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High school football notebook

Saints player stands out in all areas


– Ryan Watercutter did everything but take tickets and sing the national anthem Friday night in Bishop Dwenger’s 42-7 rout of New Haven in a Class 4A regional.

The senior caught six passes for 133 yards, and he squashed New Haven’s last scoring threat with an interception in the end zone. He even returned a punt 44 yards to set up one of Dwenger’s three second-quarter touchdowns.

To say the least, that sort of thing doesn’t go unnoticed.

“He’s a football player,” Dwenger coach Chris Svarczkopf said. “He’s offense, he’s defense, he’s special teams. … He’s a great leader, and he doesn’t quit on plays. Wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”

Snider seniors get their championship

The postseason run ended sooner than last year for Snider, which fell 36-7 to No. 1 Westfield in a Class 5A regional.

Last year, the Panthers were the 5A state runners-up. But along the way, Snider did manage to win its seventh straight sectional title and contend in the SAC before losing on the head-to-head tiebreaker against North Side for the league title. The Panthers avenged that loss against North Side in the sectional finals.

“Our goal every year is for every senior class to leave a championship legacy for the program, and they certainly did that,” Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. “The season ends earlier than we wanted it to, but the senior class can be proud of the accomplishments they have had.”

Future looks bright for South Adams

First-year South Adams coach Rick Burkhalter doesn’t want the Starfires to be a one-hit wonder.

The Starfires fell to Tri-Central 28-7 in a Class A regional a week after winning their first sectional championship in 17 years.

Burkhalter, a former Bellmont head coach, sees future success a definite possibility for the program, thanks to the team’s seniors.

“They learned a lot from the seniors we had,” Burkhalter said. “Our seniors laid a great foundation. Some of these kids had never won anything and didn’t know how to win, but they do now. I don’t think you ever win a championship unless you have good senior leadership. We strived for that, and we got that. Our seniors really stepped up and led us through this journey we had here.”