RECAP/STATS: Hawks Too Much for Highlanders, 42-25

Baldwin's season ends at 3-6 overall.

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For the first time in his four years as the head coach of the Baldwin High School varsity football team, Jim Wehner's Highlanders will not win more games than they did in their previous season.

Baldwin High finished its 2012 season at 3-6 overall after falling to the visitors from Bethel Park High School, 42-25, on Senior Night on Friday—one game worse than the Highlanders' 4-5 mark from a year ago.

In 2010, Baldwin was also 3-6, but that was after a 2-8 mark in 2009 (Wehner's first season with the team) and after a dreadful 0-9 record in 2008.

But if you ask Wehner, the future for the Highlanders, who are expected to bring back for next season their starting quarterback, two leading tacklers, leading receiver and a host of promising running backs, remains bright.

"I like my team," Wehner said following Friday's conference loss, which dropped Baldwin to 2-6 in the WPIAL AAAA Southeastern division and raised Bethel Park High to 6-3 overall and 6-2 in the Southeastern. "I like those guys, and hopefully, they're gonna give me an opportunity to be here (for the future)."

Should Wehner not return in 2013, he'll leave the Highlanders without ever having led them to a win over nearby rival Bethel Park.

Friday's game looked nothing like a rivalry, though, with Bethel playing very much like a playoffs team and Baldwin appearing overmatched at times.

The Black Hawks, who have not yet learned whom their first-round postseason opponent will be this year, held the ball for 34 minutes, 45 seconds on Friday, compared to just 13:15 for Baldwin, which was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs before the opening kickoff.

Baldwin received that kickoff but punted the ball away after three plays. Bethel then went 32 yards over the next three plays, including a 24-yard touchdown run by senior wide receiver Avery Dibble, to set up a 7-0 lead with 8:52 left in the first quarter.

Dibble was one of five Black Hawks to rush for a TD on Friday. The next one came from freshman quarterback Levi Metheny on the first play of the second quarter. Metheny crossed the Baldwin goal line with a five-yard carry that ended a 13-play, 54-yard drive and helped to push the score to 14-0.

Things looked bleak for Baldwin when Bethel's ensuing kickoff and a Highlanders personal foul pushed them back to their own 14-yard line. But to its credit, Baldwin responded three plays later with a dramatic 83-yard TD catch by junior utilityman Luke Smorey. Smorey outran a Bethel defensive back and reached back over his own shoulder to haul in a pass from sophomore quarterback Doug Altavilla before using every bit of the left sideline to beat every other player to the end zone.

Smorey did a bit of everything for Baldwin in 2012, throwing 17 passes, rushing for 49 yards and leading his team with 294 receiving yards on a team-high-tying 11 catches. He also served as Baldwin's punter, holder and occasional placekicker and even returned an interception 100 yards for a TD during a 31-7 win at Canon-McMillan High School on Oct. 19.

Wehner—and Smorey himself—see the junior as a leader for the Highlanders in 2013.

"He's one of our leaders this year," Wehner clarified. "I think Doug (Altavilla)'s starting to come into his own a little bit, and Luke's gonna be a top receiver for him.

"Luke can do everything. If we need to move Luke, it doesn't take a lot to move him. We can put him wherever he needs to be."

Added Smorey, showing some senior leadership already, "We have to get in the weight room in the offseason and get bigger, faster, stronger.

“We only had a few seniors to leave, so we'll have a good chance next year. I think we'll look good."

Bethel took the momentum right back from Baldwin following Smorey's long TD catch.

In a drive that was typical of the Black Hawks' grinding offense on Friday, Bethel went 55 yards over the next eight plays to take a 21-7 lead with 6:53 to play in the second quarter. Senior running back John Mascaro finished that drive with a two-yard TD plunge.

The Hawks had an even longer drive just before halftime, scoring with eight seconds left on a six-yard run from junior running back Zachary Enick. Enick's carry ended a nine-play, 70-yard trip.

Any chance that the Highlanders had at a second-half comeback all but disappeared when Bethel received that half's opening kickoff and promptly went 53 yards over seven plays for a 35-7 advantage. Sophomore running back Alexander Minton finished that drive with a 20-yard rush.

But Baldwin didn't go down without a fight, getting an outstanding final two quarters from senior running back Dorian Brown, who finished his high-school career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

Despite missing one game due to an injury this year—and being limited by that injury in another—Brown ran 143 times for 1,059 yards and 12 TDs in 2012, including 182 yards and two TDs on just 14 carries on Friday.

