H.S. notebook: New Penn-Trafford soccer coach hopes to ‘take it to the next level’

Saturday, May 9, 2020 | 6:30 PM

Judging by Jimmy Mastroianni’s enthusiasm, he is more than ready to get started coaching the Penn-Trafford girls soccer team.

“Make no mistake,” he said. “We are looking to take it to the next level.”

Mastroianni takes over for Jackie Bartko, who resigned after five successful seasons leading the Warriors. Bartko went 68-24-3 with five playoff appearances and a WPIAL Class AAAA title in 2017.

With the bar set high, Mastroianni wants to maintain consistency within the program. A former Penn-Trafford (Class of 1997) and Pitt-Johnstown soccer player, he has coached numerous boys and girls travel and club teams at the youth level across the last eight years.

Currently, he guides the Division 4 U13 boys team in the Penn-Trafford Soccer Club.

“When I first heard that I would be taking over from Coach Bartko, I was very excited yet truly humbled,” he said. “She has established a very strong program here, and I certainly want to continue to build on that success.”

Mastroianni, a Global Sales Executive for FedEx, said his passion and drive is an extension of his former teammates and coaches.

“I’m invested in this program because they instilled in me the core values of hard work and dedication that builds the foundation for success in any facet of life,” he said. “I am super-excited to continue in their footsteps to help lead, develop and inspire. I accepted this position not only to be their coach for the game, but for beyond the game as well.”

Persin changes schools

Hempfield senior Olivia Persin changed her college commitment, but she still won’t be far from home.

Instead of attending Seton Hill, Persin now will go to Saint Vincent. She plans to play softball and volleyball and reunite athletically with her sister, Jessica, a freshman at SVC who also plays both sports.

Head of the class

Indiana University in Bloomington is known for being a power in men’s soccer. The Hoosiers have the No. 1 class in the TopDrawer Soccer recruiting rankings and a local player is among that group.

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Nate Ward is set to join Indiana.

Ward, who played in the High School All-American Game last year, had 80 goals and 69 assists in his decorated prep career, which included a WPIAL Class A title last fall.

“There are plenty of expectations to live up to this coming year,” Ward said of Indiana.

Hardison to UPG

Monessen senior basketball player Qitarah Hardison had a breakthrough season as she averaged 12.3 points and 12.6 rebounds and helped the team return to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Now, she has a college destination. Hardison will play at Pitt-Greensburg. The 5-foot-8 forward pulled down 1,018 career rebounds. She posted a double-double in 12 straight games for Monessen (15-7).

LV honorees

The District 6 Heritage Conference recognized its winter all-conference teams, and Ligonier Valley had three athletes make the list.

Seniors Michael Marinchak and Kyle Silk, who helped lead the basketball team to a conference title and a trip to the district Class 3A final for a third straight year, were honored.

On the girls side, freshman Haley Boyd was selected for basketball.

Sophomore Ryan Harbert was an all-conference selection for wrestling, and senior Hannah Turcheck was recognized for cheerleading.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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