Westmoreland high school notebook: Area players set for football all-star games

Saturday, June 9, 2018 | 3:45 PM

Local football players will showcase their skills in a pair of all-star games this weekend.

The Foothills Classic will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Hempfield's Spartan Stadium. The Westmoreland County game returned last June after a nine-year hiatus. The Red Team blanked the Blue, 21-0, at Norwin.

Jeannette's Roy Hall will coach the Blue Team, and Derry's Tim Sweeney has the Red squad.

The game is loaded with quarterbacks. The Blue side has Jeannette's Robert Kennedy, Norwin's Brock Dieter and Penn-Trafford's Cam Laffoon.

The Red has Hempfield's Justin Sliwoski, Jake Hoyle of Greensburg Salem and Burrell's Jake Roberts.

Sliwoski is a Pitt walk-on.

A quarterback who also played running back and receiver for WPIAL and PIAA champion Jeannette, Kennedy is a playmaker and could line up at different positions. The Lackawanna commit and co-state player of the year in Class A played in the East-West all-star game last month and scored a touchdown.

• On Saturday, Penn-Trafford lineman Will Mayr will represent the county in the Big 33 Classic at Central Dauphin. Mayr is an IUP recruit.

All-state track

Greensburg Salem junior Malia Anderson was named to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Class girls all-state as an honorable mention in the 800 meters.

Anderson finished fourth in the Class AAA race in 2 minutes, 13.22 seconds.


Some of the area's top junior athletes continue to pull in scholarship offers.

Since Tuesday, Latrobe football player Trent Holler added four more Division I offers, from Cincinnati, Ohio University, Ball State and Delaware. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound center and defensive end has 14 offers.

• Jeannette defensive end Anthony Johnson (6-5, 220) added Maine, Toledo and Delaware to his growing list of offers.

• Akron and Elon offered Norwin receiver/linebacker Gianni Rizzo.

• Former Southmoreland basketball star Brandon Stone, the 6-foot-11 combo forward now at the Christ School (N.C.), has 17 Division I offers after LaSalle and Siena reached out to him last week. Stone recently was rated the No. 7 best player in the class of 2019 among players in North Carolina by Phenom Hoop Report.

Positive athletes

A total of $30,000 in scholarships will be awarded to dozens of WPIAL athletes as part of the seventh annual Positive High School Athlete Awards.

The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Sen. John Heinz History Center, and Steelers great Hines Ward once again will present the awards.

Recipients from 150 area high schools were nominated by coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers and parents.

Nominees must display “excellence on the field,” as well as “an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing that the team is more important than the individual.”

Each athlete will get a $500 C. Harper Scholarship.

Local award winners include: Brady Hunker, Mt. Pleasant (alternative category); Bailey Julian, Hempfield (hockey); Sophie McDermott, Kiski Area (volleyball); Alayna Perbonish, Southmoreland (softball); and Carson Shipley, Norwin (cross country).

Additional awards include the Mylan male and female athletes of the year, which gives $5,000 scholarships to each, the Jeff Boynton Memorial scholarship ($2,200), two UPMC Sports Medicine Comeback Player awards ($1,000), the Knichel Logistics Title IX Award ($1,000), and the Wilson Group Positive Solutions Award ($1,000).

This and that

Mt. Pleasant is expected to name a boys basketball coach June 25. … Greensburg Central Catholic is nearing a decision on new boys and girls basketball coaches. … Several Ligonier Valley athletes were named to the Heritage Conference spring all-conference teams. They are: Avery Arnone, Aaron Tutino, Zach Beitel, Elliot Rost, Lucas Rashilla, Dylan Rummel, Mack Ankney, Wade Rashilla, and Blake Bridge for boys track and field; and Rachel Horrell, McKenna Rummel and Isabelle Saloom on the girls side of the sport.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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