Gateway football player Montae Nicholson is considering colleges in vastly different parts of the country, but he also is looking at more than football at those schools.
Nicholson is a highly touted receiver-defensive back who plans to make a visit to the University of Oregon next weekend. He already has been on official vists to Michigan State and Florida State and has been to Pitt a number of times. Those four schools look like his top choices.
But Nicholson also is looking at the track programs at Pitt, Michigan State, Florida State and Oregon.
"I think track is important to him with how he has done in the past and the history that his mother had," Gateway football coach Donnie Militzer said. "I think from his standpoint, he would at least like to try to do both sports in college."
Nicholson's mother, Jackie Crawford, was a star hurdler at West Mifflin and Sacred Heart high schools and is in the Robert Morris University Athletic Hall of Fame. She also is Gateway's hurdles coach. Nicholson won the WPIAL Class AAA 110-meter hurdles championship with a record time as a junior.
Militzer said Nicholson has given no indication of which college he likes best so far.
"He's pretty level-headed. I don't get a feel either way," Militzer said. "It's really hard to tell which way he is leaning."
Injury changes plans
The knee injury to Shai McKenzie changed a lot of plans for McKenzie's senior year.
McKenzie sustained a torn ACL in his right knee in the third game and had season-ending surgery. Because of the injury, McKenzie has decided to graduate early and enroll at a college for the spring semester.
The injury took away one of Washington's top athletes for winter and spring sports. McKenzie said if he wasn't hurt, he would've played basketball and participated in track and field for Washington. As a junior, McKenzie finished fourth in the 100-meter dash at the WPIAL Class AA championships and won the shot put.
McKenzie, by the way, has crossed North Carolina off his final list of colleges. He was thinking about the Tar Heels in his top five but is down to Pitt, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech. McKenzie said he will soon start planning his official visits.
Malone to Syracuse
North Hills' Mary Malone is one of the top distance runners in the WPIAL and she has decided to run cross country and track next season at Syracuse.
It will be a sister act for the Malones at Syracuse next year. Mary's older sister, Margo, is a sophomore and the Orange's top cross country runner. Syracuse actually has turned into a popular destination for top North Hills distance runners. Joe Kush and Juris Silenieks were among the top runners in the WPIAL a few years ago and now run for the Syracuse men's cross country team that is ranked No. 9 in the country.
For Paul and Midge Malone of Ross, they will actually have three daughters running at Division I colleges next season. Shannon Malone is a freshman distance runner at the University of Virginia.
Singh picks UMass
Franklin Regional quarterback Charan Singh has given a verbal commitment to the University of Massachusetts, which became a Division I-A program last year. Singh is 6-2, 192 pounds.
First Published October 17, 2013 8:00 PM