Friday, October 14, 2011

This Week in the City League October 13-15, 2011

     Your City League Advocate is asked on occasion, which of all the Pittsburgh City League schools that he supports, is his favorite? And like the doting father, who wants to offend none, he gives the stock answer that he loves all his children equally. But anyone with half a brain knows that any father with more than one child, may say that he loves his children equally, he secretly has his favorite.
     The Advocate is no different. He loves all the schools in the City League. He is a champion of the underdog, the ones that few care about, and even fewer write about. But he'd also be a liar if he didn't have his favorites. The ones that he pulls a little harder for than the others. Of course his number one favorite, the one he cares most about is the Allderdice Dragons, because that is the school from which he graduated.
     But he also cares very much so for the Westinghouse Bulldogs because that is the school that represents the Advocate's Homewood neighborhood. And while the 'House has fallen on hard times over the years in academics as well as athletics, the Advocate is jealous of those who graduated from Westinghouse because the 'House's alums stick together in ways that Allderdice's alums could only dream about. To this day, the Advocate is constantly talking with those graduated from the 'House whose chest puffs out just a little more upon mention of that school on North Murtland Ave. That Bulldog pride comes out.
     They will sing about “Westinghouse, Forever” on demand when most of the 'Dice's alums don't even know Allderdice's alma mater and even fewer could sing it. The Advocate knew of the 'Dice's alma mater ever since he was a student there a hundred years ago. But it was only this year, that he found out the tune to which that song is sung (God of Our Fathers, by the way) On Allderdice's Wikipedia page, he read that for a while, the song was sung from 2006- 2010 when it was stopped by the principal in charge at the time. Why would the principal stop what should be a tradition? This is lunacy. But for now, this is a subject for another time.
     The Advocate has a new favorite beyond the 'House and the 'Dice and that is now the 'Prep, or the U or as he prefers, these days, U-Prep. In this article from the Post Gazette, University Prep, which features players from that school, Pgh Science and Technology, Obama Academy, and one player from Career Connections, a charter school in Lawrenceville, and has its beginnings from the closings of Peabody and Schenley has emerged to become the darlings of the Pittsburgh City League in its inaugural season.
     The Panthers are in the thick of the City League playoff hunt with a 5-1 record overall and a 3-1 record in the City League. The article goes on to report about the challenges of getting kids from rival neighborhoods to put those differences aside to work together. The Panthers are on a roll winning four in a row, their latest win over a previously undefeated Bangor Pius X squad from District 11. 24-12. The Panthers are one of only two teams in the City thus far to have a winning record against non-City competition this season, winning both of their games. The only other school that can claim this distinction thus far is Langley who went 2-1 in their three non-league games.

The Current Standings
Brashear 5-0
Perry 4-0
U-Prep 3-1
Allderdice 2-2
Westinghouse 2-2
Langley 0-3
Oliver 0-4
Carrick 0-4

     U-Prep faces Allderdice (2-2, 2-4) this afternoon at the George in a must-win game for both teams. Allderdice needs this win to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Dragons lost to Perry last week 27-12, and coupled with their early season 13-10 loss to Brashear means that a win today would push the 'Dice into a tie with U-Prep for third place.
     The 'Dice has the advantage that they have only Langley and Carrick left on their City League schedule, while U-Prep still has to play Perry in their last game of the regular season. If the Dragons lose, they will have to win their final two league games and hope for some help.
     Currently Allderdice are tied with Westinghouse for the fourth place spot at 2-2, but they won against the Bulldogs 41-0 in a sloppy penalty filled game that had more laundry on the field than Mama Advocate's washday. The Big Bad Bulldogs are on the road going to West By-Gawd Virginia to take on the Mohigans of Morgantown High School. But the road to the playoffs won't be easy for the 'Dawgs because after their sojourn in the Mountaineer State, they have a one-two punch against U-Prep and Perry before closing out against winless Oliver.
     Another team taking a break from City League action this week are the Perry Commodores who are holding down second place in the City with a 4-0 record. They'll be heading up I-79 to take on Erie East High School out of District 10. But afterwards will play against Brashear on the 21st for first place overall and close out against U-Prep.
     The Brashear Bulls roll on in sole possession of first place at 5-0. DaBulls have won five in a row since their 36-0 defeat against Knoch. But they have tight wins against Allderdice and U-Prep, all the while feasting on the lower tier of the league winning their last three games against the bottom feeders by a combined score of 116-12. They defeated Oliver 33-6 last night. And after their annual battle against Perry, have only a non-league game against Linsly (WV) and winless Langley.
     So as the playoff race starts to firm up and the head-to-heads start coming into play, Brashear and Perry are pretty much assured of a spot in the playoffs. U-Prep has a strong shot at getting in and a win against Allderdice today will insure that a playoff invite is in their immediate future. Allderdice needs to win and not trip up over Langley and Carrick. The 'House needs to put on their big boy pants and prepare for a major struggle.

Friday October 14 3:30pm
U-Prep at Allderdice. The Dragons need to figure out how to stop Jaylen Coleman. He is the lynchpin to the U-Prep offense. But the 'Dice has Patrick Ferguson toting the pig as well as two decent quarterbacks in Bishop Gethers and Rainer Smith. This game will be close. But the Advocate, as much as it pains him to say it, will have to go with U-Prep. But the Advocate loves that one of the assistant coaches for the Panthers is none other than “McKeesport” Mike Logan former d-back of the Steelers. U-Prep

Friday October 14 7:00pm
Langley at Carrick The Advocate loves all his children equally, The Advocate loves all his children equally, The Advocate loves all his children equally...but some he likes more than others. Pity the Raiders. They have had an utterly forgettable season only scoring 21 points while giving up 280. They have a chance to break into the win column against Langley, but that's not going to happen. Langley

Friday October 14 7:30pm
Perry at Erie East. The Warriors of Erie East are currently 4-2 over all and 2-1 and in third place in their league which includes other Erie schools as Strong Vincent and the always powerful Cathedral Prep. Perry has played other D10 schools out of Erie in the past, with mixed results. Mostly losses to ECP. This is the first time in the Advocate's memory that the Commodores have played East. Having no idea of the level of competition that East faces outside of ECP, and the Advocate knows that this is not one of the stronger Perry squads to come out of the City League in a while, The Advocate will have to go with Perry in a squeaker. Purely out of City League bias. Perry

Friday October 14 7:00pm
Westinghouse at Morgantown (WV) The Mohigans are also 4-2 overall and are holding down first place in their league with a 2-0 record. According to their Wikipedia page, Morgantown High School is a pretty big school with over 1,700 kids enrolled. They'd definitely be considered Quad A in Pennsylvania. Their most famous alumnus is Don Knotts. Obviously, Morgantown needed a game to fill out their schedule and Westinghouse was more than willing to oblige. If the 'House can keep to within 21 points of the Mohigans, the Advocate would consider it a moral victory. Morgantown


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