Norwin notebook: Knights coach picked for all-star game

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Sunday, November 26, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Norwin boys soccer coach Scott Schuchert led a banner season for the Knights as they won their first WPIAL championship and advanced to the PIAA Class 4A semifinals.

For his achievements, Schuchert was selected as the Class 4A coach for the 2023 Western Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association boys all-star games Nov. 25 at Pine-Richland.

The first game was to feature Class A vs. Class 2A, followed by Class 3A vs. 4A.

Schuchert and his staff were looking forward to coaching some of the best talent in the WPIAL, which included two of his own in Norwin senior goalkeeper Anthony Scalise and senior midfielder Owen Christopher.

Other Westmoreland players selected to the all-star event included Dom Kaforey of Franklin Regional and Ben Luchs of Penn-Trafford (3A), Jordan Taylor of Jeannette and Austin Ulery and Luke Rivardo of Mt. Pleasant (2A) and Luke Guerinni, Jayson Ireland and Cam Wagner of Burrell (A).

Other coaches were Nick Malabri of Bentworth (Class A), Marc Bellora of South Park (2A) and Matt McAwley of Hampton (3A).

Brozeski named assistant AD

Norwin hired former football coach Dave Brozeski as an assistant athletic director.

Brozeski, who was coach for nine seasons (17 as an assistant), will work alongside AD Mike Burrell and assistant Andy Phipps.

He joined the coaching staff this season at Division III Washington & Jefferson, his alma mater, and planned to finish out the season with the Presidents before assuming his role.

Brozeski is a chemistry teacher in the disrict.

Offer for Denny

Norwin senior football player Luke Denny had a breakthrough season with 45 receptions for a school-record 1,060 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 60 tackles and an interception on defense.

Denny grabbed his second Division II scholarship offer from IUP. The Crimson Hawks join Clarion as schools from the PSAC recruiting Denny.

Volleyball clinic

A legendary coach in local volleyball circles, Norwin Hall of Famer Sheron Watson is doing her part to help young players sharpen their skills.

The former Norwin and Hempfield coach recently helped to organize a clinic at the Hempfield Recreation Center.

She brought in a featured instructor, one of her former players in Joe Sunder, who played for her at Hempfield.

Sunder went on to earn All-America honors at Penn State, where he also won an NCAA championship.

Sunder is the assistant club director at Skyline Austin, in Austin, Texas. He was named the 2022-2023 AVCA 15U Club Coach of the Year.

Tough loss for hockey

The Norwin hockey team doesn’t lose by double-digit goals very often. In fact, the last time it happened was in the 2022 Class A Pennsylvania Cup when the Knights fell to West Chester, 10-0. But Franklin Regional wiped out the Knights, 12-0, in a head-turning result.

Norwin (4-2-0-1) was not at full strength. Star senior Alex Thomas, the PIHL’s leading scorer, did not play with a hip injury.

College scene

Updates on Norwin alumni playing and coaching at the college level:

Wrestling

Bucknell: Senior wrestler Kurtis Phipps (Norwin) went 4-0 and won an individual title at the Navy Classic. Phipps defeated No. 31 Jake Va Dee of Nebraska in the 133-pound finals. He also had a technical fall and a major decision on the way to the championship.

Football

Allegheny: The All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference First Team included record-breaking senior wide receiver Declan O’Brien. O’Brien set single-season records for receptions (91) and yards (1,228), and had a career-best 10 touchdowns.

Duquesne: Junior linebacker Gianni Rizzo collected a game-high 10 tackles as the Dukes defeated Merrimack, 26-14, to secure a spot in the FCS playoffs. Another Norwin alum is an assistant coach for the Dukes in Brock Dieter.

Women’s volleyball

Waynesburg: Junior libero Jordan Stein was an All-PAC honorable mention selection. Stein finished third in the conference with 5.8 digs per set.

Men’s basketball

Mercyhurst: Freshman Adam Bilinsky scored a season-high 16 points, shooting 6 for 12 from the floor and delivering a dunk, as the Lakers defeated Roberts Wesleyan, 69-67.

Women’s basketball

Marian: Senior guard Jayla Wehner was leading the Knights (5-1) with 23 assists in six games. She dished out a career-high 11 in a 110-69 victory over Olivet Nazarene.

Marietta: Senior guard Olivia Gribble had 10 points in a 73-45 win over Case Western Reserve.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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