Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Local baseball, softball players earn honors

Saturday, June 5, 2021 | 4:16 PM

Westmoreland County was well represented on the Big 5/6 Conference all-section baseball and softball teams.

The Big 5/6 recognizes team and individual accomplishments in the WPIAL’s two largest classifications.

In baseball, WPIAL Class 5A champion Franklin Regional dominated the Section 1 team with five first-team selections: seniors Louie Kegerreis (SS), Andrew Muraco (2B) and Brian Pirone (P), junior Caden Smith (OF) and sophomore Anthony Alesi (DH).

Latrobe juniors Logan Short (C) and Vinny Amatucci (IF) and senior Drew Clair (OF), and junior Matt Lichota (OF) of Penn-Trafford also made the first team.

The Panthers’ Bobby Saddler was named the section coach of the year.

In Section 2-6A, WPIAL runner-up Hempfield had four first-team picks: senior Christian Zilli (SS), junior Brandon Coughlin (OF), senior Phil Fox (P) and senior Lucas Anderson (C).

Joining those players were three Norwin players: senior Jake Bazala (P), and juniors Jake Kendro (SS) and Jack Whalen (OF).

Tim Buzzard of Hempfield was the coach of the year.

On the softball side, three Norwin players made the first team in Section 2: senior Liz Waszkiewicz (3B), sophomore Madie Kessler (OF) and senior Sydney Lokay (P), along with Hempfield seniors Emma Hoffner (C) and Kelsi Terzolino (OF).

The Section 1-5A first team included Franklin Regional sophomore Madison Nguyen (IF), while Section 2-5A had Penn-Trafford seniors Brooke Cleland (OF), Allie Prady (IF), Emma Little (C) and Julia Moorhead (DH), and junior Mia Smith (P) on the first team, along with Latrobe senior Jordan Tallman (P), junior Jenna Tallman (IF) and senior Emily Schumaker (OF).

Denny Little of Penn-Trafford was named Section 2 Coach of the Year.

Big Ten offer for Yacamelli

Another week, another Division I football offer for Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli.

Actually, the rising senior running back and defensive back added two more scholarship offers this week, but one stands out among all of the others.

Wisconsin of the Big Ten offered him after he attended a Badgers’ prospect camp. It is his first Power Five offer.

Yacamelli (6 foot, 200 pounds) attended the camp Thursday and was made an offer in the coaches’ office minutes after the workout. Former Pitt coach Paul Chryst and his staff like what they saw.

“The experience was crazy,” said Yacamelli, who has a 41.3-inch vertical leap. “They loved my strength, speed and explosiveness. They told me I’m ‘a football player.’ ”

He also recently added his third offer from the Patriot League in Holy Cross. The Crusaders join Lehigh from that conference to extend an offer to Yacamelli.

Yacamelli also has academic offers from six of the eight Ivy League programs.

He said most of the schools like him as a wide receiver or running back, but others want him as a safety.

All-WPIAL volleyball

WPIAL semifinalists Penn-Trafford and Hempfield each had two players selected to the Class AAA All-WPIAL boys volleyball team.

Penn-Trafford senior setter Jarred Schoffstall and senior outside hitter Milan Cermak made the second team, joining Hempfield junior middle blocker Chaz Ewer and senior middle blocker Sean Knight, as well as Norwin senior opposite-side hitter J.C. Govannucci.

Penn-Trafford senior middle blocker Alex Kana and junior outside hitter Alex Rugh, along with Hempfield junior opposite hitter Sean Gordon, were third-team selections.

Rocco to North Catholic

Former Penn-Trafford boys basketball coach Jim Rocco is taking over the boys program at North Catholic.

Trojans athletic director Brian Miller confirmed Rocco was hired as coach last week.

Rocco replaces Dave DeGregorio, who resigned to coach at North Allegheny. Rocco was an assistant last season with DeGregorio.

In charge at Penn-Trafford for five seasons (2015-20), Rocco was 54-57 with the Warriors, including three WPIAL playoff appearances.

Rocco teaches forensic science at Penn-Trafford.

He was a highly successful coach at Penn Hills for 19 seasons, winning two WPIAL championships and one PIAA title.

His career record is 311-184.

Rocco’s daughter, Alayna, will be a sophomore at North Catholic. She was a starter and key contributor last season as a freshman.

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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