Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Basketball Will Have to Wait Football Takes Center Stage at Char Valley

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Basketball Will Have to Wait Football Takes Center Stage at Char Valley

Article excerpt

At Chartiers Valley, football season used to be a time when Colts fans would be counting the days until the start of basketball season.

Thoughts toward another big season on the hardwood can wait this year. The Colts have one of the top football teams in WPIAL Class AAA.

A 29-6 rout of Ringgold Saturday gave Chartiers Valley its first 4-0 start in the 45-year history of the school. The Colts were not scored upon this season until the final play against the Rams.

"We had six subs in the game on Ringgold's last possession, although I put all the starters back in when they got inside the 20," coach Chris Saluga said.

"Ringgold made a good play to score its touchdown. It's no big deal [to have the shutout streak end]."

Char Valley (4-0, 2-0) has its biggest test of the season Saturday at Canon-McMillan (2-2, 1-1) in a Big Seven Conference game. The game at Canon-McMillan was moved back one day to give the Big Macs sufficient time to prepare.

Canon-McMillan played at Thomas Jefferson Monday night due to the flooding problems that hit the area over the weekend. The Big Macs lost, 54-9, a surprising outcome, considering their first three games, which included a narrow, 14-12 loss to Class AAAA powerhouse Upper St. Clair.

Saluga said Char Valley's strong finish of three victories in a row to end the regular season last year carried momentum into this season. The Colts made the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in six years and for only the second time in 21 years.

"Our goal is to make the playoffs in back-to-back years," Saluga said.

A 17-7 first-round WPIAL loss to favored Moon Area did not quell the team's enthusiasm coming into this season. Char Valley returned a strong nucleus of seniors led by fullback/linebacker Nick Hursky, quarterback Todd Horan and tailback Robertino Coury.

The stingy defense has six seniors who started last season, including outside linebacker C.J. Jones, inside linebacker Brett Wilps, defensive end Bryan Crabb, free safety Bill Poletti and defensive tackle Jon Dabney.

Saluga also credits a group of senior first-year defensive starters for stepping in like veteran players. …

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