Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lebo Facing Tough Road

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lebo Facing Tough Road

Article excerpt

Geographically, Mt. Lebanon is drastically out of place in the Quad North Conference. Most teams are on the opposite side of the Allegheny River, with two in Butler County (Butler, Seneca Valley) and one almost (North Allegheny).

Yet the Blue Devils have never lost direction. Since joining the Quad North in 2000, they have won two conference titles, shared a third and compiled the best conference record of anyone, 21-6 -- ahead of North Hills (20-7).

Chris Haering's squad has been formidable at all Quad North venues, going 11-2 at home and 10-4 away. All venues except Martorelli Stadium.

The Blue Devils (2-3, 2-1) will be busing to that West View facility Friday to take on the North Hills Indians (5-0, 3-0), who are No. 4 in the Post-Gazette's WPIAL Class AAAA rankings. The Blue Devils played there in 2000 and 2002, and were defeated both times.

They're not alone in their discontent at Martorelli. North Hills has a 23-2 record there since the beginning of the 1999 season.

Jack McCurry has a keen sense of that history, and much more. This is his 27th season as the Indians' head coach, and he has won 224 games and four WPIAL championships or co-championships.

He also knows that Mt. Lebanon, after an 0-2 start, bashed his team, 24-6, last year and didn't lose again until the WPIAL quarterfinals. And that the Blue Devils have rallied from being 0- 2 again. And that they are two tipped passes in the end zone from, perhaps, being 4-1, 3-0.

"Mt. Lebanon has an excellent program and an excellent tradition," McCurry said. "They are starting to play well. They have good kids on both sides of the ball."

Oh, and being at Martorelli Friday doesn't enhance his comfort.

"We don't think it's that big of an advantage against Mt. Lebanon," McCurry said. "We like being at home because we don't like to travel. But the field is 100 yards long no matter where you play. …

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