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Coaching changes highlight Pa. District 9 football
Three of four District 9 Class A semifinal teams have new coaches in 2010; Coudersport, Brockway, Clearfield preseason faves to win District 9; Five QBs appear among top WPIAL players; PCN TV Schedule released.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010
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CLARION – The biggest question facing
District 9 Class A football group this season comes in the form of how some of the top teams will adjust to new coaches.
Of the four semifinal teams from a year ago – champion
Cameron County (Emporium)
– three of them have new coaches including the title-winning Bobcats who said goodbye to 22-year head man Larry Wiser after the season.
Judd Allan, who served as Wiser's offensive coordinator from 2000-05 before working as an assistant coach at
the last few seasons, takes over the helm of the defending champions.
"So far, everything is going smoothly," Allan said. "I've been here before, so that helps."
At Coudersport, former basketball coach Chris Fink takes the reigns as head coach replacing Brendan Hathaway, who left after two seasons and 17 wins to become the head coach at
head boss Mark Morelli, who went 60-47 with the Elkers before leaving following the 2007 season, becomes the third head coach at Cameron County in the last three years.
The only coach left standing from last year's semifinalists is Curwensville's Andy Evanko, who is 80-32 heading into his 11th year at the Clearfield County school.
preseason favorites in District 9:
With the football season only a week away, three teams have emerged as the preseason favorites to win the three classifications that crown a District 9 champion – Class A, Class AA, Class AAA.
In Class A,
Coudersport returns starting quarterback
(55 percent completions, 616 yards, 8 TDs; 458 yards rushing, 5 TDs), as well as four of its top five runners led by senior
(466 yards, 2 TDs) and three starters on the offensive line from a team that lost 7-0 in the title game to Clarion. Coudersport
has won three titles since 2001 but none since 2006
Brockway, with record-setting senior quarterback
leading the charge, looks ready to unseat three-time defending champion
, which beat the Rovers 42-40 in the title game a year ago in Class AA. Buganza set the Pennsylvania state record for passing yards in a season in 2009 with 3,824 on 256 of 423 passing with 37 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. With 6,747 career passing yards, he is 1,798 yards away from the state career record set by former
quarterback Kyle Smith (Central Michigan), who passed for 8,545 yards.
Helping Buganza will be the return of a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in seniors
(88 catches, D9 record 1,390 yards, 16 TDs) and
(66 catches, 1,000 yards, 8 TDs).
A pretty good underclassman quarterback is the reason Clearfield is picked to win its fourth title in six years – the Bisons lost to
34-28 in last season's title game – and their seventh since 1998.
Junior Curtis Frye is the latest in a long line of top Clearfield quarterbacks and is coming off a sophomore season that saw him throw for 1,777 yards and 14 touchdowns while also running for 451 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is helped by the return of the Bisons' leading rusher Derek Morgan (772 yards, 10 touchdowns) and second-leading receiver Derek Danvers (30 catches, 437 yards, 3 touchdowns).
3. Five quarterbacks named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Preseason Fab 22 Team:
Western Pennsylvania has always been a hotbed for quarterbacks, and this year may be no exception, as five WPIAL quarterbacks have been named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's
Fab 22 Preseason team, including three seniors.
However, the best known of the group won't even be playing quarterback in college, as
6-foot-5, 230-pound senior quarterback
has been recruited to play defensive end at Pitt next year. Green accounted for nearly 2,500 yards combined passing and rushing last year and 26 touchdowns. That includes more than 1,300 yards passing.
South Fayette (McDonald)
quarterback Christian Brumbaugh, a 6-3, 195-pound senior, was the statistical leader of the group, passing for more than 2,000 yards and 29 touchdowns while helping the Lions to a 10-1 season and a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal berth.
The third senior is
Peters Township (McMurray)
dual threat Austin Hancock, who at 6-2, 225 pounds, threw for nearly 1,300 yards last season and ran for nearly 500.
A pair of juniors already have college scouts buzzing, including
John Matarazzo, who at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds has the size and tools to be a special quarterback. Matarazzo threw for just shy of 2,000 yards as a sophomore while completing 65 percent of his passes.
Chartiers Valley (Bridgeville)
junior Wayne Capers Jr., whose father was an NFL wide receiver for four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts, had Chartiers Valley on a roll last year before breaking his foot in the sixth game of the season. Capers, who has scholarship offers from Penn State, Pitt and Maryland already, threw for 500 yards while running for more than 350 before getting hurt in Week 6.
4. PCN Announces its high school football TV schedule:
PCN announced its statewide high school football television broadcast schedule recently and six of the 15 games involve either WPIAL, District 9 or District 10 teams, including one live telecast, t
he Oct. 22
Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson Hills)
game at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Five additional games will be shown on tape delay. On Sept. 4 at 2 p.m., the
Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg)
contest will be shown, at 9 p.m. The Sept. 11
Montour (McKees Rocks)
game will be broadcast at 9 p.m.
On Sept. 18 at the Karns City at
Wilmington Area (New Wilmington)
game will be shown at 6:30 p.m. The
West Allegheny (Imperial)
Upper St. Clair
game will be on Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. and the Oct. 9
Shaler Area (Pittsburgh)
game will be broadcast.
More information on the PCN Games of the Week can be found at