District notebook: Waynesburg quarterback setting the standard

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Numbers, while extremely important, never tell the full story in any sport.

In the case of Waynesburg’s football team, they tell a lot — namely, that quarterback Carter Hill might be one of the better passers the school has seen in some time.

A junior in his first full season as a starter, Hill has thrown for 2,606 yards, 26 touchdowns and just two interceptions while completing 65.7 percent of his passes. In five of the Yellow Jackets’ nine games this season, he has thrown for at least 300 yards, even once throwing for a program single-game-record 483 yards in a victory Sept. 14 against Frostburg State.

With one game remaining in the season, Hill already has set the school’s single-season passing record, an accomplishment that is emblematic of a quarterback who is beginning to come into his own.

“I think knowing the offense a lot better has definitely been a key,” Hill said. “I knew some of the plays last year, but actually understanding them and knowing what we want to do with each play really helps slows things down and lets me worry about what the defense is doing more than what we’re doing. The coaching staff really worked with me helping me understand why we do what we do.”

Waynesburg coach Rick Shepas first took notice of Hill as he was looking to fill out his recruiting class a few years ago, one in which Hill quickly became a top priority at quarterback. Hill, a native of Columbiana, Ohio, who transferred to Waynesburg after a season at Division II Tiffin, grew up near Shepas’ hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and everything about the young quarterback’s resume impressed him.

“What I thought really stood out with him was the fact he was a four-year starter, he’s a winner, he’s used to winning,” Shepas said. “When you look at the Bill Parcells-Bill Polian model for quarterback play, I think you have to look at those kinds of things. I think it does make a difference.”

Led by Hill and a talented group of wide receivers — including Andrew English, Bernie Thompson and Mike Ferraro — the Yellow Jackets offense has averaged 32.6 points per game, the 51st-best mark among Division III teams. Additionally, Waynesburg has gone 7-2 this season entering its regular season finale, bringing its record from the past two seasons to 17-3.

And just as the program his thrived, so too has its quarterback.

“I would attribute our offensive success to Carter’s leadership at the quarterback position,” Shepas said.

Walton to be honored

Robert Morris will induct longtime football coach Joe Walton into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame Friday. The induction will take place at the Marriott Pittsburgh Airport and will be emceed by former NFL MVP Joe Theismann, who played for Walton when he was the Redskins offensive coordinator from 1978-1980.

Walton — a Beaver Falls native, former Pitt standout and Steelers offensive coordinator — has been coaching the Colonials since 1994, the first year the school fielded a program. He will retire at the end of this season.

Soccer honors

With the college soccer season ending for many local colleges, a number of WPIAL products have received recognition for their performances this season.

The Presidents’ Athletic Conference men’s all-conference first team included Bethany’s Arkangelo James (Baldwin,), Saint Vincent’s Luke D’Amico (Mount Pleasant), Washington & Jefferson’s Jon Best (Norwin) and Waynesburg’s Tim Fields (Ambridge).

On the women’s side, the all-PAC first team included Saint Vincent’s Lindsey Daniels (West Allegheny), Washington & Jefferson’s Holly Shipley (Southmoreland) and Saint Vincent’s Cassie Overly (Hempfield).

Craig Meyer: cmeyer@post-gazette.com and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG.

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