Positive news for McKenzie, Wash High

September 14, 2013
Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Washington's Shai McKenzie runs for 90 yards to get a touchdown leaving Charleroi's Dakota Moorer behind during the first quarter of the game.

Washington High School senior running back Shai McKenzie does not appear to have any structural damage to his right knee, according to Prexies head coach Mike Bosnic.

But Bosnic is also being cautious with Wash High’s all-time leading rusher until McKenzie can visit an orthopedic doctor later this week.

“He went to the hospital (Friday night),” Bosnic said of McKenzie, who was injured in the second quarter of Washington’s 66-10 victory at Charleroi. “There were no breaks and he was really stable with the ligaments and everything.

“It’s a slight tear, if anything. But he’s braced up really heavy.”

It’s encouraging news for a player who has scholarship offers from more than 30 NCAA Division I football programs. McKenzie has trimmed his college list to five schools – Virginia Tech, Florida State, Pitt, Arkansas and Georgia Tech – but has yet to make a final decision about where he will continue his football career.

Bosnic is hopeful that McKenzie’s career at Washington (3-0) isn’t over.

“He was really scared more than anything,” Bosnic said.

McKenzie stated on his Twitter feed that he felt a pop in the knee as he attempted to make a cut.

“The early report was somewhat encouraging. But until the MRI, they can’t be sure. You never know what that will turn up.”

Last weekend, McKenzie broke Brian Davis’ school career rushing record of 4,480 yards during a 234-yard effort in a 48-20 win over Southmoreland. Friday night, he added another 198 yards and three touchdowns on only six carries and is a little more than 100 yards away from 5,000 in his career.

As a junior, McKenzie led the WPIAL in rushing with 2,689 yards and 41 touchdowns, leading the Prexies to the Class AA championship game.

With McKenzie likely out for at least the near future, Bosnic is weighing his options with pivotal Interstate Conference games against Yough (2-1) and Jeannette (3-0) in the next two weeks.

Junior Malik Wells replaced McKenzie against Charleroi and rushed for 125 yards, but Bosnic also could turn to a committee approach.

“Malik’s capable, but Jordon West did some good things against Charleroi as well,” Bosnic said. “Arthur Long has been looking good at fullback, too. And Quorteze Levy and Chase Caldwell are our best athletes, so they could pick up some of the load, too.”

The Prexies also might open up their passing game a little more with junior Jonathan Spina.

“He’s really coming around,” Bosnic said.

Dale Lolley has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1993 after previously working at WJAC-TV and the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, and The Derrick in Oil City. A native of Fryburg, Pa., he is a graduate of North Clarion High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where he earned a degree in journalism. He has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers since joining the Observer-Reporter in 1993, and also serves as the outdoors editor. He also is a radio host for Pittsburgh’s ESPN 970-AM, and serves as administrative adviser for the Red & Black, Washington & Jefferson College’s student newspaper.

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