Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Greensburg CC lauded for fall sports success

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Saturday, January 30, 2021 | 6:29 PM


Sunday is the beginning of Catholic Schools Week, and the Diocese of Greensburg is recognizing the remarkable fall sports season Greensburg Central Catholic had in 2020.

While tiptoeing around a global pandemic and growing covid-19 numbers in Westmoreland County, GCC managed three WPIAL championships, a WPIAL runner-up and a trio of PIAA second-place finishes.

The girls golf team won its sixth straight WPIAL Class AA title, and the boys and girls soccer teams won district titles in Class A. All three finished second in the state tournaments.

Girls volleyball was second in WPIAL Class A.

“There was a lot of pride, pride in our school, pride in our student-athletes” GCC athletic director Dan Mahoney told the Diocese. “I always say we’re small number-wise, but our kids’ work ethic really shows academically and on the field. That work ethic that they have in the classroom really carries over to whatever sport they’re playing, and I really think that’s why we have so many successful programs.”

All-American freshmen

Three rising stars in the WPIAL Class of 2024 were named to the MaxPreps All-America Freshman football team.

Belle Vernon running back, receiver and defensive back Quinton Martin, Central Catholic tight end/linebacker Anthony Speca and Jeannette quarterback Brad Birch were among the 48 national selections for offense and defense.

All three are Division I prospects. Martin and Speca were first-team selections.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Martin made it as a defensive back. He already has a scholarship offer from Pitt.

Martin ran for 425 yards, averaging 9.2 yards per carry, and had 15 tackles and an interception on defense.

Speca, a 6-3, 215-pounder, was a run-stopper for Central Catholic, which won its second straight WPIAL Class 6A title. He had an interception in the championship game.

Birch made it as a second-team all-purpose player after throwing for 1,676 yards and 30 touchdowns. He is the first ninth-grade starting quarterback at Jeannette.

No train, no gain

Former Hempfield and Fort Wayne basketball standout Kason Harrell and his father, Louis, have started a local training business called “3 B’s Basketball Training.”

The B’s stand for bible, book and ball. Louis Harrell said if kids have one of those three in their hands — he prefers all three — they “can’t go wrong.”

The business’s mission statement says 3 B’s seeks to “Equip boys and girls, grades 6-12, with high-level basketball skills and spiritual awareness that foster development as a player and a person; and to raise the level of basketball in Westmoreland County and the surrounding areas.”

Sessions, for up to six players, run from $300 (six sessions) to $384 (16 sessions).

Private, two-hour sessions are available for $50 an hour.

Contact Louis Harrell at 412-973-6788 or by email at louisharrell@comcast.net.

Kason Harrell, who is coaching the Greensburg Central Catholic freshman boys team, is hoping for another professional opportunity after recently playing in Ireland.

Spring ahead

WPIAL spring sports, which never got off the ground last year because of covid-19, will be back soon.

Official practices for baseball, softball, track, boys tennis, boys volleyball and lacrosse begin March 8 — just more than five weeks from Monday.

Recruiting

Norwin senior football player Connor Chrisman announced he will play at Slippery Rock. A 6-3, 180-pound wide receiver and defensive back, Chrisman was a first-team All-Class 6A conference receiver.

Chrisman had 18 receptions for 385 yards and five touchdowns, and he added 31 tackles.

• Norwin senior football player Hayden O’Bryon, a running back and defensive back, has an offer from Mercyhurst.

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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