Brown's 64-yard TD rush after Bethel's fifth TD narrowed Friday's gap to 35-13, but Bethel again got the next points, finding the Baldwin end zone early in the fourth quarter on another two-yard Mascaro rush to help to make it 42-13.

But with 9:49 left in the fourth, Brown struck again, scoring from three yards out to finish a drive in which he ran four times for 75 yards.

Brown, who has committed to play football at NCAA Division I Ohio University this coming fall, leaves big shoes to fill in Baldwin's offense, but the Highlanders could have a number of Cinderellas next year as evidenced at least by a 48-yard TD run from teammate and junior Stephon Harris with 1:03 left for the game's final score.

Out of all of the Highlanders to run the ball this season, only Brown is a senior.

"Dorian's a big guy to lose," Smorey said, "but I definitely think we can pick up his slack if we work hard in the offseason."

Added Wehner, "I think it's gonna be tailback by committee (next year)."

Despite Harris' long run, the Hawks' rushing game was much more balanced than the Highlanders'.

Enick led Bethel with 101 yards on 20 carries, followed by Metheny with 76 on 13, Minto with 68 on 11, Mascaro with 36 on nine and Dibble with 35 on three.

Enick (eight yards), Smorey (89 yards) and Bethel's senior wide receiver Zackary Rusch (25 yards) all tied for the game-high with two receptions.

Metheny also completed seven of 12 passes for 64 yards and one interception, while Altavilla completed five of 14 passes for 127 yards and two picks.

Baldwin's junior utilityman Nick Barca, who finished the season with a team-high 82 tackles, including a team-high 50 solo stops, registered a game-high 21 on Friday, including a game-high 12 of the solo variety.

Baldwin's senior wide receiver/defensive back D'Andre Andrews (seven solo) and sophomore defensive back Martino Stein (six solo) followed closely behind with nine tackles each. Andrews, who led the Highlanders with three interceptions this season, also picked off a Metheny pass on Friday and caught another from Altavilla for 23 yards.

Mostly due to the fact that Baldwin ran only 32 offensive plays—compared to 76 for Bethel—three players led the Hawks on Friday with three tackles apiece (all solo)—senior linebacker Bryan Rock, senior defensive back Cody Gilchrist and junior linebacker Corey Roach.

Gilchrist also broke up a pass, and Rusch and Dibble each had an interception.

"I don't think they (Baldwin's players) quit all year," Wehner said. "Even tonight, they didn't quit. That's part of being a good team and starting to become a good team.

"I like this team, and hopefully, I'm gonna get the opportunity to coach them again."


