Westmoreland County high school notebook: Caddying pays off for Norwin senior

Saturday, April 6, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Norwin senior Abigail Boyer wants to major in fashion design.

She wears her latest accomplishment well.

Boyer is one of this year’s winners of the annual Western Golf Association Chick Evans Scholarship, awarded to deserving golf caddies in the region.

Boyer will attend Miami University in the fall. The Evans scholarship is worth more than $125,000 and is the largest scholarship for caddies in the country.

Boyer had to meet the criteria for the award, including a “strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.”

Boyer caddies at Pittsburgh Field Club. She plans to study fashion in the hopes of one day designing women’s golf apparel.

Her sister, Marissa, also is an Evans Scholar.

“After my first loop, I knew caddying was the job for me,” Boyer said in a news release. “Caddying introduced me to successful people from all different career fields, built lifelong friendships and supported me in saving money for a car and being able to travel. Caddying made me into a better person and prepared me for my future goals.”

Other Evans scholarship winners this year include Upper St. Clair senior Luana Silvestre Cesar, who moved to Pittsburgh from Brazil in 2015, and Thomas Jefferson senior Christian Villa, who plans to study aerospace engineering.

Cesar caddied at St. Clair Country Club. Villa worked at South Hills Country Club.

There are 1,130 caddies enrolled at 24 universities across the nation who are Evans Scholars.

The award is named after Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. and began in 1930.

Evans, who learned the game as a caddie, won the 1910 Western Open, and in 1916, he became the first player to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in the same year. He kept his amateur status and donated his winnings to caddie scholarships.

Scholarship funds today come mostly from contributions from more than 38,500 members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program.

Evans Scholars alumni donate more than $15 million annually.

Proceeds from the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, a key event in the FedExCup Playoffs, also benefit the Evans program.

RMU offers Gribble

Robert Morris is the latest Division I program to offer a scholarship to Greensburg Central Catholic basketball standout Erica Gribble.

It also is the closest school to recruit the sophomore. Her other offers are from Monmouth, Quinnipiac, Bucknell, Villanova and Navy.

Gribble averaged 19.4 points and made 74 3-pointers this season for the WPIAL 2A champion Centurions. She has 1,089 career points.

Long night

Norwin and Hempfield played a long boys volleyball match Tuesday night. OK, the teams played a long fourth set, which might be an understatement.

With wobbly legs and a second wind, Norwin held back the Spartans, 42-40, to take the match 3-1.

“Longest match of my career,” Norwin coach Mike Palaschak said.

In the marathon set, Norwin led 23-19 but Hempfield ran off five straight points to take a 24-23 lead.

Norwin tied it 24-24. Norwin had five set points and Hempfield had four before Ben Tygielski delivered a clinching kill with the Knights up 41-40.

“It was brutal,” Norwin’s Jackson Genicola said. “But overall very fun, though. I definitely would rather just have every set be like set three.”

Hempfield won the first set 26-19 before Norwin took the next two, 25-18 and 25-13.

The match lasted about two-and-a-half hours.

Flag day

Three county schools are fielding teams in the 2024 Steelers Girls Flag Football League, which opens the season Sunday.

Belle Vernon, Greensburg Salem and Jeannette are among the 38 WPIAL and City League teams set to compete over a seven-week season.

Jeannette had trouble fielding a steady girls basketball lineup, with only six or fewer players this season. But there are 11 girls signed up for football.

It’s no secret that football is king at Jeannette.

“Football is a sport that is liked by many all year long,” Jeannette athletic director Adrian Batts said. “In Jeannette, just like most Western Pa. towns, football is big. Now with us adding flag football for our girls, it gives them the opportunity and excitement that our boys have on Friday nights. Also, it’s becoming an Olympic sport, so this is a start of something big for young women.”

Greensburg Salem and Jeannette are in the East Division with Gateway, McKeesport, Penn Hills, Plum, Propel Braddock Hills and Woodland Hills.

Belle Vernon will play in the South Division with Bethel Park, Clairton, Mt. Lebanon, South Allegheny, South Fayette, South Park and Uniontown.

The playoffs and championship are May 19 at Carnegie Mellon.

Livingston coaching

Jeannette’s flag football coach is Mackenzie Livingston, the girls basketball coach at Latrobe.

Livingston has been playing in flag football leagues for five years and said she heard about the opportunity at Jeannette through a friend.

“A friend asked if I would coach the league for a month,” she said. “I got to train with the Steelers (youth league coordinators), so it was a great experience. We got to learn and train at their facilities.”

Parade of champions

The Belle Vernon football team has a couple of fun days played.

On Sunday, the Leopards will take part in a championship parade in North Belle Vernon.

The parade initially was scheduled for January. It will start at 1 p.m. on State Street.

Then, on Monday, the back-to-back WPIAL and PIAA 3A champions will be honored at the state capitol in Harrisburg.

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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