Westmoreland high school football notebook: ‘Huddie’ Kaufman to be honored

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Friday, August 26, 2022 | 9:25 AM


The press box at Offutt Field was one of his favorite spots to watch a football game. It was part office, part sanctuary.

Whether he was covering games during his near-40-year career at the Tribune-Review or working the game clock later in life, Howard “Huddie” Kaufman felt connected to Greensburg Salem.

The longtime Tribune-Review sports editor, who died in 2020 at age 92, will be honored Friday night as Greensburg Salem dedicates the press box to Kaufman’s memory.

The pregame ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., before the Golden Lions kick off the season against Hempfield at 7.

Kaufman’s son, Bill, said his father always passed along an important lesson: ‘Don’t be the parent in the stands screaming at the kids. Just be there for the kids. Support the kids.”

Now the community and district can support “Huddie” once again at one of his favorite places.

QB1

Most local teams have decided on a starting quarterback for Friday’s opener.

Starters will be: Jake Phillips (Hempfield), Nick Urey (Norwin), John Wetzel (Latrobe), Cody Rubrecht (Greensburg Salem), Cole Chatfield (Mt. Pleasant), Kadin Keefer (Southmoreland), Blake Revoir (Derry), Broderick Schreyer (Ligonier Valley), Raidon Kuroda (Yough), Tyree Turner (Greensburg Central Catholic), Payton Molter (Jeannette) and Lorenzo Gardner (Monessen).

Penn-Trafford has been repping three quarterbacks — Conlan Greene, Tommy Kalkstein and Jonny Lovre — and coach John Ruane said his starter Friday will be a gametime decision.

Triple-option at Norwin?

Rich Bowen, the former Hempfield head coach, is now the offensive coordinator at Norwin and is making some tweaks to the Knights’ attack.

Norwin is implementing some triple-option into its gameplan, which also will run spread looks.

Junior receiver and playmaker Jackson Pons figures into a possible wildcat role, and Nick Urey and Tristyn Tavares could see time at quarterback as Norwin postures to play in Class 5A.

“You want to get the ball to your playmakers,” Knights coach Dave Brozeski said. “We’re looking at ways to try to get the ball into people’s hands in multiple ways that can help us be successful.”

Turning the Page

The former Ram Stadium in New Florence was renamed after legendary coach Laurel Valley coach Jerry Page. A ceremony was held last Saturday.

Page died last year at age 89.

Ligonier Valley graduate John Fogel, the president of the LV Youth Football Association, suggested the field be named after Page to coincide with the installation of a new scoreboard.

Page coached Laurel Valley from 1979 to 2008 and built a record of 206-97-5 with three District 6 championships (1989, ’90, ’93) and 16 playoff trips in 24 seasons.

He retired in 2008.

Two years later, Laurel Valley closed and its students moved to Ligonier Valley.

Big boys

There are always linemen who stick out at training camp and on preseason rosters.

Yough has one of them. Junior De’Andre Harding is a 6-foot-4, 345-pound two-way lineman.

“He is having a great camp,” Yough coach Ben Hoffer said. “I can’t wait to see how he does.”

Harding is set to start at nose tackle.

Franklin Regional also has some size up front, in large part thanks to senior Max Leven, a load at 6-foot-9, 265 pounds.

Senior teammate Nick Petrucci is 6-4, 261.

Some more from the land of the giants:

Mt. Pleasant has two large sophomores in Colton Ament (6-3, 320) and Jack Konpsider (6-0, 315).

• Zach Persinger of Hempfield is 6-3, 324.

Penn-Trafford has Conlan Greene (6-4, 250), Joe Enick (6-3, 290) and Zach Tomosovich (6-5, 315).

• Freshman Ray Yurko of Greensburg Salem is 6-3, 300.

• Cole Marker (6-1, 310) transferred from Mt. Pleasant to Southmoreland.

• Zach Stash (6-6, 285) and Maddox Bush (6-6, 298) bring size for Derry.

Changing lanes

A number of local players are adapting to new positions on the eve of a new season.

Yough’s Gavin Roebuck has switched from quarterback to wide receiver, and Rubrecht of Greensburg Salem is at quarterback after starring as a receiver last year.

Cole Chatfield is taking the quarterback job at Mt. Pleasant, and Tyler Reese goes from QB to receiver.

Rubrecht was a quarterback when he came into varsity football, so the position switch is not entirely new.

“I believe Cody might be the most athletic kid I have had here in my 10 years,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said.

Extra points

Two local teams, Belle Vernon and Franklin Regional, will play a second scrimmage rather than a game in Week Zero. They will scrimmage each other Friday night in Belle Vernon. … Belle Vernon has five former head coaches on staff. … Two area games will match first-year coaches: Latrobe (Ron Prady) at Derry (Mike Arone), and South Allegheny (Darwin Manges) at Yough (Hoffer). … Former Kiski School quarterback Omar Ward has joined coach Mike Arone’s staff at Derry. Arone was a coach at Homer-Center when the team played Jeannette in the PIAA playoffs in 2017. … Friday’s opener will be the 200th game for coach Roger Beitel at Ligonier Valley.

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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