Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Coaching shuffle in full swing
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Sunday, June 3, 2018 | 9:30 PM
Local high school basketball coaches have formed a trend this offseason: leave one school for another.
In many cases, coaches seem to have one job lined up before they leave their current one.
This has become particularly popular in the Mon Valley, where longtime Monessen boys coach Joe Salvino left to take the Belle Vernon boys job.
In addition, Kyle DeGregorio left Belle Vernon's boys to coach the Baldwin girls, and Lisa Fairman resigned as Belle Vernon's girls coach to take the girls job at Thomas Jefferson.
And Janine Vertacnik jettisoned Jeannette's girls team in favor of the girls job at Monessen.
The Belle Vernon boys and Jeannette girls jobs were filled by current assistants: Ronnie Drennan at Belle Vernon and Jonathan Bass at Jeannette.
Some notable local openings remain in Westmoreland at Greensburg Central Catholic (boys and girls) and Mt. Pleasant (boys).
GCC is nearing a decision on both coaches.
Mt. Pleasant is likely to name a coach on June 25.
Greensburg Central Catholic can't forget its 1-0 loss to Clarion in the 2017 PIAA Class A baseball semifinals. It would be almost impossible to, considering the physical reminder the Centurions carry with them.
GCC brings a game ball from that loss to every game and awards it to the “No. 2 star” of each victory, coach Dennis Reist said.
The No. 1 star gets to wear a shiny, feather-topped Centurions helmet.
“It's just a reminder of where we fell short,” Reist said of the game ball.
Rivalry not done
The Hempfield and Latrobe softball teams will part ways next season because of WPIAL realignment. But that doesn't mean the county's hottest rivalry in the sport will go away.
Latrobe is dropping to Class 5A, and Hempfield remains in 6A. But … “We'll have them on the schedule. We'll still play them,” Latrobe coach Rick Kozusko said. “We should still play.”
The teams have met in the past two WPIAL 6A championships.