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cc November 01, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Sasafras Jackson, have to agree with you on Billies gibberish. I understand what your saying though Voelker needs to go. Hope you have a great night.
cc November 01, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Highlander Mitch, that is easy. Just like community sports they play their children and their friends child or child friends first, even though they are terrible and should be warming the bench. Then they leave the good kids sit on the bench that should be playing who can make a difference of winning a game.
cc November 01, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Highlander Mitch, since student read the Patch we shouldn't be putting names in here to hurt any students feelings. We who go to all the games know which students should be benched and what other students should be given a chance to play. Our coaches have their favorite students that they play and a few of them should never be in the game.
cc November 01, 2012 at 10:19 PM
true supporter- Not everyone that works in the School District lives in Baldwin Whitehall so you are incorrect with your statement. Not everyone lives in Baldwin, since there are two other parts of the District Whitehall and Baldwin Township. The head coach might not be from Baldwin, but I would bet my last nickle he either knew someone on the School Board or Administration and that is how he got his job. Here in Baldwin/Whitehall you have to know someone to get a job, just look at the School Board and Administration. I happen to walk the field when they are practicing football as my daughter is involved with sports and this is a great time for me to get some exercise in every day as I don't want to be obese like most are. I own a business and have 58 employees so I do have a job where I work more than 40 hours a week. On top of that I also do a lot of volunteering at different organizations. I just happen to always have my I Pad with me so no matter where I am at, I can always get on the internet. Maybe you need to go up to the school every day and actually see what goes on at football practice since your the expert on the football coach but then again the tv and bon bons are calling your name. The coach might not have an I Phone, it might be an Android phone but they both do the same thing.
cc November 01, 2012 at 10:21 PM
He might not have any ties to any student on the team, but bet his job was handed to him because he knew someone on Administration or the School Board, that is how their good ole boys system works you have to know someone or someone owes you a favor to get a job in the district.
timetocare November 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM
there you go highlander mitch i didnt even have to responed thanks cc andtrue supporter and big ben now everybody knows i am not making this stuff up
cc November 02, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I would like to know why highlander mitch is in favor of the coach who he thinks is so great for our team?
Highlander Mitch November 02, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I am not in favor of the coach, but I also do not like the comments being made without any backing. I tend to think change may be necessary, but timetocare did make some strong comments about the coach not playing kids because of friendships, that seems alittle overboard in my eyes. No coach in their right mind is going to play a kid because of "FRIENDS".
Jack in the Box November 02, 2012 at 01:57 AM
I think as parents we need to be more proactive maybe at the next booster club meeting have a conversation with the coach or go to the next school board meeting air some of our grievances. I just wonder if the school board will take what we say into consideration?
Sasafras Jackson November 02, 2012 at 04:26 AM
when is the next meeting?
true supporter November 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM
You all need to get a grip. When was Baldwin football ever a powerhouse? It did well (a few years) when it had a few good players. Do you see people moving into the Baldwin District for a good education, no. Do you see people moving into the Baldwin District to play football, no. They are moving to Gateway, NA, or USC. That is why these programs are successful. Any coach is only as good as what he has.
Sasafras Jackson November 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM
@true supporter - I just threw up in my mouth. Are you saying that the brothers Surman and the brothers Voelker are not legends at BHS?!?! This is preposterous!
Sasafras Jackson November 02, 2012 at 12:18 PM
@true supporter - I vehemently apologize. I re-read your post and realize that you are not saying that at all about the “Legends”. Therefore, I would like to amend my reply to your post to read: “I agree with you 100%” Hip Hip Hooray for Friday! Hip Hip Horary for BHS Football! Hip Hip Hooray for Bull Voelker!
Sandra November 02, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Robert Edward Healy, III November 02, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Dates and times: http://patch.com/A-p4lp.
Michael Dobs November 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM
So you guys are serious about Voelker?!?! This guys could not coach a pee wee team. And as per a legend? What did he ever do as a coach, or college player. He was a slightly above average HS player. But that does not make you a good coach. Also as a MS employee he would non make it to the HS until at best 4. So he would be missing an hour of their practice.
Sasafras Jackson November 02, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Was it not legend that the Undertaker went to Baldwin under the alias “Scott Brinker”…was it not legend that Dave Wanstedt ran a “W” into the hillside by the baseball fields…was it not legend that Yanetti rode a horse for 11 days straight…was it not legend that Bull Voelker ate a 72 ounce steak before a game and then went out and had a 8 sacks and 4 tackles…I have no idea…Uncle Helix tells these stories at the dinner table and I assume that the folklores are true…
Kim D. November 02, 2012 at 08:18 PM
What is another shame is that our district won't get rid of the coaches who cannot teach their way out of a wet paper bag as well. We need some better teachers in the district, please. I just paid my school taxes for the district and I get so upset every year when doing so because my kids are recently graduated from there and their education was terrible unless you are one who goes over and fights for everyone they deserve and that you are paying for with your hard earned tax dollars. I would be more concerned about replacing horrible teachers then worry about the horrible coaches.
Knowledge November 03, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Voelker would make an excellent head coach because he cares about the kids. He coaches basketball and is at every workout they have.
