Varsity Notes: This twirler changes into kicker in a hurry

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The majorette/kicker act is not a new one for Audra Lewis, but her role on the South Allegheny football team is certainly different this season.

Lewis is a South Allegheny senior who is in her second season of twirling batons and kicking footballs for Gladiators games. She wears her football uniform over her majorette uniform, takes off her football uniform for halftime shows and puts it back on after halftime.

Lewis is South Allegheny's No. 1 kicker this year, compared to being a backup last year. She will be counted on more this season. She might end up having to make a kick in a pressure situation. Lewis kicked a 31-yard field goal to give the Gladiators their only points in a 31-3 loss against Seton-LaSalle in the season opener Saturday.

"Last year, I think she got her feet wet a little just coming out for the team," South Allegheny coach Pat Monroe said. "But she worked hard in the offseason and she's a tremendous athlete. She's a tremendous soccer player, and her kicking is not [just] a novelty by any stretch of the imagination.

"I have faith in her, and the kids respect her because they know how good of an athlete she is."

There have been numerous female kickers in the WPIAL over the past few decades, but Lewis' story is unique.

"She's like Superman, changing those outfits," Monroe joked.

Lewis comes to games wearing makeup. For home games, she will have her football uniform on, then tear it away to her majorette uniform for a pregame routine with the band. She then puts her football uniform on for the first half, only to take it off again for the halftime show. She then puts her football uniform on for the second half.

"I don't exactly have all the details of what she wears and what she changes into. Maybe you have that side of you, but I've never dressed in women's clothing, so I'm not totally sure," Monroe said, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. "But, really, it's remarkable what she does."

Cottrill out for Beaver Falls

Elijah Cottrill, a standout receiver-defensive back at Beaver Falls, has not played this year and is out indefinitely because of a meniscus injury in his knee. Cottrill had surgery on his knee and could be out more than a month. Cottrill already has made a verbal commitment to Akron, but it is a "soft" commitment. He also is being recruited by Division I schools for basketball and plans to see if any scholarships come about in that sport.

It's homecoming, by George

The Woodland Hills at McKeesport football game Saturday is a homecoming of sorts for McKeesport coach George Smith. It is the first home game for Smith, who is in his second stint at McKeesport. Smith coached the Tigers for 28 years before resigning after the 2009 season. He came back this year.

But the game is also McKeesport's official homecoming. It's unusual for a high school to have a homecoming the first weekend in September. It's also unusual for McKeesport to have a home game on a Saturday.

"Over the last several years, our homecoming activities have been lightly attended," McKeesport athletic director Charley Kiss said. "With George coming back this year, we wanted to reinvent some of that homecoming atmosphere and we know some schools have had homecoming on a Saturday."

Kiss said almost 400 tickets have been sold for a pregame tailgate party at McKeesport High.

"Homecoming had always been our second-to-last home game," Kiss said. "We know a lot of colleges do homecoming in September, so we thought we'd try. You have a better shot at some decent weather."

One to watch

Latrobe gave Gateway a tussle in the season opener last Friday, losing by 22-20. You could consider the final score a little surprising, considering Gateway had outscored Latrobe, 390-10, in the previous eight meetings.

One of the reasons for Latrobe's success against Gateway was quarterback Will Carns, who rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Carns could be classified as one of the sleepers of the WPIAL senior class. He is 6 feet 3, 200 pounds and in his fourth year as a starter.

"He's probably the second-best quarterback I've ever had, from coaching at Jeannette to here," Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said.

Topping Reitz's list would be Terrelle Pryor, now with the Oakland Raiders.

"There is no question [Carns] is a sleeper," Reitz said. "He went against four Division I college kids at Gateway and had close to an 80-yard touchdown run, and they couldn't catch him.

"Plus, he can throw the ball. We run a shotgun triple-option offense, and he's really a dual-threat kid.

"I think colleges are missing the boat on this kid."

Finishing together

Fox Chapel twins Colin and Ethan Martin do a lot of things together -- including crossing the finish line.

The Martins, who are senior distance runners, made their mark in track and field this past spring. Ethan finished first and Colin second, less than a second behind, in the WPIAL Class AAA 1,600-meter championship. Now they are blowing away the competition in cross country.

At the Gateway Invitational last Saturday, the two were the first to cross the finish line -- and did it at the same time. The two worked together in the race and, according to Ethan, when they saw they had the race in hand, they slowed up and crossed the finish line together. Both were given times of 17 minutes, 25 seconds. But Ethan was officially credited with the win.

Check this out

• South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh threw three touchdown passes last Friday. Though only a junior, he needs three more to reach 50 for his career.

Lou Cerro is the football coach at Montour, but he is also the school's athletic director now. He takes over for Mitch Galiyas, who retired.

• Two former North Hills running backs are now playing elsewhere and scored touchdowns in season openers. Moses Giles scored twice for Avonworth in a 33-6 win against Rochester. Larry Richardson scored once for Summit Academy in a 35-6 win against East Allegheny.

hsfootball

Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com


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