Jordan Whitehead's junior season came to an end on Saturday, a 16-6 loss to West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA final.
But not before a 11-2 season, and a second trip to the final game in his school's four-year history.
Central Valley head coach Mark Lyons said Whitehead's performance on and off the field has been valuable to the program, as he looks to continue its early success. In four years, Central Valley is 41-10.
"In the high school, we have about 58 on our roster," Lyons said. "We have a ninth grade program that has about 30. Our youth program is pretty strong. They always have a lot of success."
Whitehead is a player that was brought up from the youth program in the early part of the program, yet he's been a key player since then, starting every game since his ninth grade year.
"Coach Mark gave me a shot my freshman year, and I'm thankful for that," Whitehead said. "Ever since then, I've looked up to the older kids. Now, I'm one of the older kids, and I try to be a role model for them."
Whitehead finished his junior season with 678 yards and 11 touchdowns, caught 21 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, he picked off five passes, returning one for a touchdown. On special teams, he returned four kicks for touchdowns this year.
"It's a long season for us, and we played pretty good," Whitehead said. "We made it to the championship, and fell a little bit short, but we stepped it up this year."
With the season over, Whitehead turns his attention to recruiting. He's looking to narrow his top five pretty soon.
"I might be narrowing things down, maybe in the next month," Whitehead said.
He mentioned a few of the schools he's considering. Two weeks ago, he was at he Pitt-Notre Dame game. He was also at the opener against Florida State. The Panthers are in good contention to be on that list.
"It was a good, sold-out game, they were both packed," Whitehead said. "It was a good atmosphere. I'll be talking with coach Bobby Engram tomorrow. I'll get in touch with some of the other coaches. I haven't talked to them as much.
Whitehead said he's had a number of coaches come see him play this year.
"Luke Fickell (Ohio State) came to our second-round playoff game, Tony Gibson (West Virginia) came to a game, Coach (Anthony) Midget came from Penn State came for the West Allegheny game, Coach Engram came for the Belle Vernon game," Whitehead said.
He adds that despite all this attention, it's hasn't gotten to be too much.
"It becomes part of it," Whitehead added.
Lyons says similar schools have been by to visit him at school. At the very least, we get an idea of which schools are in contention to make Whitehead's top five.
"Sometimes I pinch myself to have these kind of athletes in such a short time," Lyons added. "It's been Penn State, it's been Pitt, it's been Michigan, it's been Ohio State. Virginia Tech, too. They've been real steady."