Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 2015 Football Preview

Written by Joe Koch on .

There's an adage that if something isn't broken, you don't try to fix it.

That's the situation facing former Steelers star linebacker Jason Gildon in his first season as Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic's coach.

Gildon, who never has been a high school head football coach, assisted in recent years at Class AAAA schools Seneca Valley and Peters Township. He comes to a Trojans team that lost just one game in the past two years under previous coach Bob Ravenstahl and won the 2013 WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships. Last season the Trojans went 11-1, 7-0 in the Black Hills Conference, but lost to Avonworth in the WPIAL semifinals.

"They have been very successful the last two years, and they've been able to see what [success] looks like," Gildon said. "They've had a good senior class leave, but they left them with good habits. They showed those [younger guys] we are a good team and run a good program, and we hope they follow in those guys' examples. That's what we are stressing. When you have a team that has lost one game in two years, you don't want to change a lot. You really want to go in and see what they do well and bolster that. You want to continue to plug away."


Football: Gildon brings plenty of experience to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic

Written by Joe Koch on .

Joe Koch profiles new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic football coach Jason Gildon.

2015 0828 NorthCatholic Football(Photo: "Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic coach Jason Gildon was an NFL linebacker for 11 years, 10 with the Steelers. Bill Wade/Post-Gazette)

"Jason Gildon is used to excellence. After competing for 11 years as a linebacker in the NFL — 10 with the Steelers — Gildon hopes to be a guiding force for a younger generation of football players in his first season as the head football coach at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

The prospects appear bright for Gildon, as he takes over for Bob Ravenstahl, who stepped down after the 2014 season. The Ravenstahl-coached Trojans won the WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships in 2013, the school's final year on Troy Hill. In the school's first year in Cranberry Township, the Trojans finished with an 11-1 record, falling to Avonworth, 28-21, in the WPIAL Class A semifinal.

Gildon, who recorded 77 sacks when he played for the Steelers from 1994 to 2003, is appreciative of the accomplishments of the Ravenstahl-coached teams the past two seasons. But he's not concentrating on the past.

"You know what, I can't get caught up in why the previous coach isn't here," he said. "I'm just glad to be here myself. I know that we have a great staff in place. Great coaches. The thing that we want to accomplish was not just coaching these young men in the game of football, but we also want to deliver a message about the game of life. It goes so far beyond the field. I think giving those types of lessons to them are the same ones that taught me what it meant to be professional and what success looked like. If you instill those lessons and those qualities, they are going to be successful.""


Baseball: 2015 Minor League Update - Sean Murphy (North Catholic)

Written by John Perrotto on .

(Sports Town is featuring updates on WPIAL baseball players who are currently playing in the major or minor leagues. The posts were compiled by veteran baseball writer John Perrotto. We will feature two players every day.)

North Catholic graduate Sean Murphy is sitting out the season in the Oakland Athletics' farm system while recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.

The right-hander was injured last Aug. 5 while making a start for Class AA Midland in the Texas League. Murphy finished the 2014 season with a combined 6-8 record and 4.89 ERA in 20 starts with Midland, Class AAA Sacramento and high Class A Stockton.

Murphy, 26, has gone 32-32 in five seasons in the Athletics' farm season. He also has a 4.26 ERA and two saves in 105 career games, 81 of which have been starts.

The Athletics selected Murphy in the 33rd round of the 2010 amateur draft from Keystone College in LaPlume, Pa.


Basketball: North Catholic grad to play at Niagara

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic graduate Dominic Robb, who recently signed to play basketball at Niagara University.

"Dominic Robb is a go-getter in his parents' home.

That's go-getter as in, "Go get that silver platter from the top shelf. ... Go get that light bulb down from the ceiling."

This is what happens when one has a wingspan that measures 7 feet, 1 inch — equal to the height of Shaquille O'Neal. Nothing is out of reach.

"Hey, anytime they want something, I'm there to get it," Robb said, laughing."



Baseball: North Catholic eliminated in quarterfinals

Written by John D'Abruzzo on .

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic's baseball season came to an end Monday following a 1-0 upset against No. 14 Bishop Canevin at West Mifflin. The Trojans finished their season with a 14-8 overall record.

As the No. 6 seed in the WPIAL's Class A bracket, North Catholic advanced to the second round following a 2-0 victory against No. 11 Rochester. Senior pitcher Nick Tunstall allowed just four hits during the shutout win. Jack Anderson and Danny Lynch each knocked in runs for the Trojans.

North Catholic entered the playoffs following an 8-2 run in Section 4-A. The Trojans finished second in the section standings behind Vincentian. Both of these section losses came against the Royals, who were eventually eliminated in the first round. After opening the season losing five of their first 10 games, the Trojans posted an impressive seven-game winning streak to keep them in contention. North Catholic actually scored 10 runs or more in every game during that stretch.