So much to talk about. Here goes …
… Even if Waynesburg Central doesn’t win a match in Hershey this week, although I am certainly hoping that the Raiders took down Central Dauphin by the time this piece hits the public, the 2019-20 team has already cemented its spot as one of, if not the greatest in modern program history. That claim goes beyond the simple facts of winning the first section title in over a decade and the first WPIAL crown in 30 years.
Waynesburg has more than its share of legends and individual champions immortalized in plaques on the brick walls in the school. However, this squad did things that teams that boasted all-time legends like Headlee, Scott, Semple and others were unable to do. This is the team that finally knocked off Canon-McMillan when it mattered the most. This same squad went toe-to-toe with the elite of the elite like Latrobe, Seneca Valley and Connellsville, and downed them all.
However, the best part of the 2019-20 squad could be the fact that it may just be the beginning of several years of dominance for the Red and Black. This year’s starting lineup feature zero seniors so stars like Mac Church, Rocco Welsh, Luca Augustine and Wyatt Henson are all due back next season. Even after this year’s juniors compete in their final high school matches, the 2021-22 squad will still have plenty of firepower to keep the winning going.
Hopefully, this unequaled level of success will inspire the next generation of stars to stick with the sport and keep what is hopefully a burgeoning tradition alive for years to come …
… Speaking of dynasties, Sunday’s Super Bowl may have ushered in the era of the Kansas City Chiefs. It also marks the end of the greatest dynasty in pro sports history.
The Brady/Belichick empire finally showed real cracks and for the first time in its two decades of owning the league. Tom Terrific was unable to overcome an under-talented receiving corps. The Patriots’ traditionally strong offensive line was unable to protect Brady long enough to make said receivers appear legitimate.
New England’s defense did all it could to keep the team’s veneer of invincibility alive through the season. However, when the Pats got away from playing the pathetic AFC East, even that unit was exposed.
Not only have the Chiefs rooted themselves at the top of the NFL mountain, but if Kansas City falters, it won’t be New England waiting to sweep in and regain the crown. Rather, the Baltimore Ravens and NFL MVP Lamar Jackson look to be the rival that will push the Chiefs to stay atop the conference ladder.
Could the Steelers stay relevant in this new world of pro football? They have a young, impactful defense stocked with talent. However, the offense that just two years ago was one of the best in the NFL needs answers at running back, tight end and offensive line depth.
Oh yeah, and what about Ben? While he and the team are saying all the right things about being on schedule to return for next year, his 37-year-old body that has been battered by opposing defenses and a rather notorious motorcycle crash, can’t hold up forever.
If No. 7 ends up hanging up the cleats, or just isn’t himself in 2020, the franchise’s insistence on not finding the successor at quarterback could just waste however many good years that defense has ahead of it …
… Many a baseball fan are claiming the end of the Super Bowl marks the unofficial start of baseball season. Basketball and hockey fans may not agree with that statement.
Also, if that really is the case, it’s going to be a long season for Pirate fans.
The Starling Marte trade showed that a new a manager, president and manager don’t mean much for a franchise that is still owned by Bob Nutting. The three highest paid players on last year’s opening day roster (Marte, Corey Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli) are all gone. While moving on from Cervelli was clearly a move that had to be made, the fact that no replacement has become evident behind home plate is indicative of the rebuild that is obviously in full swing.
The problem is … the team refuses to admit what it is doing.
For a fan base that has felt misled for years, a lack of transparency isn’t the best to start this supposed new era of baseball in the ‘Burgh.