High School Football: Top 10 storylines of 2012
Dravon Henry (6) is one of five returning all-conference players for Aliquippa.
North Allegheny quarterback Mack Leftwich (11), with Jack Henderson, threw for more than 2,000 yards last season.
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WPIAL teams are riding historical streaks -- good and bad. Clairton's 47-game winning streak is a WPIAL record and also the longest active streak in the country. Going the other way is West Shamokin, which has a WPIAL record 43-game losing streak. Its most recent win came in 2007, but maybe a change of scenery will help West Shamokin. The Wolves dropped from Class AA to A.
North Allegheny has won two WPIAL Class AAAA championships in a row and will try to become the first team to win three in a row since the AAAA classification started in 1980. With a number of returning starters, North Allegheny is the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked Class AAAA team in both the WPIAL and state.
This is considered a good year for receivers in the WPIAL as a handful of wideouts either have committed to Division I colleges or have Division I scholarships. Central Valley's Robert Foster and Clairton's Tyler Boyd are the most heavily recruited receivers. Foster has narrowed his list of colleges to seven -- Pitt, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and Southern California. For Boyd, Pitt, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Notre Dame are among the schools that have offered scholarships.
Gateway has lost in the WPIAL championship game four times since 2004. But with a number of returning starters, could this be the year coach Terry Smith wins his first championship? Among the top Gators are quarterback Thomas Woodson (Arizona recruit) and tight end-linebacker Jaymar Parrish (Pitt recruit).
With Langley and Oliver closing in June, the City League now has only six teams left playing football -- Allderdice, Brashear, Carrick, University Prep, Perry and Westinghouse. And to think, this is a league that once had 13 schools in the early 1970s.
So what does a Division I college quarterback recruit do in his spare time? Play soccer, of course. As strange as it sounds, it is happening this year at Monessen. Chavas Rawlins is a West Virginia University quarterback recruit, but he also plays soccer for the Greyhounds.
Aliquippa has won a record 14 WPIAL championships -- and it could be more of the same this year. The Quips won championship No. 14 last year with a squad filled with numerous non-seniors, and many consider Aliquippa the favorite in Class AA.
It's not often brothers play against each other on different teams. But it's even more rare when the brothers are opposing quarterbacks. But senior Luke Brumbaugh is Seton-LaSalle's starting quarterback while sophomore Brett Brumbaugh is South Fayette's starter. They meet Sept. 28.
For the first time in nearly five decades, Chuck Wagner isn't coaching a WPIAL team. Wagner retired as Springdale's coach after last season, his 47th at four different schools (Oakmont, Riverview, Fox Chapel and Springdale). Dave Leasure takes over at Springdale and is one of 19 new coaches in the WPIAL.
The City League might go green this season -- Allderdice green. The Dragons have only one City League championship in school history and that was in 1967. But Allderdice heads into the season as the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked City League team.