Michael Dobs November 03, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Mr. Rogers cares about the kids too, but i would not have him coaching a sport. If you want to win there is more to it than that. And your reasoning is he's at every practice... Well duh he is a coach... We also judge a head coaching ability off what he did in on game 8 years ago?!?! The MS students hate him, have yet to hear one of his fellow teachers speak highly of him. But he did have 4 sacks! When you bring in an AD from outside have him bring new staffs for multiple sports. Every coach is on a one year contract. Have everyone of them reapply.
Knowledge November 03, 2012 at 04:23 AM
We need a coach that wants to coach for the love of the game not for the money. A new coach will just lead us to where we are now 4 years later. I have yet to see the other basketball coaches working with the kids in the off season. By the way they are coaches to and they arent there
cc November 04, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Kim I have to agree on the teaching at the district and I have said that also but got slammed that Baldwin/Whitehall had awesome teachers, cough cough cough. We do have some great teachers but most are their for a paycheck and their great perks in benefits. I would love to see Baldwin/Whitehall be a great school like it was between the 70 to 90's. After that it all went down hill. I would love to start with the Administration and work down to getting ride all all the bad apple teachers.
cc November 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
The school board could care less what parents have to say, as it goes in one ear and out the other. It is a shame that no other school board is as rude as the one we got at Baldwin.
cc November 04, 2012 at 02:53 AM
True, they are also moving to Bethel Park, South Park, Peters, Mt Lebanon, South Fayette, West Allegheny School District. I wish Baldwin would get a coach as good as Palko from West Allegheny.
cc November 04, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Why exactly does Football practice have to be exactly after school. Baseball and Basketball don't get started till 5-7 pm at night. Times can be changed for practices as they are for other sports.
Fighting Highlander November 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I am actually friends with many people who have children at the middle school and they all say that Mr. Voelker is a great guy and their children adore him and when they need anything that they call him and he makes sure it is taken care of. I also saw him at the game vs BP and a group of about 30 middle school kids came running over to say hi to him and he took the time to go over and talk with them. I am not sure where you get that he is hated by every student in the school.
Fighting Highlander November 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I spent some time reading the comments and I honestly think that negative comments need to come to an end. The Patch shouldn't be a place where you come on and trash the BW community, it should be an informative place to catch up on the good that is going on in our community. I understand that there are some negative opinions and thoughts about people within the community and within our schools, but this is not the place to voice those concerns. If you care that much and want change, go to a school board meeting and voice your concerns there. That is the place where something can be done, not the Patch.
highlanderpride November 06, 2012 at 12:55 AM
I used to play for Jim wehner last year, He is not a good coach at all. One he was barly at practices, he was always on his cell phone texting or making phone calls. Two he lies about everything, everytime we lost a game he would say he's making changes... he never did. He left the same kids in. He never took the players serious, his own coaching staff did not like him, hint why do you think coach Volker resigned from his staff. I personally was told by one of his coaches, his father in law to be exact "I keep pleading and telling coach wehner to play you on friday night but he keeps saying no you are too small he does not want you" I was 5.7 and weighed 210 too small huh? Weher plays favorite, he does not hold strong to his words, Last year at the football baqnet The AD personally came up to me and said " you were alway cheering for your teammates on the silde lines on friday night, and on saturday you played good it's sad you did not get that much playing time on varsity, you are a good football player, Good luck to you in the future" Wehner made a promise in front of everyone that he was going to win more games this year then last year... well he didn't it's time for him to go. Volker is the right man for the job. The kids will have fun playing for volker trust me. I was a senior playing JV last year for coach volker and I love every min of it. He coached us hard and had fun while doing it. hint... JV only lost one game last year. Kids will play for him, trust me
Thomas November 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM
As a former player for this team under the Wehner staff several years ago in 2010, I partially agree with what you have said regarding Coach Wehner and his staff. I personally feel this staff was at its strongest point during Wehner's first year as a head coach at Baldwin in 2009. The offensive and defensive coordinators at the time were very experienced coaches that I enjoyed playing for. Every year since 2010, that coaching staff has continued to diminish. I believe 4 coaches from the 09 staff are no longer with the program since Wehner began his tenure. Since then, the majority of the team's authority has fallen amongst three coaches: Wehner, Wagner, and to a certain extent, young coach Cortazzo. Wehner came into this program as a more offensive minded head coach, but since then has coordinated the defense ever since the d-coord left. A large reason of this team's lack of success is due to the minimal authority given to the assistant coaches. It's time to clean house in this program, as the coaching staff will only continue to diminish.
Mr. Football November 08, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I was in attendence at the board meeting last night and I commend the parent who stood up and made a statement, it is about time the people of this district stand up and fight for whats right. The past two posts from former players tell me all I need to know about Wehner, quite frankly, the guy is not getting through to his players. I have heard numerous people in the community talk about how Volker resigned because he did not like Wehner. Also, the same people told me that Wehner's own father in law was going to leave the staff because of differences with the coach, only to be convinced back by some other members of the staff. If you can not get along with the players and your own staff, you should not be the leader of the program. Kuddos to the gentleman who spoke up last night, and let's get this thing moving in the right direction!


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