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Tuesday August 16 2022
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2015 High School Football Preview

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As the leaves start to fall and the temperature begins to drop, it’s clear that high school football season is finally here. Western Pennsylvania is loaded with talent, which should make the next three months quite entertaining for high school football fans in the region.

Team in the Spotlight: Central Catholic Vikings
The Vikings are without a doubt the heavy favorite in the WPIAL Quad-A and it is easy to see why. The team is littered with three, four and even some five star caliber recruits.

“With juniors and seniors they have anywhere from 8-12 guys that can end up playing Division I football,” football scout Joe Butler said. “Kids are well coached, they play with a sense of urgency, play smart and they play hard and that is what helps you develop your team into a complete program.”

As Butler put it, Central Catholic practically has a college secondary. Cornerback Damar Hamlin, one of the most highly-recruited players in country, anchors the secondary at cornerback. Hamlin has yet to narrow his list to his final choices, but has more than two dozen offers, including Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State as well as Pitt and Penn State. Hamlin and Pitt-commit Bricen Garner, a safety, complements Hamlin in what could be the most talented secondary in the state.

“I’ve gotten into the final four as not being one of the favorites and won it. I’ve gotten into the final four as one of the favorites and not won it,” Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. “The goal is to get into that final four and play your best football and see what happens.”

The Vikings biggest strength may not be their seniors, but their underclassmen that provide them with so much depth.

Juniors David Adams (linebacker) and linemen CJ Thorpe and Kurt Hinish are already receiving major Division 1 offers, providing compliments to the Vikings deep pool of senior talent.

“They have good defensive linemen in Rashad Wheeler (Pitt commit), Ron George playing outside linebacker,” Butler said.  “David Adams is a junior playing inside linebacker. They have Ronnie Jones, another guy who can play wide receiver and also play the secondary. They have multiple good players, and they have the depth.”

Players in the Spotlight:
AAAA
James and Tim Jackson, Allderdice’s quarterback and wide receiver, respectively, as well as Brashear’s Therran Coleman, defensive back, will provide a boost of talent in the City League. Central Catholic’s Hamlin and Woodland Hills’ running back, Miles Sanders, a Penn-State commit, are probably the top two players in the region.

“He (Sanders) is one of the better backs along the eastern seaboard if not the country,” Butler said. “He is explosive, he is strong, he runs hard, he’s got legitimate finishing speed and he breaks arm tackles.”

In addition to the aforementioned Central Catholic players, other Quad-A players to watch include Sanders’ teammate at Woodland Hills, Jo El Shaw, as well as Upper St. Clair offensive lineman Brandon Ford (Pitt) and McKeesport’s Khaleke Hudson.

AAA
University Prep has themselves quite the player in linebacker Kenny Robinson, another City League gem. Wide receiver Aiden Howard from Gateway (Virginia) is a dominant offensive weapon to watch.

AA
Starting with another Beaver Falls star with the last name of Jeter, Donovan Jeter, who plays defensive end is an explosive guy off the line. South Fayette’s Hunter Hayes, a running back and free safety, won’t garner as much Division 1 attention but is as productive aClairton Lamont Wade player as there is in the WPIAL. Freeport linebacker Logan Thimons and Aliquippa athlete Kaezon Pugh are standouts, as is Seton La Salle’s Paris Ford, a junior defensive back.

A
As usual, Clairton is again loaded with talent. Featuring a pair of impressive wide receivers with high-major offers, Aaron Matthews and Noah Hamlin as well as running back/defensive back Lamont Wade, the Bears are among the favorites in Single-A. A pair of non-Clairton players also catch the eye: Greensburg Central Catholic’s Jake Weir, a defensive end, and quarterback Erik Taylor from North Catholic.

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