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Rain, WPIAL baseball don’t mix

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WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley isn’t happy about extending the baseball regular season and delaying the start of the playoffs, but he had no choice when so many teams failed to conclude their regular-season games before Friday. Writing on the league’s website, O’Malley called some unnamed school officials “irresponsible” for not rescheduling rainouts in a more timely manner.

Fields throughout western Pennsylvania remain wet to the point that Bishop Canevin athletic director Bob Jacoby has scheduled a doubleheader Friday for Pullman Park in Butler where his team will play Brentwood and Seton-La Salle. It’s 29 miles from Pittsburgh to Butler, but Pullman Park’s synthetic surface ensures that the teams will play. (If it doesn’t rain again.)

It’s an important doubleheader because Bishop Canevin and Seton-La Salle are tied for third place in 6-AA and playoff berths are on the line.

The WPIAL’s baseball committee wanted to meet Friday to set up the pairings for the playoffs, but now it won’t do so until Monday.

The softball committee met Thursday and those playoffs begin Monday. The top seeds are:

Class AAAA: 1. North Allegheny (15-3), Mt. Lebanon (15-1), Latrobe (13-5) and Connellsville (13-3).

Class AAA: 1. Franklin Regional (17-0), Yough (13-2), Elizabeth Forward (13-2) and Belle Vernon (14-3).

Class AA: 1. Riverside (14-1), 2. Mohawk (14-1), 3. McGuffey (13-2) and 4. Bishop Canevin (13-2).

Class A: 1. Vincentian (17-2), 2. Serra Catholic (12-2), 3. Leechburg (13-3) and Fort Cherry (14-2).

Class AA looks wide open, with Riverside and Mohawk splitting their two games in Section 5-AA and tying for first place. It’s tough to predict an overall AA champion, however, because each team played only one game outside its section. Comparisons against the rest of the WPIAL are nearly impossible.

Riverside got the No. 1 seed after beating Vincentian, 2-1. Mohawk’s only non-section game was a victory against Class AAA Blackhawk (6-9).

Elsewhere, keep an eye on the playoff-tested teams from North Allegheny and Belle Vernon and pitching-rich Vincentian. Franklin Regional has the burden of a perfect record, but it didn’t matter late in the season when it allowed only run in its last seven regular-season games.

It looks like the 2009 high school football season will showcase several high-profile stars.

Six WPIAL players have been nominated for consideration to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. They are Canon-McMillan linebacker Mike Hull, Sto-Rox quarterback Paul Jones, Penn Hills defensive back Christian Cullen and wide receiver Brandon Ifill, Fox Chapel offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach and Woodland Hills defensive lineman Rich Gray.

That doesn’t mean they made the final cut, however. The original list of 400 nominees from throughout the nation will be trimmed to 90 who will play in the game.

The game is the most prestigious of the high school all-star football games, claiming alumni such as Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson, Tim Tebow, Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor.

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