Norwin notebook: Former volleyball coach honored for remarkable record

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Sunday, July 3, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Last spring, MaxPreps scoured the country looking for the best female high school coaches of all time in every state.

The online prep sports outlet recognized one of the most successful girls volleyball coaches in the WPIAL, naming legendary Norwin leader Sheron Watson as its top coach in Pennsylvania.

Watson’s remarkable run saw her compile a record of 642-21 with 12 consecutive WPIAL championships — 15 overall — and 12 PIAA titles, including seven straight.

She took over the program in 1973 and guided the Knights for 21 seasons.

MaxPreps found that Watson’s winning percentage of .968 was the second best of all-time in a team sport that does not play dual matches or meets.

Watson, a Hempfield graduate, is 76 now but she still coaches the middle school team at her alma mater.

She was a physical education and health teacher at Norwin for decades. She resigned from WPIAL coaching in 1993.

New programs

Norwin approved the addition of two new athletic programs for the middle school level.

Swimming and boys volleyball will now be school-sanctioned sports, with both set to begin this year and serve as feeder programs for varsity teams.

Norwin advertised in June for coaches.

Matijevic goes yard … again

When the baseball finally landed in the second deck high above the field at historic Yankee Stadium, JJ Matijevic had his second big-league hit.

Two hits. Two home runs.

Matijevic, who started at first base, hit another solo homer as the Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees, 3-0, on June 25 in the Bronx.

The Norwin alum tacked on one of his signature bat flips for effect after his blast to right field.

The Houston Astros are having some fun with their rookie call-up, labeling him “Mashijevic.”

In the majors for the second time this season from Triple-A Sugar Land, perhaps this time to stay as he continues to produce, Matijevic took former Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole deep with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie.

The early offense gave the Astros’ pitching staff some room to work on the first no-hitter against the Yankees since 2003 — when six Astros pitchers combined on the no-no. Starter Cristian Javier set the tone. He pitched seven innings and struck out 13, and Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly worked one inning apiece to shut down the Yankees.

Matijevic, 26, was recalled to Houston on June 15 to replace Jeremy Pena, who went on the 10-day injured list, also homered in a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Father’s Day. He was 2 for 14 in his first seven major league games.

Smith in Top 10

Norwin rising senior football long snapper Xander Smith recorded a top-10 finish at the HKA Top 40 showcase in Orlando, Fla.

Smith was 10th in his bracket, competing against 49 other high school long snappers.

He charted with a score of 177.37, falling head-to-head to David Bird of Sandra O’Connor High School on Phoeniz, Ariz. in the Elite 8.

Legion showcase

The District 31 American Legion baseball player showcase will be 5 p.m. July 14 at Legion Keener Park in Latrobe.

Players will be tested in a number of drills, including sprinting, throwing and hitting.

College scouts will evaluate the players. Programs already signed up to attend include Seton Hill, Mt. Aloysius, Allegheny and La Roche.

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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