Westmoreland high school notebook: Coaches ‘cool’ with WPIAL’s cool-down rule
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 9:21 PM
The WPIAL's proposed 15-minute “cool-down” period for coaches before they talk to the media after playoff games could take some getting used to.
Some area coaches seem to understand the spirit of the policy, but don't think it will have much of an impact.
Overall, they seem to be “cool” with it.
The somewhat odd policy pertains to all sports. It's last-straw origin could be related to Clairton football coach Wayne Wade's critical comments of officiating after last year's PIAA Class A championship game, and Penn Hills basketball coach Dan DeRose' criticism of referees last winter after a WPIAL quarterfinal playoff game.
Wade and DeRose are both suspended for the first four games on their respective seasons.
“Like someone said, by the time you're done shaking hands and walking across the field you (already) had 10 minutes,” Jeannette football coach Roy Hall said. “After what happened to Wayne it's in every coach's head: they know what the punishment will be. I doubt very much if you ever hear it happen again.”
Penn-Trafford football coach John Ruane also doesn't foresee an issues.
“I think that most writers give coaches a few minutes already to address their team before interviewing,” he said. “So, I don't think much will change.”
Hempfield boys basketball coach Bill Swan said he sees both sides of the argument.
“(The WPIAL) is trying to help coaches and schools with uncomfortable situations,” Swan said. “But in reality, by the time most of us meet with our teams and get things cleaned up, we don't speak with (media) for a while anyway.”
Milestone for Salem
Greensburg Salem football has been around since 1894 so it's no surprise it has played a lot of games. But the Golden Lions will hit another milestone Friday when they host West Mifflin: game No. 1,100. The mark leads all Westmoreland County teams and ranks third all-time in the WPIAL behind New Castle (1,196) and Connellsville (1,108).
Jeannette is second in the county with 1,088 games and Monessen is third at 1,064.
Latrobe played game No. 1,000 two weeks ago. Norwin stands at 976.
The complete list of WPIAL football teams with more than 1,000 games includes Aliquippa, Altoona, Beaver, Beaver Falls, Charleroi, Clairton, Connellsville, Ellwood City, McKeesport, Monessen, New Brighton, New Castle, Rochester, Uniontown and Washington.
WPIAL Class AAA boys golf enters the individual semifinal round Tuesday as players look to secure spots in the championship Oct. 3 at Nemacolin Country Club.
Two sites will host semifinals: The Links at Spring Church and Donegal Highlands Golf Course. The top 18 finishers advance to the finals. Most of the Westmoreland area players will be at Donegal Highlands.
Westmoreland County will have strong representation in the golf postseason, in the form of section champions. Palmer Jackson (Franklin Regional), Jack Oberdorf (Greensburg Salem), Jake Redding (Southmoreland), Jake Caldwell (Belle Vernon) and Abby Zambruno (Greensburg C.C.) all captured section titles.
Palmer shot 4-under 68 to win his section.
The boys Class AA championship is Thursday at Allegheny Country Club, while the girls Class AAA and AA finals are Oct. 4 at Diamond Run Golf Club.
Munchinski to Cal (Pa.)
Latrobe junior softball standout Makayla Munchinski gave a verbal commitment to continue her playing career at Cal (Pa.).
Munchinski, Latrobe's defensive MVP last season at third base, batted .370 with 17 RBIs and 18 runs as the Wildcats reached the WPIAL Class 6A championship game. Latrobe is expected to be one of the top returning teams in the WPIAL next spring.
Houston offers Stone
Another Division I scholarship offer came in for former Southmoreland basketball standout Brandon Stone, now a reclassified junior at The Christ School in Arden, N.C.
Houston made an offer to the 6-foot-11 Stone after watching him work out last week. Stone, who averaged 25.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks last season at Southmoreland, now has 12 Division offers, including ones from Penn State and St. Joseph.
Norwin senior soccer player Lexy Kendro scored less than 10 goals last season as a midfielder for the Knights, who won back-to-back WPIAL titles in the largest classification. But Kendro slid over to forward this season and the Duquesne recruit has seen an increase in shots — and goals. She has three hat tricks and 11 goals for top-ranked Norwin (7-0), rated No. 1 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
Penn-Trafford will honor military personnel and first-responders prior to Friday night's game against Gateway at Warrior Stadium.
A reception and light meal for honorees will begin at 6 p.m. at the Warrior Center and personnel will be recognized before kickoff.
It also will be the annual “Battle for the Bell” game, and Trafford and Pitcairn alumni are invited to take the field for the Victory Bell coin toss.
Those interested in attending should contact Janice Oliver at 724-744-4496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.