Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

West Allegheny Putting It Together

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

West Allegheny Putting It Together

Article excerpt

West Allegheny football coach Bob Palko isn't one to dwell on accomplishments or others' perceptions of his program.

What interests him most is getting his Indians to play their best football with a goal of winning the WPIAL Class AAA Parkway Conference title and a berth in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

"I'm not much into analyzing a team on a year-to-year basis," said Palko, who is in his 18th season as West Allegheny's coach. "It's hard to compare years. I think each year has its own personality. Kids get their turn and get an opportunity to step into a position.

"Last year was last year. We're working on a tradition of working hard, getting some team unity and hopefully some wins."

Off to a good start, the Indians have notched three conference victories in as many games this season, with the latest a 21-14 victory against Moon Area this past Friday. West Allegheny has also earned conference victories against Blackhawk, 31-27, Ambridge Area, 24-7. The Indians, ranked No. 5 in Class AAA in the Post-Gazette's WPIAL rankings, head into this week's conference game against Hopewell (1-2) averaging 25.3 points while yielding 16 points a game.

If anyone's looking for a go-to guy on this West Allegheny team, it will be a fruitless search. Palko is getting solid efforts from multiple sources. And that's just fine with him.

"We feel the more people we can use, the better it is for our team," the coach said. "With the schedule that we have, the way we're able [to use different players] will keep the pounding off the kids. Each has different strengths and weaknesses. But there is no master plan.

"We're going to use the talent that we have, and if one guy goes down, then we won't have to change what we do. We'll still be able to be who we are."

Three Indians have rushed for more than 100 yards through three games this season, with Chayse Dillon, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior, leading the team with 198 yards on 19 rushes for an average of 10. …

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