High school football notebook: Latrobe rallying around injured senior tackle Yesho

Thursday, September 7, 2017 | 5:18 PM


Latrobe will be looking for its first win of the season Friday night. If the Wildcats get the job done against Chartiers Valley in their home opener, senior lineman Zach Yesho just might get the game ball.

The Wildcats are rallying around Yesho, who suffered a serious injury last week at Gateway. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound two-way tackle broke the femur in his left leg. He posted a photo of the X-ray and a selfie from his hospital bed on Twitter on Saturday.

Yesho was one of the top returning linemen for the Wildcats.

"We will definitely rally around him," Latrobe coach Jason Marucco said. "He is a really good player and an even better person. He is one of our captains and has given his heart and soul to our program."

[embed width="350" height="450"] https://twitter.com/YeshoZach/status/904087478524665856 [/embed]

Senior quarterback and linebacker Jason Armstrong said Yesho sets an example for teammates.

"It's a shame for an injury like that to happen to anyone, but especially for him," Armstrong said, "because he's one of the hardest workers I know with such great talent."

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Sliwoski update

Hempfield senior quarterback Justin Sliwoski said his doctor has him as "week to week" after suffering a separated shoulder last week at Canon-McMillan. Sliwoski, a 2,000-yard passer last season who opened he season with a strong performance — 15 of 23, 281 yards, four touchdowns, against Greensburg Salem — had an MRI on Wednesday and saw his doctor Thursday.

One to remember

Franklin Regional seniors Nate Leopold and Hunter Stonecheck, best friends since they can remember, will mentally laminate last week's 13-7 upset of McKeesport. Both had touchdowns, Leopold's a 5-yard run with one second left, as the Panthers rocked the Class 5A rankings.

But that wasn't the first time the pair played in a big upset. They were starters on the basketball team last season that stunned WPIAL champion Moon, 52-51, in the PIAA playoffs.

"Hunter and I were talking about which upset was bigger," Leopold said. "There's something more gratifying about a football upset and do to it like that. There are more guys on the team, and it just has more excitement."

Leopold said the Panthers can't afford to get inflated egos after the big win, especially with Kiski Area looming this week. Last year, Kiski Area beat the Panthers, 24-14.

"We have to prove that last week wasn't a fluke," Leopold said. "We owe them from last year."


Yough junior Dustin Shoaf continues to be an effective ball-carrier for the Cougars. He leads Westmoreland County in rushing through two games with 243 yards on 51 carries.

But don't discount Shoaf (6-2, 200) as a defensive threat. He also leads the team in tackles with 17 — 15 of those came last week against Beth-Center.

Gordon out

Jeannette junior running back Melik Gordon is expected to miss his second straight game with an injury he sustained against East Allegheny.

Getting his kicks

Norwin junior Carter Breen is a perfect example of a soccer player making kicking for the football team work. Last Friday, he played a full game with the soccer team at Baldwin and, despite missing the first half of the Knights' home football game against Altoona, showed up in the third quarter to kick a 30-yard field goal in a 24-0 win.

On the tube

PCN announced two television games involving Westmoreland County teams. The network will broadcast live Trinity at Belle Vernon on Oct. 6 and Penn-Trafford at McKeesport on Oct. 27.

Extra points

Jeannette's win last week was its 723rd, moving the Jayhawks to within four of New Castle's WPIAL-record wins total of 727. ... Laurel Highlands junior Conner Basinger, who goes against Greensburg Salem Friday, leads the WPIAL in rushing with 477 yards. ... Norwin has not allowed a touchdown in two games. ... Franklin Regional standout linebacker Bryce Lauer (6-3, 250) is closing in on the school's career tackles record held by Brett Zanotto. Lauer had 20 tackles last week against McKeesport.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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

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