Thomas Jefferson 2015 Football Preview

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Thomas Jefferson has placed among the top four teams in Class AAA 16 of the past 17 years. During this stretch, the Jaguars have won or shared 15 conference titles and placed second the other two years.

Coach Bill Cherpak's squad won the Big Nine Conference title and advanced to the WPIAL semifinals before bowing out against eventual runner-up West Allegheny. The Jaguars finished with an 11-1 overall record.

The Jaguars ran the ball on almost every play last year, as four running backs combined for more than 3,600 yards. Three of the four are back, along with a quarterback who threw the ball only 27 times.

Austin Kemp, who rushed for 1,994 yards, graduated, but Ryan Scanlon (5-11, 180, Sr., TB-CB), Braden Pahanish (6-0, 215, Sr., FB-MLB) and Quinton Hill (5-11, 180, Jr., TB) are back. Hill rushed for 711 yards on 92 carries. Scanlon had 488 yards on 65 carries. Pahanish carried 56 times and had 415 yards.


Alumni Update - Cassie Nadzam (La Roche)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

The La Roche College women's volleyball team was picked by coaches to finish fifth in the AMCC Conference this upcoming season. The Lady Redhawks are coming off their best season in school history where they made the AMCC Tournament Semifinal and won a program-high 18 matches.

Senior middle hitter Cassie Nadzam was named a Preseason Player to Watch.

Nadzam, a Thomas Jefferson graduate, who is also a team captain, ranked sixth in the conference in blocking and averaged 2 kills per match.

La Roche will open the season with their 8-team tournament on campus during the weekend of September 4.



Football: Thomas Jefferson grad patiently awaits a call from NFL

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles former Thomas Jefferson football standout Brock DeCicco.

"The smartphone is always in reach, perpetually being checked and double-checked. Such is the life of Jefferson Hills resident Brock DeCicco, who awaits a phone call, a text, a tweet — anything — from one of the 32 NFL teams.

"You sit and you wonder, '‍Will I get a chance? Will it happen today, tomorrow, soon?'" said DeCicco, a talented tight end prospect. "In the meantime, I work out, watch movies, go to Pirates games. I just have to hope someone is willing to give me a chance."

DeCicco, a Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, played at Division II IUP last season — on the heels of one of college football's more bizarre odysseys (more on this later) — and emerged after an early-season ankle injury. He finished with 35 catches for 433 yards and three touchdowns. In his final five games, DeCicco had 26 receptions for 294 yards, including 11 for 111 versus California University of Pennsylvania.

Though he did not get drafted, DeCicco, a 6-foot-5, 245-pounder, participated in rookie minicamps with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans earlier this month. While there, he showcased his speed (4.7 range in the 40-yard dash) and keen understanding of various blocking techniques. He hasn't heard back from either, but left Jacksonville with a positive outlook."



Alumni Update - Greg Schneider (Frostburg State)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

FROSTBURG, Md. Freshman Greg Schneider and head coach Guy Robertson earned their second Rookie and Coach of the YearSchneider Frostburg honors as the pair highlights eight All-South Region nods for the Frostburg State baseball team.


Fresh off its Mideast Regional win, FSU adds to its postseason awards as the Bobcats placed four players on the All-South Region First team, one on the Second Team and one on the Third Team to go along with Schneider's and Robertson's top awards.


Schneider received his second Rookie of the Year selection after taking home the award from the Capital Athletic Conference earlier this season.


The Thomas Jefferson graduate earned a spot on the All-South Region Second Team and was named to the Mideast Regional All-Tournament team. Schneider is currently third on the team with a 1.90 ERA and an 8-1 record in 80.1 innings of work on the mound and boasts a .346 batting average in 26 games as an outfielder for the Bobcats.

Schneider has 94 strikeouts on the year and is tied for fourth in a single season at Frostburg. At the plate, Schneider has driven in 14 runs while scoring 23 on 28 hits. Schneider picked up the 7-1 win over Washington & Jefferson in the opening round of the Mideast Regional last week.


(photo courtesy of Frostburg State University)


Boys Tennis: Two Jaguars squads heading to WPIALs

Written by Ryan Riordan on .

Thomas Jefferson will be sending four juniors to the WPIAL doubles tournament next week.

Jake Stock and Bryan Ochs took third in the Class AA Section 1 tournament, as their teammates Connor O’Leary and Jake Radovic retired in the consolation final. The top four teams from each section qualify for the WPIAL tournament.

Stock and Ochs came close to making the final, pushing the top-seeded team from Mt. Pleasant, Noah Cenkner and Alex Temple to three sets before falling. O’Leary and Radovic fell in straight sets to Brownsville’s Ryan Hartz and Jake Robbins in the other semifinal.