Westmoreland high school notebook: Brunson settling in at Mt. Pleasant

Sunday, September 8, 2019 | 6:25 PM

Since taking over as athletic director at Mt. Pleasant in July, Chris Brunson has been learning the ins and outs of the position.

It appears he has found a rhythm as he builds contacts and blends all sports, not just one — he is the Vikings’ softball coach — into his schedule.

“I am adjusting back to the athletics way of life,” he said. “Athletics is a lifestyle, not a job. I have had to adjust my daily routine. I think I have it right now to where it’s all working my business, athletics and softball.”

Brunson is a Subway restaurant franchisee with multiple stores in the area and also coaches travel softball. He was an assistant baseball coach at Cal (Pa.) for 14 years and also worked with the travel budget and scheduling there. The Hempfield graduate has had help getting comfortable.

“I love it so far,” Brunson said. “Mr. Gumbita and Mr. Bilinsky have been a great support system. Our athletics secretary, Georgia, is a saint. Everyone in the district has been very supportive.”

Gribble commits

Norwin senior basketball player Olivia Gribble made a verbal commitment this weekend to Division III Marietta. The shooting guard also had offers from Michigan-Dearborn and Pitt-Johnstown.

The 5-foot-8 Gribble, a proven perimeter scorer with range, averaged 13 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season for Norwin (23-2), which reached the WPIAL Class 6A semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

Her sister, Alayna, the all-time girls scorer at Norwin, played at Pitt before her career was shortened by concussions.

WCCA golf

The Westmoreland County Coaches Association Boys Golf Championship will be played at 9 a.m. Thursday at Latrobe Elks Golf Club.

Last year, Latrobe’s Brady Pevarnik edged Franklin Regional star Palmer Jackson in a scorecard playoff for his second straight county title after the friends and rivals matched 3-under-par 69s.

With Pevarnik now at Penn State and Jackson off to Notre Dame, a new champion will emerge this week. Among the contenders are Greensburg Salem senior Jeff Mankins, who took third last year (74); Franklin Regional’s Chuck Tragesser, who finished fifth (75); Belle Vernon’s Jake Caldwell (76); Franklin Regional’s Michael Wareham (78) and Mt. Pleasant’s Tim Pisula (79).

Also watch Penn-Trafford’s Alex Turowski and Adam Yamrick.

Franklin Regional is the returning Class AAA team champion (389), and The Kiski School won the Class AA title (419).

Volleyball rankings

Franklin Regional checks in at No. 6 in the latest Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association Class AAA Top 10 Poll. In addition for the Panthers, junior middle hitter Aly Kildenberger was named a Class AAA player of the week, joining Elizabeth Forward junior Leah Fournier and Knoch’s Hannah Rowe.

In Class AAAA, Hempfield is ranked No. 7. Derry is seventh in Class AA, and Greensburg Central Catholic is fourth in Class A.


Hempfield soccer player Sydney Patrick will continue her playing career at Slippery Rock.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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