Tradition joins new school
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
July 30, 2014

CRANBERRY TWP — The new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School will bring plenty of athletic success to Butler County.

The Trojans are coming off a PIAA Class A championship in football, multiple WPIAL playoff appearances in boys and girls basketball.

“Our girls basketball program has been one of the most successful in the state,” Cardinal Wuerl athletic director Mike Burrell said.

The Trojanettes have reached the WPIAL playoffs in 36 consecutive seasons. The program once had a streak of 22 straight appearances in the WPIAL championship game.

Overall, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls basketball has produced 34 section titles, 17 WPIAL crowns and seven state championships. The most recent state title was in the 1994-95 season.

Current girls basketball coach Molly Larkin-Rottman has held that position since 1999. Her 310-114 won-loss record includes 10 section titles, five WPIAL championships (the last in 2011), four runner-up finishes and state title game appearances in 2004 and 2012.

Boys basketball coach Dave Long has taken his team to the WPIAL playoffs six times in the past seven years, averaging 21 wins per season during that stretch. The Trojans won WPIAL titles in 2009 and 2010 and were bounced in the semifinal round each of the past four years.

“We’ve been in Class A for a while, but we’re anticipating a bump up to Class AAA eventually,” Burrell said. “Our enrollment numbers continue to spike — especially this year’s freshman class.”

While virtually no students from Butler County attended North Catholic at its Troy Hill location, Burrell said that “roughly 70 percent of our students will come from Butler County now.”

Bob Ravenstahl has been the Trojans’ football coach for nine years. Last season’s 16-0 campaign marked the school’s first WPIAL and PIAA football championships.

“We’ve been consistent in football for a while now, though,” Burrell said.

The Trojan football team has been to the WPIAL playoffs seven of the past eight years.

Besides football, Cardinal Wuerl offers boys and girls soccer, girls volleyball and cross country as varsity sports in the fall, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, independent swimming and cheerleading in the winter, baseball, softball, crew and boys lacrosse in the spring.

The school does not offer girls lacrosse nor track and field.

“We don’t have a swimming team, but students can compete in the sport individually,” Burrell said.

Both head soccer coaches are new this season. Jordan Weigand will run the boys team while Jonathan Miller, a Cranberry Township resident, will coach the girls.

Cardinal Wuerl will continue to use J.C. Stone Field in North Park as its home football field. Plans are in place to build a football stadium, baseball, softball and practice fields on site at the high school.

“There’s no timetable for those yet, but, obviously, the sooner the better,” Burrell said.