Murrysville Star notebook: Franklin Regional standouts earn all-section honors

Saturday, June 10, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The Big 56 Conference, a website that recognizes accomplishments of teams and athletes in the WPIAL’s largest classifications, announced its all-section teams.

Class 5A baseball’s Section 1 first team included junior Max Bernadowski (IF) of Franklin Regional and senior Dylan Grabowski (P), junior Brody Hoffman (DH) and Chuck Fontana (OF) of Penn-Trafford, whose first-year coach, Lou Cortazzo was tabbed coach of the year.

The 5A softball first team from Section 2 included sophomore Toryn Fulton (IF) and sophomore catcher Ciara Camacho of Franklin Regional, sophomore Cam Ponko (IF) of Penn-Trafford and senior Josie Straigis (IF), senior Hayden Kraynick (OF), junior Kayla Williams (P) and senior Gabby Burd (DH) of Latrobe.

Franklin Regional’s Jim Armstrong was the section coach of the year.

Quite a run

Franklin Regional graduate Andrew Muraco was part of an historic baseball season at Gaston College, a junior college in Dallas, N.C.

Gaston reached the NJCAA World Series and finished the season with a 50-13 record.

While the Rhinos went 1-2 in the World Series played in Grand Junction, Colo., he helped the team to its lone win.

He went 3 for 5 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI in a 13-6 win over Shelton State Community College.

Muraco, who transferred from Coastal Carolina and hopes to play at a higher level again after two years at the junior college level, batted .298 with seven doubles, eight home runs, 25 RBIs and 36 runs in 48 games.

Lacrosse honors

The top girls lacrosse players in the WPIAL were recognized with postseason plaudits.

Ava Wilson of Norwin was selected to the Class 3A All-WPIAL team. Franklin Regional’s Gwen Shilling made the Class 2A team.

Wilson also made the All-Section 1-3A First Team, while teammate Ray Mamas was named to the second team.

Other Westmoreland County second-team picks were Raina Slater and Heather Harshman of Hempfield.

Section 1-2A first-teamers included Schilling, Kate Lowe and Katelyn Pitts of Franklin Regional, Sophia Green of Penn-Trafford and Ryley Quinn of Latrobe.

Annabelle Aquino and Georgia Vislocky of Penn-Trafford, Kayla Wright of Greensburg Salem and Taylor Desko of Latrobe made the second team.


A pair of Franklin Regional athletes made college commitments for lacrosse. Olivia Oaks will continue her career at Seton Hill, while Sarah Holt will play at Chatham.

Beard all-region

Westminster grad student Ryan Beard, a Franklin Regional graduate, earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors.

Beard’s top event was the 200-meter dash. His time of 21.80 seconds was the third-best mark in the region. His 10.83-second time in the 100 ranked seventh.

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


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