Foothills Football Classic postponed for 2019

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Friday, April 19, 2019 | 8:48 PM


Logistical issues left the Foothills Football Classic committee with no choice. So, they punted.

Organizers have decided to shelve this year’s Westmoreland County all-star game, which was going to be played in June.

The committee plans to bring back the game in 2020. Rosters and coaches had not been selected, nor had a game site — which proved to be the crux of the matter.

Westmoreland County Coaches Association president Larry Sellitto said the game could not secure a desirable site.

The Foothills was played at Hempfield last year but Spartan Stadium will not be available next month. In fairness to Hempfield, the initial idea was to rotate the game to different fields throughout the county. It was played at Norwin two years ago and the committee considered playing there again. The problem with that, however, is Norwin — and several schools — are getting new artificial turf installed in late-May, early-June.

Others include Jeannette, Franklin Regional, Penn-Trafford and, potentially, Greensburg Salem’s Offutt Field.

The hope was to have the game on a turf field, a venue comparable to Hempfield and Norwin, and at a centralized, heart-of-the-county location where players would not have to make lengthy road trips for practices.

“With all of this, moving the game to a venue not centrally located to all of the county schools is unreasonable and a potential harm to the players traveling large distances the week of practice,” Sellitto said. “It is simply a practical decision to postpone for one year and reestablish the game next June. By that time, all of these fields will have new turf and we will be able to move forward with the game.

“This was not an easy decision, however we all felt that this was not only the wisest but also the most practical decision for everyone involved.”

Sellito said he considered some of the other turf venues in the county, including Latrobe’s Rossi Field, Belle Vernon’s Weir Stadium, Valley’s Memorial Stadium and Kiski Area’s Richard J. Dilts Stadium. But, again, those are at far ends of the county. Rossi Field does not have the seating, he said.

Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium, which has a grass field, proved too costly, Sellitto said. Jeannette’s McKee Stadium was in the mix, too, before the district decided to switch from grass to turf.

“There was only so much we could do,” Sellitto said. “I know I can’t remember a year where so many county schools had turf put in at the same time. We just couldn’t make it work.”

The Foothills game will now look to make a second comeback. It returned two years ago after an eight-year hiatus.

Last year, the teams put on an offensive show at Hempfield as the Blue defeated the Red, 65-35.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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