North Hills qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2011 this season. The Indians finished 10-6-1 and tied for third in Section 2-AAA with Butler with a 6-5-1- record. Not simply content to reach the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, North Hills went out and defeated Hempfield in a preliminary-round game, 2-0. In the win against the Spartans, Ryan Speicher and Dante Ohm scored for North Hills, which is experiencing a turnaround under first-year coach Jared Steigerwald, a 1999 North Hills graduate who as a player helped guide the Indians to the WPIAL title game and PIAA semifinals in 1999. Things will not get much easier for North Hills, which will now face No. 1 Upper St. Clair on tonight at 8 p.m. at Upper St. Clair.
In this week's Inside the Lines, Craig Meyer profiles the Rowdie Rooters, a group of fans from North Hills who have been attending Indians' football games for more than three decades.
"For about three decades, the same scene has greeted every team as it walks out of the visitor's locker room at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium.
Perched atop a grassy bluff overlooking the field stands a small army whose loyalty and passion are unquestionable. Draped in red and white, they gather here four or five Friday nights a year to cheer and play whatever part they can in helping push the home team to a victory.
And just in case a visiting player doesn't know who they are, a white sign bordered by red lights makes it all too clear -- they're the Rowdie Rooters.
Though not "officially" affiliated with North Hills High School, the Rooters are perhaps the most identifiable feature of one of the WPIAL's most hallowed venues. The tradition actually began in the 1977-78 school year with a group of students who cheered together at basketball games and called themselves the Rowdie Rooters."
Name: Jake Heinauer
School: North Hills
Sport: Cross Country
Background: Heinauer's most recent victory took place when he cut the tape at the A.J. Everhart Invitational in 16:46. Earlier this year he placed sixth in the 12th Annual Red, White and Blue Classic with a time of 15:55.1. Heinauer went on to win the Slippery Rock Invitational in 16:26.20.
North Hills is off to its best start in four years and earned a spot in the Post-Gazette's Class AAAA rankings this week. The No. 5 Tigers (4-0, 3-0) squeezed out another Northern Eight Conference victory at home last Friday against Seneca Valley.
North Hills, which pulled out a three-point non-conference win three weeks ago against Plum, edged the Raiders, 16-15. Sophomore running back Nick Santucci scored a fourth-quarter 2-yard touchdown run and junior kicker Jacob Seiler booted the game-clinching extra point for the Tigers. Senior quarterback Jake Bruder also rushed for a score as well as completed 5 of 10 passes for 56 yards. Santucci rushed for 76 yards on 18 carries.
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team lost, 56-21, to Washington & Jefferson on Saturday under the lights of Harold Burry Stadium. The game did not count towards the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) standings due to the unbalanced schedule.
Westminster seniors Jared Heck, a North Hills graduate, and Rich Ellebie (Farrell, PA / Kennedy Christian) led the defense with game-highs of 13 tackles each.
(photo courtesy of Westminster College)