Walker re­turns to be a color an­a­lyst

Pine-Rich­land grad will work in TV booth for WPIAL ti­tle game

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Sports - Mike White: mwhite@postgazette.com and Twit­ter @mwhite­burgh.

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

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