HOPEWELL vs. THOMAS JEFFERSON PREVIEW
Written by: Billy Splain on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Bill Cherpak is good. In fact so good he received votes in the election as a write-in on Tuesday all of which came from the Jefferson Hills area. If you think about it, Cherpak and his Jaguars are on a little campaign on their own and not hesitating to slotter any candidate that thinks they can beat them. Bill is running for his second term as the President of the AAA in all of Pennsylvania but first he must win the primary in the WPIAL, and that takes the Jaguars (9-1) threw the Cinderella team in Hopewell (8-2).
The Jags and Vikings will battle under the golden arches of McDonald, PA at South Fayette High School on Friday night. Thomas Jefferson is looking to make their 9th straight trip to the WPIAL semi-finals, something that really nothing can be said about.
The two teams have met 3 times since 1999, Hopewell taking the two most important ones both in the WPIAL semi-finals a 21-14 win in 2001, and a 21-7 win the following year. TJ’s 34-0 win over the Vikings came way back in 1999. So Hopewell needs to hope that history repeats its self, however if they do so history could set Thomas Jefferson back in the semi-finals for the 9th straight time so maybe their shold be no hope involled.
Hopewell is that team that you think will not give you problems, and when they do teams are shocked. Thomas Jefferson will not be shocked after all they played one of the best teams in the US, back in week one in West Virginia against Cleveland Glennville, a game the Jaguars may have been a little shocked after the loss. However the facts say that Thomas Jefferson has not lost to a WPIAL team since October 21st, 2005.
The Jags are lead by quarterback Tyler Wehner, and running back Brain Baldrige. Since most understand the fact that if Thomas Jefferson has gone 87-8 since 2002, you can take my word on how good Wehner and Baldrige really are.
For the Vikings of Hopewell the man of the season is none other then freshman running back, Russell Shell. Late at night in Hopewell you can hear the whisper of people comparing Shell to NFL hall of famer and former Hopewell star, Tony Dorsett. That maybe too soon to tell but one thing is fore sure; Shell is one of the best freshman running backs the WPIAL has seen in a long time. Shell has rushed for over 200 yards in each of the last three games and is nearing the 1,400 yard mark for the season.
Hopewell could give Thomas Jefferson a scare, and I am sure the Vikings will not mind that they are a week late of Halloween, or will Hopewell become the 41st WPIAL team to go down in the Jaguars wake. The triple-A juggernauts of Thomas Jefferson take on the Hopeful Hopewell Vikings, on Friday night as the Highway to Heinz continues.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball