Mike, How do you feel the new 2006 rule regarding sideline conferences during timeouts will effect high power offenses from accurately performing their offensive plans if defenses have additional resources to analyze their systems?
Mike White: To be honest, I'm not aware of the new rule. I know there are new rules concerning where players have to be regarding substitutions. This was instituted to stop teams from trying to hide substitutions. But I'm not aware of the rule you asked about.
Mister_E: Who will be the powerhouse this year?
Mike White: Depends on the class and are you talking WPIAL or state. Two best Quad-A teams are undoubtedly Central Catholic and Woodland Hills. They meet Sept. 22. But don't forget about Upper St. Clair. Triple-A in the WPIAL it's Thomas Jefferson again. Double-A it's Greensburg Central Catholic, but I think Aliquippa is on the same level. Single-A, Rochester is definitely the team to beat. Our state rankings came out today and Central Catholic, Thomas Jefferson, Greensburg C.C. are all ranked No. 1 in the state in their respective classes. Rochester is No. 2 behind Southern Columbia.
Galloping_Ghost: Mike: With all the controversy surrounding Woodland Hills, are they ripe for the picking this week versus Lebo?
Mike White: Woodland Hills tight end-linebacker Rob Gronkowski won't play. Marcel Farrish supposedly won't play because of his trouble with the law. Farrish is one of the best RBs in Quad-A, but I really wonder how much his absence will hurt. Teams like Woodland Hills and Penn Hills always have a stable of good running backs. But Mt. Lebanon is at home and I think Chris Haering is one of the most underrated coaches around. Woodland Hills should still win.
ampipe_high: Mike: What does it look like for McKeesport to repeat this year in AAAA?
Mike White: They won't be as good as last year. But they'll still make some noise. Kamryn Keys is the new quarterback, running that triple option offense. He played defense last year and practiced at QB. He's a good runner. He wont' be as good as Kopolovich, but Keys will still give defenses problems. Plus, word is that McKeesport did fairly well against Central Catholic in first scrimmage of the year. I'd say definitely playoffs for McKeesport. And don't be totally surprised if they somehow find a way to the semifinals this season.
Matta: Hi Mike -- The new rule allows any player to have wireless communication to the Press box plus any number of attendants can be in the conference ...
Mike White: I don't know how much of an effect that will have. One of the reasons is a lot of high school kids play both ways. So they won't have all that much time talk. Maybe it's something we'll just have to watch as the year goes.
erie_gator: I heard rumors that Sal Sunseri made a big financial contribution to the Central Catholic School. Have you heard anything?
Mike White: I have no idea about that. Many Central graduates make contributions to the school.
Galloping_Ghost: Should Central Catholic, Shady Side Academy, etc. etc. all form a league along w/ other private schools in the state (MIlton Hershey/Philly Catholic teams)?
Mike White: There are a lot of people who dislike private and parochial schools and would like to see that happen. But it's not going to happen. The WPIAL and PIAA would be taken to court faster than you could blink. Plus, who would Central Catholic play? There is not a private or parochial school in the WPIAL close to Central's size.
rocc: So West Mifflin is a nobody because they have a "new" coach?
Mike White: I have no idea what you mean by the question, saying they are a "nobody." If it's because we didn't rank them in the top five in Triple-A, that's because we feel they don't deserve it right now. They're still a team to watch. QB Leon Green is one of the more exciting players in Triple-A.
ampipe_high: Mike: Favorite place to cover a game?
Mike White: Wow. That's a tough one. I have a number of favorites. I like 'The Pit' at Aliquippa, although the press box needs refurbished (Ha. Ha.). I really like North Hills' Martorelli Stadium. Great location, sitting in a valley. Rowdie Rooters on the hill add to the atmosphere. I like Woodland Hills' Wolvarena. A place that doesn't get mentioned much, but I like is Belle Vernon. Great atmosphere and nostalgic feeling there. But really, any place that feeds sports writers food, I like (ha. ha.).
erie_gator: Is anyone going to do a story on Garrett Pinchotti? Single mom spends 6000 to send kid to CC to play football. Now back at Moon, he is shunned by other players for going to CC in the first place.
Mike White: We don't have a story planned. But that's what happens sometimes. Kids go to a private school and things don't work out like you planned, for whatever reason. I don't know if players are "shunning" him at Moon. But I know how kids and parents can be. I'll bet some people aren't exactly welcoming him with open arms.
ampipe_high: Re: West Mifflin -- is it unusual for a coach to bump down in class size the way the new Steel Valley coach did coming from West Miff?
Mike White: Yes, it is. But not if a coach isn't exactly happy with his job away from football. And especially if the coach gets more money at the new school.
ampipe_high: Which is dirtier? High school football recruiting or the high school basketball AAU scene?
Mike White: No question it's the AAU scene. Believe me, I've seen it up close and personal. I've coached some AAU basketball and been to national tournaments. Even at the younger ages, it is filled with seedy people and punks. That's the problem with most college basketball recruiting. College coaches must deal with AAU coaches more than the high school coach. Football recruiting is different because there is no AAU. But don't kid yourself, shaky things definitely go on in football recruiting and at colleges. Can I just say Rhett Bomar?
erie_gator: Is Sunseri's kid really that good? Have you seen him play?
Mike White: I'll see Tino Sunseri for the first time Saturday when Central plays at Gateway. But from talking to a few coaches and other people I trust, he supposedly is very good. Only thing people are questioning is his size. He's not very tall. But word is he can really throw. Just don't look for him to have gigantic stats this year. Lamont Smith is one of the WPIAL's best running backs. I don't see Central throwing 20 times a game. I'll bet they only throw 10 times many games.
Galloping_Ghost: Why is the City League so top heavy? It seems like it was Brashear and no one else in the 80's, Westinghouse and no one else in the 90's and Perry and no one else in this decade. And also, why do Carrick and Langley absolutely stink year in, year out? Have those two ever been good?
Mike White: Hard to say, although Langley won four games last year. That's good for them. One of the problems is that there is open enrollment in the City League. Many times, a decent player lives in neighborhoods close to Carrick or Langley, but goes to a place like Perry, just to play on a better team. I don't see things changing for Carrick and Langley. And then there is Westinghouse. They're having the same problem. Kids in Homewood are going to school elsewhere. Westinghouse used to be the premiere program in the City. Last year, they didn't win a game.
hooks: Mike, I'm a big Don Yanessa fan. How would you rate his performance at Ambridge and where would you put him among the all-time greats?
Mike White: I also admire Don. Ambridge had a disappointing year last year. Everyone, including Don, thought they'd be much better. You have to realize how bad Ambridge was when he took over. Just like when he came to Baldwin. Yes, I would say he belongs on the all-time greats. I wouldn't say he's No. 1 or No. 2, but he won four WPIAL titles at Aliquippa. That's pretty impressive. He's won over 200 games. That's a pretty good resume. And don't forget that Aliquippa was horrible when he took over there.
erie_gator: Hey, Mike, are you going to be making any football trips to Erie this winter?
Mike White: Not until the postseason, if then. But nowadays, even when a WPIAL team plays an Erie team in the playoffs, they put the game at Slippery Rock. That's it for now. I'd like to thank everyone. This is the first time I've done a chat here at the PG. Hopefully, I gave you the answers you needed. Good luck, and maybe I'll see you at a game.