Westmoreland H.S. notebook: Norwin’s Kyle Martin to coach at Junior Pan American Championships

Saturday, April 24, 2021 | 5:50 PM

When Kyle Martin is not coaching wrestlers on the Norwin varsity team, he is training others to become Olympians.

Martin recently was selected by USA Wrestling, the governing body of wrestling for the World and Olympic Championships in the United States, to coach the United States team at the Junior Pan-American Championships on June 9-13 in Mexico City.

“The Junior age group consists mostly of high school seniors and possibly some college freshmen based on date of birth,” said Martin, who also is the U16 director for Pennsylvania wrestling.

“I take pride in our state being the best in the country in wrestling, and our U16 division has won the national championships in freestyle the last three years,” he said. “At the same time, I have been working diligently with USA Wrestling and their National Coaches Education Program to develop future Olympians as well as develop improved strategies for coach education. It has opened up so many opportunities for me.”

Before the covid outbreak, Martin traveled to Panama City as the head freestyle coach of Team USA at the U15 Pan-American Championships. He works at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs three times per year to train athletes.

The jump to coach juniors is quite a promotion at this level.

Even with his endeavors, Martin remains a student of the sport. He defended his PhD dissertation in March.

“Being an active member of USA Wrestling has been a great motivator in being a lifelong learner,” Martin said. “I continue to learn how to be a better coach for our athletes at Norwin every day, and in general, strive to learn how to improve daily.”

Martin said the team that goes to Mexico City will be front-runners to become Olympians in 2024 and ’28.

“All that I want to get out of this opportunity is to see our future Olympic athletes take the next big step toward their dream,” he said. “As a coach, you are at the service of the athlete. I will do whatever is required by the athletes to assist in their being at their optimal level of performance each time they step on the mat.

“As a coach, I can tell you that there are very few feelings greater than when you drape the American flag around an American athlete who has just won an international competition. I hope in June we get to drape a few more.”

Familiar face at Hempfield

Former Hempfield golf star Katie Miller Gee played on the boys team in high school. Now she will coach the school’s first girls golf team.

Miller Gee was hired at the last board meeting. She is the most notable female golfer to play at Hempfield. Rocco Mediate has that distinction on the men’s side.

Miller Gee spent one year coaching the golf team at Oakland Catholic.

She is a three-time PIAA champion who went on to play at North Carolina, turned professional briefly, and then regained her amateur status and has become a player of considerable note in the region.

The 37-year-old Miller will be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame on May 29 as part of the Class of 2020.

Jeannette coach resigns

Jeannette has a girls soccer coaching opening with the recent resignation of Peyton Clark after one season. The Jayhawks finished 0-11 and did not score a goal, battling low roster numbers last fall that initially looked promising but faded as the year went on. The team had to forfeit three games and will take a 35-game losing streak into 2021-22.

The previous coach, Delaney Cortazzo, also stepped down after one season.

Jeannette also is in the process of hiring a girls basketball coach.

New name for Center Ice

According to Pittsburgh Hockey Digest, Center Ice Arena in Delmont will soon be called Palmer Imaging Arena with naming rights changing hands.

Monroeville-based Palmer Products Imaging, a graphics and signage company that has been around for 50 years, bought the rights.

Franklin Regional, Kiski Area, Norwin and Penn-Trafford call Center Ice their home rink.


Penn-Trafford junior Cade Yacamelli added another Division I football scholarship offer to his growing list. Youngstown State is the latest to reach out to the 6-foot, 200-pound running back and defensive back, joining several Ivy League programs, plus Army and Navy.

Derry senior Ryan Bushey will continue his baseball career at Mt. Aloysius in Cresson, which fields a Division III program. Bushey plays second base for the Trojans and makes up one of better middle-infield duos around with senior shortstop Josh Ulery, a Pitt-Johnstown commit.

• Hempfield senior football player Roman Pellis will further his playing career at Washington & Jefferson. Pellis is a wide receiver and defensive back.

• Penn-Trafford basketball player Tyler Campbell will play at Division III La Roche. He will follow teammate Josh Kapcin to McCandless.

Campbell is a 6-foot-6, 195-pound post player who helped teammate Ben Myers control the boards for the Warriors.

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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