(Scroll down to check out the schedule.)
's varsity football team opens its 2012 season with a Southeastern Conference game this Friday night at at 7:30.
Baldwin will be competing in one of western Pennsylvania high school football's toughest conferences this year, as the Southeastern includes many contenders for the WPIAL's AAAA (highest level) championship, including perennial powers , Mt. Lebanon and high schools.
Baldwin finished 2011 with a 4-5 overall record, including a 1-4 mark in AAAA's defunct Great Southern Conference, which basically added Woodland Hills, Penn Hills and high schools to the renamed conference this year.
The Great Southern's holdovers to the Southeastern include Baldwin, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park and high schools.
Baldwin earned three of its four wins last year against non-conference foes, but the Highlanders only have one such game on the schedule this year—an Oct. 12 tilt at Fox Chapel Area High School, whom they beat soundly at Baldwin in 2011 behind now-senior running back Dorian Brown's 184 rushing yards and 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Many will say that the Highlanders will only go as far as Brown takes them this season. He is the , after all. What do you say?
Can sophomore Doug Altavilla, who won the team's starting quarterback job during , lead the offense from huddle to huddle? Can junior and senior defensive backs Jay Morrison and D'Andre Andrews, respectively, cause enough havoc on the other side of the ball?
The Highlanders did not qualify for the postseason last year, their downfall marked by three straight conference losses from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14. But the team has come a long way since going a dreadful 0-9 in 2008. In fact, in each of Head Coach Jim Wehner's three seasons at the helm, Baldwin has improved its wins total and winning percentage, going 2-8 in 2009 and 3-6 in 2010.
Wehner believes that another increase will mean a postseason appearance for Baldwin this year.
Can the Highlanders make it? How many regular-season wins do you think that they'll have?
Below is the team's schedule this season. The Thursday night Penn Hills game will be broadcast on TV by ROOT SPORTS.
Full 2012 Schedule (* = conference game):Date Opponent Time Aug. 31 at Peters Township* 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 Plum* 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Penn Hills* 7 p.m. Sept. 21 Mt. Lebanon* 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Upper St. Clair* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5 Woodland Hills* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at Fox Chapel Area 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Canon-McMillan* 7 p.m. Oct. 26 Bethel Park* 7:30 p.m.
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch for updates on the 2012 Highlanders, including game recaps.
(Watch the video found in the media gallery above to enjoy interviews and some action from the first day of summer camp this year.)
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