West Greene in position to thrive despite graduation of big-time backs

Saturday, August 29, 2020 | 10:00 PM

Don’t look for West Greene to be one-hit wonders, or in this case two-hit wonders

Second-year coach Brian Hanson sees a bright future at the school located southwest of Waynesburg in Greene County.

West Greene rode a powerful running game featuring Ben Jackson (Army) and Kolin Walker (Waynesburg) to consecutive Tri-County South Conference titles. The Pioneers finished 10-2 and 6-0 in the conference last year.

Their losses were to WPIAL champion Clairton and runner-up Sto-Rox. West Greene ripped Greensburg Central Catholic, 36-0, in the opening round of the playoffs.

Is a third consecutive title in store in 2020? Hanson thinks so.

“We’re losing our one-two punch at running back, but junior Corey Wise is very capable,” Hanson said. “He’ll be our bell cow.”

Wise carried the ball 14 times for 192 yards in 2019. He played tight end mainly.

Jackson led the ground attack with 3,076 yards and 50 touchdowns and Walker rushed for 952 yards and 11 scores. Jackson will play linebacker at Army.

West Greene also returns Nathan Orndorff, who completed 16 of 35 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns last season. He started the final five games.

But Hanson will be giving junior Wesley Whipkey a shot at quarterback.

“We were a senior-heavy class, but we have a good junior group,” Hanson said. “And our middle school team was undefeated.”

West Greene returns five starters on offense and six on defense.

Heading the group are returning linemen Tristan White and Owen Hughes at guard and Casey Miller at tackle.

The defensive starters back are Wise at middle linebacker, Whipkey at defensive back, Hunter Hamilton at defensive back, Miller and Hughes at tackle and Orndorff at defensive back.

Look for freshman Colin Brady to fit into the lineup at wide receiver and defensive back.

“We have a lot of reserve players who saw playing time,” Hanson said. “If we stay healthy, especially along the offensive line, we’ll be fine.”

Hanson said California, Carmichaels and Jefferson-Morgan will be strong. He cautioned against counting out Monessen, which gave the Pioneers their toughest game in the conference last season.

“It’s pretty wide open,” Hanson said. “This is a ground-and-pound conference except for Monessen. You can be in a battle on any given night.”


Coach: Brian Hanson

2019 record: 10-2, 7-0 in Class A Tri-County South

All-time record: 200-402-10

Date, Opponent, Time

9.11, Mapletown*, 7

9.18, at California*, 7

9.24, Avella*, 7

10.2, at Carmichaels*, 7

10.9, at Bentworth*, 7

10.16, Monessen*, 7

10.23, at Jefferson-Morgan*, 7

*Class A Tri-County South Conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing: Nathan Orndorff

16-35, 267 yards, 3 TDs

Rushing: Ben Jackson*

203-3,076 yards, 50 TDs

Receiving: Corey Wise

5-56 yards


Fast facts

• West Greene is a merger of Center Township and Richhill Township in 1954. Richhill Township High School was located in Wind Ridge and Center Township in Rogersville.

• The Pioneers have reached the WPIAL playoffs eight times. Their record is 4-5.

• West Greene reached the WPIAL Class A finals once, falling to Duquesne, 55-0, in 1993. West Greene edged Farrell, 7-6, in the semifinals

• A railroad trestle runs nearly across the north end zone of the stadium. The tracks take cars to the coal mines in the area.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .


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