South Hills Record notebook: Senior sees potential in Baldwin softball squad

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Friday, June 25, 2021 | 8:56 PM


Catching up with some notebook items from the grounds of the Baldwin and Thomas Jefferson athletic programs:

Baldwin

• Lindsay Bonetti, one of three seniors on the Baldwin softball team, manned the second base position for the past three years. Bonetti foresees a bright future for the Highlanders.

“We had a lot of young players and first-time starters,” she said. “Having three freshmen in the infield was a big reset. It took some time to get used to playing with each other and figuring out each other’s ranges, but I thought the freshmen, Anna Schumacher (1B), Sydney Zenkovich (3B) and Keira Platz (C), did a phenomenal job at their positions. They played fearlessly every game and made every play to the best of their ability.

“All the young players are only going to get better next year. I expect Anna will continue to be a force at the plate. I know the coaches will continue to push them to be the best players they can be. I cant wait to come back and watch them play.”

Bonetti plans to study pre-law at Pitt’s honors college.

• This year’s Tri-State Track Coaches Association’s lifetime achievement award recipient was Gateway coach Tom LaBuff. Ed Helbig, Baldwin’s veteran coach who received the award in 2014, made the announcement.

“This award is presented to coaches who have promoted the sport of track and field not only for the school they coach, but for the sport overall,” Helbig said. “Tom is always willing to help promote track and field whenever possible, not just for his team but for the track and field athletes of Western Pennsylvania.

Helbig continued: “Tom has coached at Gateway for 46 years and has provided his assistance and expertise at all the larger meets, the TSTCA championships, Baldwin Invitational and the WPIAL championships. In 2021, Gateway was the site of the South Hills Classic after Baldwin and West Mifflin were unable to host due to covid restrictions. Tom was contacted on the Wednesday (prior to the classic) regarding hosting the event and was able to get everything set up for the two-session meet held Saturday.”

The 2020 high school track and field season was cancelled. Award recipients the two previous years were George Rudolph of Oakland Catholic in 2019 and Rich Wright of Baldwin and Mike Mazzarese of West Mifflin in 2018.

• One of the WPIAL’s top football recruits in the South Hills this school year was Baldwin senior Dorien Ford, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman. Ranked the No. 10 senior in the state and the No. 25 defensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com, Ford committed to Pitt.

Penn State and West Virginia were among the many schools that offered scholarships to Ford, who competed as a thrower on the Baldwin track and field team this spring.

The last football player at Baldwin that was as highly recruited as Ford was Jason Pinkston in 2006. Pinkston signed with Pitt before having a three-year NFL career in Cleveland.

• Two free tennis clinics for Baldwin-Whitehall youngsters are planned for July 10 and 24. The clinics are held at the Baldwin High School tennis courts and run from 10 to 11 a.m. for grades 3 to 5 and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for grades 6 to 8. They are conducted by Baldwin coach Emily Maerz and members of the boys and girls tennis teams. Participants must bring a racquet and water. To register, or more information, contact Maerz at maerz.emily@gmail.com.

Thomas Jefferson

• Jake Pugh and Ian Hansen capped their high school careers on the gridiron in the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association East-West Football Classic at Landis Field in Harrisburg. Pugh and Hansen competed for the West team, which lost, 38-13, on May 30 in the Class 4A-6A large school game.

Pugh completed 15 of 27 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Hansen had three receptions for 70 yards.

The East-West Classic returned in 2021 after a one-year hiatus because of the covid pandemic.

• Bill Crousey retired as coach of the TJ hockey team following the 2020-21 season.

Crousey shared his thoughts on two of the seniors on his final squad, forwards Hunter Fairman and Riley Holzer.

“Riley (Holzer) is a strong skater with great puck possession skills,” he said. “His ability to win battles along the wall makes him a strong player in both ends of the rink. Riley stepped up his offensive production without cheating in his defensive play. He also set the tone physically. Riley did a great job at leading by example and speaking at the right times.

“Hunter is a fast skater with a high skill level. His hands are very good, giving him the ability to make opposing players miss. He also plays the game with an edge, which allows him to fight through body contact. He sees the ice well, which is why he ran the top of our power play. He makes good decisions with the puck, which led to our power play being very effective.”

Crousey sees both athletes extending their hockey careers.

“Both Hunter and Riley have the ability to play after high school,” he said. “They share the ability to make their teammates better players, which makes them very valuable to any team. They are both very driven and are committed to become the best possible hockey player they can be.”

• Ashley Guidone committed to continue her basketball career at Chatham, where she will major in exercise science.

Guidone, a 5-foot-5 guard and high honors student, missed her senior basketball season due to a torn hip labrum. Prior to that, she was named girls MVP in the Grebb’s Summer League.

Guidone also was recruited by several Division II and III schools such as Hiram, SUNY Fredonia, Saint Vincent and Grove City.

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