Westmoreland County’s new football coaches breeze through Day 1 of practice

Monday, August 15, 2022 | 8:57 PM

Westmoreland County’s five new high school football coaches had an uneventful first day of training camp.

Players usually are greeted with hot, humid weather, but Monday was cool and damp. Things went so smoothly at Derry that Mike Arone gave his team an early dismissal.

“It was a good day,” Arone said. “Our numbers are up, and the players were excited to be here. They put in good work. We just told them to be better tomorrow than they were today.

“We told them never to be satisfied with where you are at. We’re happy right now so far.”

Derry and every team in the county held two-a-day camps. It was the first day the players were allowed to hit.

Arone started the day with the Trojan Drill.

“It was a typical first day,” Arone said. “We had a lot of coaching, a lot of correcting and a lot of teaching. The players were excited to hit and — knock on wood — no major injuries.”

Latrobe might have been the first team on the field. The Wildcats arrived at 6 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. practice. First-year coach Ron Prady had practice over by 1 p.m.

“We got a lot of good work in,” said Prady, who spent the past 10 seasons as an assistant coach for John Ruane at Penn-Trafford. “We had good energy from the players. I’m not John, but Penn-Trafford is the model program in the county, and I value what he does and I’d like to get our program to that level.”

Tommy Paulone Jr. said he liked what he saw the first day at Jeannette. He was excited with the turnout and happy with where things are.

“It was a great day,” Paulone said. “It went about how I expected. We installed a lot of things, and the players picked up things.”

Paulone spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Chartiers Valley. He took over for legendary coach Roy Hall, who retired after the season.

Paulone said his goal is to continue the program’s great tradition.

Restoring a winning program is what Yough’s Ben Hoffer has planned. He played on a Yough squad that had an explosive offense.

“Things went really well,” Hoffer said. “The players picked up the lingo, and we have a hard-working group. I’m excited. I want to make Yough a winner again, and I think it can happen.”

Southmoreland’s Tom Bukowski said he saw a lot of good things during the first day, especially from a couple new players.

“We put them through a couple hitting drills to see how they handled it,” Bukowski said. “They did well. One thing we’re working on is improving our team speed.

“What pleased me the most about the offseason is how we competed. We didn’t back down. The win against Greensburg Central Catholic in the county 7-on-7 was good for our confidence.”

Bukowski said he liked how the offensive line worked the first day. He said they’ll be counted on to lead the Scotties to another WPIAL playoff appearance.

One thing some of the new coaches were faced with was Monday’s mandatory PIAA rules interpretation meeting at Greensburg Salem.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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