Westmoreland County high school notebook: Ligonier Valley’s Beitel learned from late Laurel Valley coach

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Friday, December 24, 2021 | 10:01 AM


Ligonier Valley football coach Roger Beitel always admired Jerry Page.

The way Page coached, the way he treated people and the way he lived his life.

Page, the longtime football coach at Laurel Valley, died Wednesday at the age of 89.

Laurel Valley merged with Ligonier Valley in 2010. Beitel was hired to coach the Rams 18 years ago and has been trying to emulate the iconic leader ever since.

You might say he borrowed a Page from the man he used to coach against, in the form of an influx of people who spent time around the former Rams coach, those who learned his values and system.

It also was a sort of tribute to Page.

“I hired his former players to bring that to what we were building here,” Beitel said. “I’ve built my program with coach Page’s guys.”

Current Rams coaches with ties to Laurel Valley as players are Dave Shannon, Brandon Rensko, Denny Henderson and Tyler Foust. Beitel’s former offensive coordinator, Scott Lewandowski, was on Page’s staff, and former defensive coordinator Adam Foust also played for Page.

Beitel is the longest-tenured current football coach in Westmoreland County, but he has a ways to go to catch Page, who coached the Rams for 30 years and won 206 games.

Paulone a winner

Thomas Paulone, Jeannette’s new football coach, not only brings success as a player to the position, but he appears to be quite a motivator.

“You know how Mike Tomlin takes over a room when he walks in and starts talking?” Jeannette athletic director Adrian Batts said. “That is what it was like with (Paulone). He is an intelligent young man, and we were impressed by his leadership skills.”

Paulone, 29, was on the 2007 Jeannette team that won the WPIAL and PIAA championships under coach Ray Reitz.

He played quarterback soon after Terrelle Pryor was the main man under center for the Jayhawks. In fact, Paulone was the starting QB in Roy Hall’s first season as coach in 2009.

Warriors honored

Penn-Trafford returned to the site of its thrilling WPIAL football championship win and drew applause from a Pittsburgh Steelers crowd.

The Warriors were recognized last Sunday during the Steelers’ game against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field for their 24-21 win over Moon in the WPIAL 5A title game last month on the North Shore.

It was the program’s first football title.

Penn-Trafford players and coaches, still reeling after winning a PIAA championship, attended the game and were shown on the stadium scoreboard.

Coffee break

Latrobe junior forward Josh Coffee was named the PIHL’s Class 2A player of the month for November.

Coffee had a winning goal and three assists across three games for the Wildcats (5-6). Through 11 games, he has six goals and four assists.

Recruiting

• Hulking Penn-Trafford lineman Luke Jollie will play college football in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Jollie, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound lineman who helped the Warriors win WPIAL and PIAA titles, announced he is headed to Grove City.

• Belle Vernon two-sport athlete Tyler Mocello will continue his golf career at Pitt-Johnstown. Mocello, who made the WPIAL 3A finals last fall, also played soccer for the Leopards but missed time last season because of an ankle injury. He played center back.

• Hempfield senior Chaz Ewer will play volleyball at Life University.

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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