Varsity Notebook: City teams not ready to join fully in WPIAL

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City League teams joined the WPIAL in a handful of sports last year, and Westinghouse wants to join the WPIAL next year for football only.

But don't look for the City League to join the WPIAL in all sports any time soon.

Mike Gavlik, the athletic director for the City League, said there is no movement toward the City League joining the WPIAL in football and basketball. The move would have to come from the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education.

"There has been no talk and our board is not considering joining the WPIAL at this point," Gavlik said.

If the City League wanted to join the WPIAL in all sports, it would have to already be making plans because all schools in Pennsylvania must report their boys and girls enrollments to the PIAA by Tuesday. The PIAA will then release classifications for all schools in December. The classifications will last for two years.

So if the City League wanted to join the WPIAL in all sports, the earliest it could happen is the fall of 2016.

The City League will continue to compete in the WPIAL in baseball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls swimming, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls cross country, golf and softball.

The City League will continue to stay on its own in football, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls volleyball, boys and girls track, and wrestling.

Westinghouse wants to join the WPIAL for football only because it wants to compete against schools comparable in size. Westinghouse's enrollment makes it a Class AA school. The other five teams in the City League are either Class AAA or AAAA.

The WPIAL will decide in the coming months whether it wants to accept Westinghouse for football only.

Cherpak and 200

The list of WPIAL coaches who have won 200 games stands at 23. The list might soon grow by one.

Thomas Jefferson's Bill Cherpak has a 197-37 record with three regular-season games remaining. It's hard to believe any WPIAL coach has gotten to 200 wins faster than Cherpak. He has been the Jaguars' coach only since 1995. His winning percentage is .849.

But Aliquippa's Mike Zmijanac also is on the fast track to 200. He has been the Quips' coach since 1997 and his record is already 182-29 (.862 winning percentage).

Remember mayor Luke?

The North Catholic football team is 6-0 and has a chance to go through the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1997.

That year, North Catholic played Class AAA, finished 10-1 and its only loss came to Brownsville, 14-13, in the WPIAL semifinals. North Catholic's quarterback threw for more than 1,000 yards that season and also was the team's kicker. His name? Luke Ravenstahl.

Ravenstahl, now Pittsburgh's mayor, missed the extra point in the fourth quarter of North Catholic's loss to Brownsville. Ravenstahl's father, Bob, is now North Catholic's coach.

Battling wounded knee

Gateway's Steve Reber shot a 42 in a nine-hole golf match against Franklin Regional a few weeks ago. But for Reber to finish the match was a feat in itself.

In one of the strange -- and inspiring -- stories of the golf season, Reber finished the match despite stepping in a groundhog hole and sustaining a chipped patella bone in his right kneecap on the sixth hole at Murrysville Golf Club.

"He didn't see the hole and stepped into it all the way up to his knee," Gateway coach Jason Tyska said. "He insisted on finishing the round, just dragging his foot along. I actually gave him a ride on a cart up one hole and I probably broke a WPIAL rule doing that, which I don't care. But we had six days off after that match and he played in three matches after that.

"The funny thing is he said he actually was hitting the ball better because he was finishing more on his left side because he didn't want to put weight on his right side."

Hall of Fame speech

David Thompson, a member of the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, will be the featured speaker at a district basketball event next month.

"An Evening With David Thompson" is Nov. 16 at The Club at Shadow Lakes in Hopewell and is sponsored by the Beaver Falls Boys Roundball Boosters. Thompson was the star player on a national championship team at North Carolina State and played in the NBA.

The event is open to the public and cost is $40, which includes dinner. For information, call 724-683-0241.

"I think it's cool and different," Beaver Falls coach Doug Biega said. "Not many basketball Hall of Famers speak in this area."

Check this out

• Peters Township has designated tonight's home football game against Mt. Lebanon as Military Appreciation Night. There will be free admission to all military personnel -- retired and active -- with proper credentials. Dana Bowman, a double amputee and retired member of the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team, will parachute to center field with the game ball at 7:05. He and another veteran will handle the coin toss as honorary captains.

• Former Steeler Jerome Bettis will present Woodland Hills High School with $5,000 during an assembly today. The money comes from S&T Bank selecting Woodland Hills as a winner of "My School, My Award" program. The money will be used to implement a new tutoring program.


Mike White: First Published October 10, 2013 8:00 PM


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