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Things suddenly are looking a bit brighter for two former Highlands High School quarterbacks now playing at the collegiate level.

Matt Bonislawski of Connecticut and Justin Bouch of Edinboro both could be in for more playing time.

Bonislawski, Valley News Dispatch 2001 Player of the Year, started spring practice at Connecicut as an understudy to incumbent quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

But Orlovsky broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot on the first day of practice, March 24. In stepped Bonislawski, who was redshirted by the Huskies in 2002. During the Huskies’ scrimmage April 12, Bonislawski tossed a touchdown pass.

Bonislawski’s performance in spring drills was so impresssive that he will reportedly challenge Jermell Williams for the backup quarterback slot behind Orlovsky in the fall.

UConn head coach Randy Edsall has been pleased with Bonisalwski’s progress, according to the Storrs (Conn.) Register’s beat writer.

As for Bouch, his time behind the center was expected to be diminished with the transfer of Pat Hoderny from the University of Pittsburgh to Edinboro. Hoderny, however, left the Fighting Scots last month after he was projected to be the starter in the fall for coach Lou Tepper.

In fact, Tepper had made some changes to Edinboro’s offense in spring practice to take advantage of Hoderney’s abilities.

Hoderny has played sparingly for two seasons for the Panthers and would have had two years eligibility at Edinboro.

Basketball mercy

The high school “mercy rule” could soon be coming to a basketball court near you.

The Basketball Rules Committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations voted 7-4 to adopt the rule during lopsided basketball games.

Jack Roberts, executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, proposed the rule, along with the Missouri association.

The rule would work similar to the football rule where the clock would run continuously, with few exceptions, after one team gained a sizeable lead on the scoreboard.

The football rule will be in its sixth season this year. In 1998, Shady Side Academy’s first 12 games were shortened by the ‘mercy rule.’ If the rule takes effect, it will be interesting to see how often the rule will be used during girls basketball games involving Greensburg Central Catholic and Oakland Catholic.

On the surface, it would seem tough to get reserve players into the game. In football, you can send someone in during the huddle. But it would be hard to send a sub into a basketball game with the clock running.

The Pittsburgh City League tried a brief experiment recently where the clock would run after a team would amass a 35-point lead.

The rules committee vote, however, it just the first of three steps before the rule takes effect. The measure still must pass a vote by the rules review board and an executive board.

New WPIAL school

The WPIAL Board of Control has accepted the application of Aquinas Academy, located in Hampton.

The school enrolls students in grades 9-12.

The request was forwarded to the PIAA for final approval. It is not known which sports Aquinas Academy would sponsor, but there is a chance the institution would be aligned with small, local schools such as St. Joseph or Leechburg.

Shirey appointed

Highlands High school principal Thomas Shirey as been appointed a complete the unexpired term of Wayne Doyle on the WPIAL Board of Control. Doyle, the Knoch principal, recently resigned from the Board.

Shirey was a member of the PIAA District IX Board while he was principal at Clarion Area High School.

Shooting Stars hoops

Registration for Shooting Stars Basketball is now being taken for the upcoming summer in the Women’s College Division.

Players eligible include current high school seniors who will graduate this spring to college seniors. The league, which is NCAA certified, plays its games at North Catholic High School with two games each weekend starting June 21-22.

For more information, call Wayne Szwedko at 412-782-3205.

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