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High School

“Mr. High School Sports” – Eye on the WPIAL: 5 Class AAAA Coaches with Something to Prove

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We’ll be keeping an “Eye on the WPIAL” throughout the summer, leading up to the kickoff of the 2011 high school football season…

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By Matt Popchock

Some may fight for championships, others may fight to build on what they began in 2010, while still others may simply fight for respectability for their programs. At any rate, here are five head football coaches “Mr. High School Sports” will be keeping an eye on in Class AAAA this fall:

Ray Reitz, Latrobe – He led the Wildcats to the doorstep of the 2010 postseason, and he is reportedly teaching them the wing-T offense in an effort to break that door down. Can the coach who once won with Terrelle Pryor and Jordan Hall succeed at a program where, in recent years, it hasn’t been easy to win with anybody?

Terry Smith, Gateway – He’s been at the helm of some of the toughest teams in the state over the course of the past decade, but those teams have repeatedly gotten stage fright at Heinz Field, and last year did not return. Can Smith and his Gators exorcise those championship demons and get those elusive gold medals?

Terry Totten, Pgh. Central Catholic – The Vikings were on a clear path to their second WPIAL championship in four years until they ran into North Allegheny; and they have most of the key ingredients from the 2010 campaign coming back. Can he demonstrate once and for all that Central is the Quad-A team to beat in 2011?

Rich Piccinini, Peters Township – He’s taking over an Indians squad that is coming off a rare playoff appearance, and he’ll be surrounded by a combination of some new starters at key spots and, we understand, some expectant parents. Will he win them over, and can he get Peters past the latest round of graduation hits?

Dave McDonald, Connellsville – It’s hard to imagine this once-proud program being in so far over its collective head, but perhaps it’s just a matter of finding the man who can fix what some might think is not fixable. Is this new coach the man who can finally light a fire under the Falcons and make them relevant again?

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Be sure to revisit the “Mr. High School Sports” blog at 937thefan.com throughout the summer for more high school football coverage, as we prepare to kick off the 2011 season!

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