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Thomas Jefferson vs. Blackhawk

Written by: on Thursday, November 20th, 2008



Time: 5:00

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (11-1) vs. Blackhawk Cougars (11-1)

At 4:55pm on Saturday at Heinz Field, do not to be surprised to hear public address announcer Randy Cosgrove say “Welcome to the Thomas Jefferson Invitational….I mean the “AAA” WPIAL Championship”

After all, just because Thomas Jefferson sports black and gold does not mean they should make Heinz Field their second home. However the Triple-A Juggernaught is back again, making their 6th straight appearance in the Championship game, something only Braddock can also claim. (according to

The Jags will invite back the Blackhawk Cougars, who they took out 35-15 in 2006. The Cougars remember back when it was the “Blackhawk Invitational”  winning 4 titles in 6 years, and three of them coming in consecutive seasons.

Blackhawk head Coach and Beaver County Hall of Fame member, Joe Hamilton leads the Cougars in his 30th season. It hasn’t seemed like Joe has left Beaver County, a graduate of Beaver High School.  He then played football at Geneva College and was a four year letter winner. Coming into Saturday’s Championship Hamilton has 329 victories (according to 

The coach on the opposite side of the field is at the other side of his career, but just as good. Bill Cherpak (and his shorts) is in his 13th season of coaching, after he helped run Anderson Funeral Home in Munhall, Cherpak took the AD job at Thomas Jefferson in 2004.  It is strange to see that working at a funeral home is on Bill’s resume, because of how much life he has given Thomas Jefferson Football.

In the last ten year Cherpak is 123-21, which is the best coaching record in the WPIAL in that span, with Aliquippa’s Mike Zemijanac next in line.

Cherpack, has won WPIAL titles both ways, as a coach and as a linemen on the 1982 Steel Valley team under the direction of present Woodland Hills coach George Novak.

Farago knows one thing is for sure, Brian will have a big day running the ball. Thomas Jefferson’s Brian Baldridge has 25 touchdowns on the year after missing most of last season. For Blackhawk it is Brain Stefanik, that carries the load with over 1,100 yards this season.

For the third time, Farago has a chance to go with his pick back in August and he thinks there is a reason why he did it then, so he will not change his forecast now. Thomas Jefferson to win it’s third straight title.


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