Westmoreland County H.S. notebook: Another school, Southmoreland, needs an AD

Thursday, August 20, 2020 | 4:08 PM

Another Westmoreland County school district is looking for an athletic director.

The local AD carousel continues to turn as Southmoreland has a vacancy after the resignation of Charlie Swink.

The head of Scotties athletics since 2010, Swink plans to stay as the district’s transportation director.

This means six county schools will have new athletic directors heading into the fall season, about which the PIAA is expected to make an announcement Friday.

There also will be new ADs at Ligonier Valley, Hempfield, Yough, Greensburg Salem and Norwin.

Brandon Rapp left as Norwin AD and will take over at Hempfield, and Mike Burrell went from being the AD at Greensburg Salem to the same position at Norwin.

Scott Morrison is the new man at Yough, replacing the former longest-tenured AD in the county, Tom Evans. Wesley Siko took over for Corey Turcheck at Ligonier Valley.

Shrinking schedule

Ligonier Valley is set to make its WPIAL debut for its second stint in the league this fall. The Rams have not played in the WPIAL in 50 years.

But the football team is hurting for games. The Rams will open the season — should it be played — with only five games. That is because the WPIAL condensed each team’s schedule to seven games but left a bye for some teams.

Ligonier Valley’s bye falls in Week 3.

Then, about a week ago, Summit Academy canceled its season. It was scheduled to play Ligonier Valley in Week 6.

Summit Academy opted out of fall sports, as did Uniontown and former WPIAL member Albert Gallatin.

Each team had to wipe out Week Zero and turn their Week 1 games into a scrimmage.

So Ligonier Valley’s schedule has a home scrimmage against Elizabeth Forward (Sept. 4), then games at Apollo-Ridge (Sept. 11), at Frazier (Sept. 18), home vs. Steel Valley (Oct. 2), at Serra Catholic (Sept. 9), and home to Shady Side Academy (Oct. 23).

“Our athletic director has reached out to several teams looking to fill our open dates,” Rams coach Roger Beitel said. “Schools have been noncommittal to accepting our request to play them. As teams are opting out of football this fall, we are quick to reach out to those teams left without opponents.”

Beitel said he is confused as to why the WPIAL would schedule byes in an already-condensed schedule.

“At this point we still have a five-game season, which is very disappointing,” he said, “considering our varsity is scheduled to play fewer games than our junior high team.”

New MP coach

Mt. Pleasant hired Ken Ivory to be its girls golf coach. Ivory is the head professional at Pleasant Valley Golf Club near Connellsville.

He takes over for Matt Gross, who will coach the Vikings boys golf team.


Basketball player Bailey Kuhns, a rising junior at Greensburg Central Catholic who transferred from Southmoreland, received a scholarship offer from Saginaw Valley State, a Division II program in Michigan that competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Kuhns, a 6-foot forward, had an offer from IUP when she was a sophomore.

-Greensburg Central Catholic football player Zach Dlugos, an incoming senior who plays safety and wide receiver, will play at Division III Amherst. He could play outside linebacker or strong safety, or a hybrid-type position, at the next level. Amherst plays in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Norwin senior Hayden O’Bryon has a second NAIA college opportunity for track and field from Missouri Valley College. A talented triple jumper, O’Bryon has a roster spot at Spring Arbor, a private school in Michigan, if he chooses that program.

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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