Football: Highlands running back tough to catch

Written by Justin Criado on .

Justin Criado profiles Highlands running back Elijah Jackson.

"Highlands running back Elijah Jackson remembers what his coaches and teammates used to call him as a 140-pound freshman.

"My nickname was Flea," Jackson said.

Coach Sam Albert said it was because Jackson was quick and elusive as well as small, but now Albert has a much more fitting nickname for his starting running back.

"We call him Reggie for [Detroit Lions running back] Reggie Bush because we try to get him the ball every way possible," Albert said."



Highlands 2014 Football Preview

Written by Justin Criado on .

Highlands won't soon forget its playoff loss to Thomas Jefferson in last year's WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals, but as the Golden Rams make the switch to Class AA's Allegheny Conference, coach Sam Albert feels the road to Heinz Field will only get tougher.

"I was a head coach at Freeport, I know the types of athletes in the conference," said Albert, who coached the Yellowjackets for five seasons until assuming his current role at Highlands in 2004.

"It's going to be a very, very strong and competitive conference. We know that we're going to have our hands full."

Quarterback Blake Leri and running back Elijah Jackson, who led the team with 1,287 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns last season, return to a team that must replace 21 seniors who graduated after finishing 7-4 (6-2) in the tough Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference.


Wrestling: Highlands' program survives

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Ken Wunderley reports that Highlands is doing its best to keep its wrestling program alive. Read his story below.

In years to come, Grant Walters may become known as the coach who saved Highlands High School wrestling.

But Walters, a 2006 graduate of Burrell High School, will not take the credit.

"Nolan Wise deserves the credit," said Walters, referring to one of six current seniors who made up last year's squad.

The past few years have been a struggle for the Highlands varsity program.


Football: Highlands advances to quarterfinals

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

After losing its last two regular season games, the Highlands football team bounced back last week with a big first-round victory over New Castle.

The Golden Rams (7-3) finished behind Frankin Regional and Mars in the Greater Allegheny Conference after dropping its last two games against non-conference Ringgold and Knoch, respectively. Highlands, however, earned the No. 7 seed in the Class AAA bracket and took down No. 10 New Castle, 24-19. New Castle was predicted by many as a possible dark horse team in the Class AAA bracket.

Quarterback Blake Leri completed 4 of 7 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns - connecting with both Jeremy Jackson and Jordan Lineburg for scores - against the Red Hurricane. Star running back Elijah Jackson chipped in with 107 rushing yards. Defensively, the Golden Rams held New Castle to just 2 yards rushing.