Penn Hills notebook: New football coaches have playoff tradition

Sunday, October 30, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Penn Hills graduate Charles Morris was honored to take over as the head football coach at his alma mater.

When the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs start Nov. 4, he will have the challenge of trying to continue the Indians’ proud tradition. Penn Hills, which was in a playoff position heading into a tough matchup with Woodland Hills to close out the regular season, the results of which were too late for this edition, will be trying to do better than its appearance in the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals last season.

In recent history, Penn Hills’ first-year coaches have found a way to the playoffs. Jon LeDonne, now coaching at Pine-Richland, took the Indians to an 8-4 record during his first season in 2017. Penn Hills beat Bethel Park in the Class 6A playoffs before bowing to Central Catholic.

During John Peterman’s first season with Penn Hills in 2011, the Indians finished with a 5-5 mark, which included a 5-1 mark in the Class 4A Big East Conference. Penn Hills lost to Seneca Valley in the first round that season.

Clayborn helps at Thiel

Penn Hills graduate Taylor Clayborn started 12 of 14 games for the Tomcats women’s soccer program. Thiel finished the season 2-12, including an 0-10 mark in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play. Clayborn finished 10th on the team in minutes played at 784.

Finding her footing

Penn Hills graduate Salima Rockwell took over the Notre Dame women’s volleyball program this season. Now, she’s learning on the job how to navigate the Fighting Irish through the rigors of ACC play. Rockwell has Notre Dame squad off to a 9-12 start, including a 3-4 record in ACC play. Rockwell, who was a three-time All-American setter at Penn State, also was a member and captain of the U.S. women’s national team.

Cross country competes

Larissa Lockridge led the Penn Hills cross country team at the Tri-State Track and Field Coach’s Association cross country championships Oct. 20. Lockridge finished first for the Indians by running a time of 27:12.

Freshmen Amanda Heide and Nevaeh Mosley both set personal bests by finishing in 33:55 and 41:30.

Austin Stuchul and Sawyer Kinney placed 51st and 54th to lead the Penn Hills boys team. The Indians were happy to run on the course at Cal (Pa.), which also hosts the WPIAL championships, which were scheduled for Oct. 27.


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