Westmoreland County high school notebook: Coach returns to Ligonier Valley girls basketball

Saturday, November 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Ligonier Valley named a new girls basketball coach four days before the official start of practice.

The coach not only is an alum but the all-time leading scorer for the program (1,606 points) and a Rams Hall of Famer.

Christy (Clark) Hajjar, a 1991 graduate, was hired Monday to replace Emily Daugherty, who resigned for personal reasons. Daugherty had been the coach since 2020.

Hajjar was the Rams’ coach from 1995-2010. She most recently served as an assistant coach at Bishop McCort.

No hoop for you

While their plans could change, a few talented athletes appear to be opting out of basketball this season to concentrate on football.

Seniors Quinton Martin and Braden Laux of Belle Vernon decided not to play basketball as they get set to embark on Division I college football.

Sophomore Samir Crosby of Greensburg Central Catholic, meantime, also appears to be passing on hoops this winter.

Martin is committed to Penn State, and Laux is headed to Eastern Michigan.

With the potential of them enrolling early, and wanting to avoid injury, they opted to stay off the court.

The 2021-22 Trib Westmoreland Player of the Year as a sophomore, Martin averaged 17.3 points and 9 rebounds last season.

The five-star football commit helped the basketball Leopards to a 20-5 record last season and trips to the WPIAL and PIAA second round in Class 4A.

Martin, who was a good bet for a double-double every time he took the court, will finish his career with 956 career points.

The 6-foot-4 Laux provided size and rebounding in the post as Belle Vernon became a perennial contender under coach Joe Salvino.

Crosby, a starter last season for GCC, said he wants to get stronger for football. He has one Division I offer, from UNLV.

Norwin also will miss a football standout’s contributions. The Knights will be down a key reserve in senior Jackson Pons, a Miami of Ohio football recruit who will enroll early.

Brozeski named assistant AD

Norwin hired former football coach Dave Brozeski as an assistant athletic director.

Brozeski, who was coach for nine seasons (17 as an assistant), will work alongside AD Mike Burrell and assistant Andy Phipps.

He joined the coaching staff this season at Division III Washington & Jefferson, his alma mater, and planned to finish the season with the Presidents before assuming his role.

Brozeski is a chemistry teacher in the district.

Filling in

While Derry awaits the arrival and start date of new athletic Nick Raymond, a familiar face in AD circles is temping in the department.

Dan Boring, an elementary associate principal at Grandview Elementary School, is handling the duties until Raymond begins Nov. 28. Boring was the AD at Southmoreland from 2020 until this past summer.

Juggling jobs is nothing new to Boring, who wears many hats. He is a sixth-year wrestling coach at Southmoreland, where he used to teach physical education and health and filled in as the girls volleyball coach in 2022.

Boring also was the Scotties baseball coach in 2017 and ’18 and also was a football assistant.

He also coached the middle school football and boys and girls soccer teams.

All-WPIAL field hockey

Several Westmoreland County players received all-star recognition from the WPIAL Field Hockey Coaches Association.

Honorees included Class 2A champions and senior midfielders Ava Hershberger and Mack Keenan of Penn-Trafford, along with Warriors’ sophomore forward Liz Welsh.

Latrobe had four players make the all-star list: senior midfielder Belle Blossey, sophomore midfielder Julia Macey, junior forward Mia Stynchula and senior defender Alanna Sweeney.

Hershberger, Keenan and Blossey were All-WPIAL selections.

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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