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Football: As usual, Thomas Jefferson's defense is tough

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Ken Wunderley profiles the Thomas Jefferson football team. Read his story below.

The Thomas Jefferson football team has made six appearances in the WPIAL Class AAA title game in the past 10 years.

Each of those teams boasted a strong defense, including four that allowed 8.7 points per game or fewer.

"You can't make it to Heinz Field without a strong defense," said Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak, as the Jaguars prepare for their 15th semifinal appearance in 16 years. "We will find out Friday just how good our defense is."

Thomas Jefferson, the Big Nine Conference champions and No. 2 seed in the Class AAA bracket, will play No. 3 seed Central Valley in Friday's semifinals at Chartiers Valley High School.

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Football: South Feature Athlete - Thomas Jefferson's Chase Winovich

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Chase Winovich
School: Thomas Jefferson
Grade: 12
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback-Linebacker

Background: Whether he's lined up behind center or rushing opposing quarterbacks, Winovich has been one of the most impactful players in the WPIAL this season. Winovich, a Michigan linebacker recruit, has been a load to handle on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, he's stepped up at big times. Winovich rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 win at West Mifflin in Week 9. Last week in a 39-0 Class AAA first-round win against Hampton, Winovich ran for a touchdown and helped the Jaguars limit the Talbots to just 40 total yards and three first downs.

Coach Bill Cherpak said: "He plays hard all the time. He can do everything. And he does things that help others get better. That's a sign of great player. We try to put him in the position to make plays."

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Girls Volleyball: Thomas Jefferson earns No. 3 seeding in WPIAL tournament

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Tri-State Sports & News Service writer Ken Wunderley profiles the Thomas Jefferson girls volleyball team. Read his story below.

The 2013 version of the Thomas Jefferson High School girls volleyball team can be summed up with two words: Size and depth.

"This is the best team I've had in 12 years at Thomas Jefferson," coach Ron Kelly said. "We have more size and depth than any team I've had."

That says a lot because Kelly has led the Jaguars to 12 consecutive postseason appearances.

"This team has more size and depth than our 2004 team that qualified for the PIAA tournament [after tying for third place in the WPIAL tournament]," Kelly said. "We have depth at every position and we have four girls 5 feet 11 or taller."