Westmoreland County high school notebook: WCCA awards scholarships

Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The Westmoreland County Coaches Association gives out several scholarships each year with money raised through different means, including entry fees and 50/50 raffles at its events.

This year, the association awarded a record seven scholarships to county athletes in the amount of $12,000.

Three annual scholarships, each worth $2,000, went to Lillian Gatons of Greensburg Salem (Nick Pecoraro Memorial Scholarship), Mackenzie Guy of Valley (Robert Van Atta Memorial Scholarship) and Mara Lewis of Derry (Dr. Larry Sellitto Memorial Scholarship).

Four additional scholarships, all $1,500, were given to Leah Taliani of Valley, Laney Gerdich of Yough and Jamayla Jones and Dante DeFelices of Monessen. Information on next year’s scholarships can be found at wccaonline.net.

Rare air

Hempfield’s eighth WPIAL softball championship moves the Spartans into a tie for second for the most titles.

Hempfield also won in 2019, ‘18, ‘17, ‘16, ‘15, ‘09 and 1998.

Chartiers-Houston also has eight titles.

The record is shared by Baldwin and Sto-Rox with 10 titles apiece.

Zelmore staying local

Mt. Pleasant two-sport standout Tiffany Zelmore has made a decision on her college future.

The senior, who was one of the top scorers in WPIAL basketball in recent seasons and a talented thrower in track and field, will join the track and field team at Seton Hill.

Zelmore finished second in the discus and fourth in the shot put at the WPIAL championships, then returned to the medal stand at the PIAA meet with third- and sixth-place finishes in the same events.

In basketball, she was the Trib Westmoreland Player of the Year after she averaged 28.8 points for a playoff team.

Her 1,629 career points put her second on the Vikings’ all-time scoring list.

Kennywood can wait

Hempfield has its school picnic Monday, but the softball team — the newly crowned WPIAL champion softball team — opens the PIAA 6A playoffs that day.

“The girls saw that Kennywood day was the same day as states,” Spartans coach Tina Madison said. “They were like, ‘We can’t miss Kennywood day.’ So I told them I will take them all to Kennywood another day. We’ll have to figure out when.”


• Jake Gedekoh, an H-back and linebacker at Belle Vernon, has an offer to play Division I football at Virginia Military Institute of the Southern Conference. Gedekoh (6-foot, 200 pounds) helped the Leopards win WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A championships last season. He ran for 773 yards and 12 touchdowns on 95 carries and added 44 tackles and an interception.

• Another Belle Vernon football player, Dane Levi, a 6-3, 280-pound two-way lineman, picked up an offer from Division II Wheeling.

• A pair of Franklin Regional athletes made college commitments for lacrosse. Olivia Oaks will continue her career at Seton Hill, and Sarah Holt will play at Chatham.

Mt. Pleasant’s Jackson Hutter has his first college offer. Clarion wants to bring in the 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker.

Penn-Trafford football player Josh Huffman, a linebacker, committed to play at Division III Carnegie Mellon.

• Izzy Davanti of Hempfield will continue her lacrosse career at Chatham.

• Hempfield senior football player Anthony Vallano will play at Carnegie Mellon. He is a 6-4, 230-pound tight end.

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Da’sjon Craggette, a junior who has played running back, linebacker and defensive end, has an offer from Alderson Broaddus, a Division II program.

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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