Walker returns to be a color analyst
Pine-Richland grad will work in TV booth for WPIAL title game
Neil Walker will be back in Pittsburgh to see his former high school football team play for a WPIAL championship Saturday at Heinz Field, But Walker won’t just watch. He’ll be part of the broadcast team for the game.
AT&T SportsNet will televise Pine-Richland vs. Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class 6A championship at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Walker will be in the TV booth.
Walker, a 2004 Pine-Richland graduate and former Pirates infielder, and AT&T SportsNet executives met Tuesday to iron out details for Walker to be one of the color commentators for the game along with Chris Schneider, a former Pitt football player. Rob King will handle the play-by-play duties.
Walker, who was traded from the New York Mets to the Milwaukee Brewers this past season, was one of the best all-around athletes in the WPIAL over the past few decades. He won WPIAL football and baseball championships as a senior at Pine-Richland in the 2003-04 school year but also was an all-section basketball player before giving up that sport after his junior year.
Walker was a standout receiver-defensive back in football and played in two WPIAL football title games with Pine-Richland. As a junior in 2002, he caught a game-high six passes for 108 yards and had a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kevin McCabe, but Pine-Richland lost to Hopewell, 20-15. Paul Posluszny, now a linebacker with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, was a star running back-linebacker for Hopewell in that game.
Pine-Richland made it to the WPIAL title game again in 2003 and defeated Thomas Jefferson, 21-7.
Four championships will be played Saturday at Heinz Field. Aliquippa and Quaker Valley will meet for the Class 3A championship at 11 a.m., followed by Pine-Richland and Central Catholic. Both of those games will be televised live.
The next two championships will be aired by AT&T SportsNet on delay late Saturday after the PenguinsBlackhawks game. McKeesport will play Gateway at 5 p.m. in the Class 5A championship, followed by Thomas Jefferson vs. Montour at 8 p.m. in the 4A final.
Celebrity in the booth