcons have won more than one game just once in the past six seasons.

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