Rob Kalkstein has been Gateway's starting quarterback for, what, seven years now?
OK, it only seems that way. Kalkstein is in his fourth year as the Gators' quarterback and has started 42 games. This past Friday, he reached a milestone by going over 5,000 career yards passing in a 55-7 victory against Norwin.
Kalkstein, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior, becomes only the 13th quarterback in WPIAL history to reach 5,000 yards. He has 5,102, completing 301 of 565 passes. He has 54 career touchdown passes.
Barring injury, Kalkstein seemingly has a decent shot at becoming the fourth quarterback in WPIAL history to throw for 6,000 yards. Gateway, the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked WPIAL Class AAAA team, has four regular-season games left and then the playoffs. Kalkstein needs 898 yards for 6,000.
"He's throwing the ball really well," Gateway coach Terry Smith said. "In the WPIAL, you still have to stop the run and teams are choosing to stop our run. When they do that is when he has big nights."
The only quarterbacks in WPIAL history who have thrown for 6,000 career yards are Steel Valley's Luke Getsy (6,010 from 1998-2001), South Fayette's Andrew DiDonato (6,573 from 2002-05) and Sto-Rox's Adam DiMichele (6,741 from 2000-03). Getsy, DiDonato and DiMichele all played in Class AA or A. Gateway is in Class AAAA.
"What's impressive is what Rob has done at the highest level," Smith said. "It's the same as Division I college football vs. Division III. The competition that comes at you each night is deeper in numbers.
"The lower levels have some really good players, but they just don't have as many as we do in Quad-A. It's a greater challenge. I mean, his opening game as a freshman was against Central Catholic."
This season, Kalkstein is 41 of 64 (64 percent) for 867 yards and nine touchdowns. Kalkstein is being recruited by mostly Patriot League, Ivy League and smaller schools.
"If you took his height out, he'd be one of the top five or 10 quarterbacks in the country," Smith said. "He can make every throw."
One of the top linebackers in the country is expected to announce his college choice today and it could likely be Penn State.
Khairi Fortt (6-2, 220 pounds) of Stamford, Conn., is ranked the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country by rivals.com. Penn State and Georgia are his top choices, with North Carolina next in line. Fortt visited Penn State for the Iowa game eight days ago.
Fortt would be the second linebacker in Penn State's recruiting class. The other is Canon-McMillan's Mike Hull.
Southern Columbia's Jim Roth became only the eighth coach in Pennsylvania history to win 300 games when the Tigers defeated Warrior Run, 42-6, Friday. Roth is in his 26th year and has a 300-51-2 record. He has won 17 District 4 championships and six PIAA Class A championships. He is averaging 11.5 wins a season.
Josh Seidel of Bishop McCort in Johnstown tied a school record with six touchdowns in a 69-35 victory against Richland. It was a memorable performance for Seidel and not just because of the record. He tied the mark set by his father, Dave, in 1981. Dave Seidel was a Bishop McCort assistant coach, but died of cancer a few weeks before the start of the season.
In the victory against Richland, Seidel also set a school record for most rushing yards in a game with 327 on 29 attempts.
• Beaver Falls is the new No. 1 Class AA team in the state. The Tigers moved into the top spot after Wilmington, which was ranked No. 1 the past two weeks, lost to Hickory, 17-14.
• Clairton is the No. 2 offensive team in the WPIAL (42.8 points per game) and also No. 2 in defense (5.6).
• Johnstown's LaQuinn Stephens-Howling returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Somerset Friday. A 5-6, 150-pound senior, Stephens-Howling is the younger brother of former Pitt running back LaRod Stephens-Howling. LaQuinn does not have any Division I scholarship offers, though.
• One week after setting a state record with 594 yards passing, Brockway's Derek Bugenza threw for only 160 yards (14 of 27) in a 32-19 loss to Curwensville.
Mike White can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1975.