Westmoreland County high school notebook: Derry, Latrobe, Connellsville hire alumni as coaches

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Monday, August 30, 2021 | 10:14 PM


Three district high schools recently decided to hire graduates as their next coaches.

Derry named Troy Dolan Jr. as its new wrestling coach to replace Mike Weinell, who resigned this summer. Dolan was a three-time PIAA champion and four-time WPIAL champion.

Latrobe named Karissa (Walker) Skiba as its new girls tennis coach. She replaces Chad Kissell, who resigned after the season. Walker was a two-time PIAA singles and doubles winner.

Connellsville hired Bill Swink as its new wrestling coach to replace Mike Yancosky, who coached the Falcons for one season.

Looking for a challenge

Dolan wants to continue the success of previous coaches Weinell and Mike Wood.

“I got back into it last year coaching a lot at the All-American Club, and I want to be the best that I can be,” Dolan said. “Derry’s had some successful individuals in the past. It’s a fresh start, and I’m looking to develop some young wrestlers.

“We return some good wrestlers in the upper weights, and we have some young guys who have potential. I believe some of the guys will have good high school careers.”

Dolan was a 2007 Derry graduate, and he posted a 171-9 career record. Dolan attended the University of Missouri and then Pitt-Johnstown.

Family encouragement

Skiba, with the encouragement of her husband Dave and parents Ron and Rhonda Walker, decided to give coaching a try. She is a 2003 Latrobe graduate and a 2007 graduate of the Air Force Academy.

“Now I get to see the other side after being a player,” Skiba said. “I’ve been out of coaching for a while, and I’m excited to help the players.

“I hope to make it enjoyable and show them leadership qualities. I want to help them become better players.”

Zac Heide, Latrobe’s new athletic director, said it’s nice that an alumna is giving back to her school. He said he’s excited about the hire.

Latrobe is scheduled to play host to Penn-Trafford on Wednesday.

For the record

There were a lot of records broken or tied by the Greensburg Salem football team in Friday’s game against Hempfield.

Quarterback Hayden Teska set new marks for passes attempted (40) and yards (319 yards). He broke the attempt mark of 31 Josh Williams set against Mt. Pleasant in 2005 and the yards of 266 set by Steve Fagert in 2008 against Hempfield.

Cody Rubrecht tied the record for receptions (seven) and set one for receiving yards (198 yards).

He tied the receptions mark held by three players — Lee Head in 1997 against Latrobe, Jim Elda in 1975 against Latrobe and Mike Cepullio in 1973 against Valley.

New Greensburg Salem historian, Casey Cavanaugh, said no mark for receiving yardage was in the record book, but he said it’s definitely a new record.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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