Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Unbeaten Trojans Close in on Eastern Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Unbeaten Trojans Close in on Eastern Title

Article excerpt

A trip to the WPIAL championship game has always been a personal goal for the Ravenstahl family, especially Bob Ravenstahl.

Whether as quarterback, running back or head coach, a Ravenstahl has helped lead North Catholic close to the WPIAL championship game four times since 1997 -- but they never quite made it.

In 1997 when North Catholic was playing in Class AAA, Bob Ravenstahl watched from the stands as the Trojans and his son, Luke, fell to Brownsville Area, 14-13, in the WPIAL semifinals. Luke Ravenstahl later became the mayor of Pittsburgh.

In 2001 when North Catholic was playing in Class AA, Bob Ravenstahl again watched from the stands as the Trojans and his son, Adam, fell to Beaver Falls, 46-30, in the WPIAL semifinals.

As a head coach Ravenstahl watched from the sidelines in 2009 and 2012 as his team fell short against Rochester, 14-7, and Sto-Rox, 34- 20, in WPIAL Class A semifinals.

"It has been a personal thing for me and my family, maybe more me than my family," Bob Ravenstahl said. "It is not easy to get there."

There is still a lot of football to be played between the seventh week of the WPIAL regular season and the WPIAL Class A championship game Nov. 23 at Heinz Field, but after Friday night's 21-12 win at No. 4 Avonworth, it is clear the No. 2-ranked Trojans will have a chance to make a playoff run and it is clear that the Trojans have the talent to make that run a deep one.

"We are taking it one game at a time," Bob Ravenstahl said. "Obviously [Avonworth] was a big win, it was a pretty competitive game against probably our biggest rival. We have bigger wins down the road in mind."

Having played only conference games thus far, North Catholic is 6- 0 overall and alone atop the Eastern Conference with remaining conference games against Wilkinsburg (2-4, 2-4) and Leechburg (1-5, 1-4).

Sandwiched between those two conference games is a Class A non- conference showdown with No. 3 Neshannock (5-1).

The game against Neshannock will have major seeding implications but unlike in years past, there is no clear-cut favorite to attempt to avoid in the brackets. …

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