Must see games

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The contests you will not want to miss in the season ahead:

Blackhawk at Hampton
Sept. 1 / 7:30 p.m.
Opening night gives us an interesting matchup of two top Class AAA teams. Many eyes will be on Hampton's Steve Paskorz, a running back and Notre Dame recruit. How will he look after offseason ankle surgery? Blackhawk has some talented skill-position players.

Central Catholic at Gateway
Sept. 2 / Noon
Central Catholic is loaded, and heralded QB Tino Sunseri plays his first game in a Central uniform since transferring from a North Carolina school. Gateway receiver Jon Ditto was one of the most heavily recruited players in the state before committing to Penn State. And if you can't go, it will be televised by FSN Pittsburgh.

Central Catholic at Woodland Hills
Sept. 22 / 7 p.m.
This has been one of the premiere games in Western Pennsylvania the past five years, and this year will be no different. Central is No. 1 and Woodland Hills No. 2 in the Post-Gazette's WPIAL preseason rankings. No fewer than 10 future Division I college players will be in this game. And it's a guarantee the Wolvarena won't be a muddy mess. Woodland Hills' stadium has a new synthetic turf surface.

Clairton at Duquesne
Sept. 23 / 1:30 p.m.
The atmosphere for this rivalry is a tad different than Mt. Lebanon-Upper St. Clair. But Clairton-Duquesne is usually good for some hard hits and big plays. And this year, the two are among the top three ranked teams in WPIAL Class A.

Yough at Greensburg C.C.
Sept. 29 / 7 p.m.
Greensburg Central's offense is worth seeing. It features Division I recruits at quarterback, running back and receiver. Yough was a conference champion in Class AAA last year and has dropped to AA this season.

Brashear vs. Perry at Cupples Stadium
Sept. 29 / 7 p.m.
It's a showdown on the South Side. Perry's only City League loss in the past six seasons was to Brashear in 2003. Brashear has a number of returning starters from last year's City League runner-up. But do the Bulls have enough to knock off the six-time defending City League champion Commodores?

Beaver at Aliquippa
Oct. 6 / 7:30 p.m.
Aliquippa's Carl A. Aschman Stadium, a.k.a The Pit, is old and could use refurbishing. But there isn't a high school stadium with a better atmosphere. The Quips are one of the best teams in WPIAL Class AA, and Beaver could be a challenger for the Midwestern Athletic Conference title.

Trinity at Thomas Jefferson
Oct. 13 / 7:30 p.m.
Many believe Trinity is a team to watch after dropping from Class AAAA to AAA. But can the Hillers hang with the WPIAL's No. 1-ranked team?

Upper St. Clair at Mt. Lebanon
Oct. 27 / 7:30 p.m.
Finally, the WPIAL put these neighboring rivals against each other in the final regular-season game. It hasn't been that way since 1999.


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