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Thomas Jefferson Jaguars compete in USA Football 7-on-7 event in Alabama |

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars compete in USA Football 7-on-7 event in Alabama

WV Wesleyan athletics | for the tribune-review
Derek Rothey
Mercyhurst athletics | for the tribune-review
Braden Flinn
Randy Jarosz | For the Tribune-Review
Rachael Bowers celebrates before accepting her diploma, June 9, during Thomas Jefferson High School's 57th annual commencement.
ken eber photography | for trib total media
Bill Cherpak
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Returning lettermen on the Seton-La Salle football team include, front, from left, Nick Krugh, Christian Weyrich, Kevin Mclane, Nolan Abbiatici, Brandon Siler, Frank Bruckner; second row, Ryan Hough, Don Redlinger, John Terry, Darnell Smith, Luke Blahut; third row, Nick McNally, Shane Dugan, Brendan Perone, Matt Banbury, Lionel Deanes; back, Mike Kutschke, Josh Blamer and Nick Vari.

Did you know that:

• Thomas Jefferson was one of 43 varsity-level football teams to be invited to compete last week in the inaugural USA Football 7-on-7 national championship in Hoover, Ala.?

The summer national championship tournament is part of the largest school-based 7-on-7 program in the United States.

“It was a good experience for everyone.” Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson’s head coach, said.

Thomas Jefferson was the only team from Pennsylvania to attend the national event. The Jaguars won the WPIAL Class AAA championship in 2015.

• The annual “TJ Football Players for Hire” fundraising program will continue through early August?

In this program, Thomas Jefferson gridders are available to be “hired” to do indoor and/or outdoor chores — such as general house work (lifting, moving furniture), general yard work (grass cutting, mulching, weeding, etc.) and car washing.

Players will come to your home to perform chores to raise money for their 7-on-7 passing camp participation.

Assistant coach Pat Oster oversees the fundraiser. For questions, more details, or an estimate, call Oster at 412-310-7879.

• Rachael Bowers was a four-year starter at shortstop on the TJ softball team?

Bowers hit .400, .534 and .438 the past three seasons, and struck out only three times (none in 2016) in 187 official at-bats.

She led the team in at-bats (65) and tied for the team lead in doubles (6) during the 2016 regular season.

In 2015, Bowers led the team in several categories — batting average (.534), slugging percentage (.776), at-bats (58), runs (18), hits (31), RBIs (18), singles (21), triples (4) home runs (2) and walks (12).

As a sophomore, she led the Lady Jaguars in at-bats (64), runs (14) and hits (28).

• Mercyhurst University’s wrestling team was honored recently for having the highest GPA among Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference wrestling squads this past school year?

Braden Flinn, a Thomas Jefferson graduate, was a 141-pound freshman on the Lakers’ team in 2015-16.

Mercyhurst’s grapplers posted a 3.118 GPA as a team to earn their second consecutive conference award and fourth in five years.

• Voting for the 2016 Kennywood/MSA Sports preseason all-star football team will be open through noon Friday?

Four TJ football players — Jake Giegerich (WR/TE), Zane Zandier (WR/TE), Devin Danielson (OL) and Jon Muehlbauer (DB) — are listed on the 2016 preseason all-star ballot by MSA Sports Network.

• Emily Scheidter was a three-year starter and four-year letter winner on the TJ softball team?

Scheidter posted .453, .500 and a team-high .441 the past three seasons, along with .604 and .568 slugging percentages the past two years.

During the 2016 regular season, she ranked among the team leaders in at-bats (53), runs (12), hits (24), RBIs (14) and singles (17), and shared the team lead for doubles with Bowers.

• Zach Wagner took first place in the boys’ 17-18 division Monday at a Tri-State PGA Junior Golf Tour event at Willbrook Country Club?

Wagner, who will be a senior at Thomas Jefferson in 2016-17, shot a 78 to win by one stroke. He was the No. 1 player on the Jaguars’ golf team last season.

• Four senior softball players at TJ (in 2016) are planning to continue their careers in college?

They are pitcher Lacie Lautner (Geneva), infielders Megan Fitzgerald (Gannon) and Scheidter (CCAC), and outfielder Bayli Moon (CCAC).

• Thomas Jefferson grad Derek Rothey was listed as a freshman outfielder on the West Virginia Wesleyan College baseball team roster this season?

Ray Fisher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or

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