Varsity Notes: Greensburg CC principal sets tone
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Greensburg Central Catholic has been a popular destination for student-athlete transfers in recent years, but the school's new principal appears ready to take a stand against students who transfer to her school for athletic purposes.
In what is a highly unusual move, Greensburg Central Catholic principal Denise Myers ruled Marcus Malara ineligible to compete in football and basketball for the school because she believes he transferred from Mount Pleasant for athletic reasons.
Myers made the determination earlier this school year and now she wants the WPIAL to hear Malara's case to see if the league also feels the transfer was athletically motivated. The WPIAL will have a hearing Monday with Malara and other school officials.
"Prior to the hearing, I can't comment too much," Myers said. "I just would like the [WPIAL Board of Control] to hear this case and get their take on it."
Usually, the WPIAL is the one who rules a student-athlete ineligible for transferring for athletic intent. But rarely does the school principal rule a transfer ineligible.
"According to the PIAA by-laws, the principal is the ultimate authority to determine eligibility," Myers said.
WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley said he's not sure how many principals have ever ruled someone ineligible who transferred to their school.
"We wouldn't even see the case if principals did that," O'Malley said. "It is very difficult today for people to stand up for what the transfer rule is intended to be. If this, in fact, is the case -- that athletic intent was involved -- it is refreshing that a principal is doing her duty to enforce the rule as it is intended to be enforced."
McDowell's stay in WPIAL football apparently won't last long.
McDowell, located near Erie, played in the WPIAL for football only the past two seasons and qualified for the league's playoffs both times.
But McDowell plays in District 10 in all other sports, and District 10 recently passed a policy that says teams can play a schedule outside District 10, but must return to District 10 for playoffs.
From 2006-09, McDowell played a WPIAL regular-season schedule, but returned to District 10 for the playoffs. The WPIAL doesn't want that scenario again, so it appears McDowell will be leaving WPIAL football.
McDowell is appealing the new District 10 postseason ruling to the PIAA and the case is expected to be heard today at the PIAA Board of Control meetings.
If you look at the football all-conference selections for the Big Eight Conference of Class AAA, one player stands out.
Kristina Coyne of Chartiers Valley was named the first-team all-conference kicker. A 5-foot-9, 120-pound sophomore, Coyne made 23 extra points and one field goal this season.
Coyne is not the first female to make first-team all-conference in the WPIAL. Serra kicker Stephanie Weimer did it twice in 1999 and 2001.
When North Allegheny lost to Central Dauphin in the PIAA Class AAAA football semifinals Saturday, it ended the Tigers' 21-game winning streak. That streak was the second-longest in WPIAL Class AAAA history, since the classification was formed in 1980.
The longest Class AAAA winning streak was 24 games by Penn Hills from 1995-96. The streak was stopped when Penn Hills lost to Plum in the first round of the 1996 playoffs.
Upper St. Clair had a 21-game winning streak from 1988-90. The streak was stopped when a Butler-Upper St. Clair game in 1990 was halted because of strong storms. The game was scoreless at the time, but because it was never resumed, it became an official game.
Erin Mathias , a 6-foot-3 sophomore girls basketball player at Fox Chapel who already has accepted a scholarship offer to Duke, might not play this season because of a knee problem. Mathias is expected to have surgery on her right knee soon and will be out for a few months.
• With Jeannette girls basketball player Ciara Gregory scoring 50 points in a game last Saturday, some people started wondering how close she might have been to the WPIAL scoring record. The record is 62 held by Wilkinsburg's Maude Searcy in 1990. Also, Monaca's Kris Sebastian scored 60 in 1989 and Clairton's Kamela Gissendanner scored 60 in 2003.
• Some top boys basketball games for tonight are Plum at Fox Chapel, and Shaler at North Allegheny in Class AAAA; Beaver Falls at Quaker Valley in Class AA; North Catholic at Vincentian in Class A.
• The Pittsburgh Basketball Club Holiday Festival is a seven-game boys' event tomorrow at Ambridge. One of the top games is Allderdice against Beaver Falls at 5 p.m.
First Published December 16, 2011 12:00 am