Westmoreland high school notebook: Football rivalry games put on hold this season

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Sunday, April 21, 2024 | 3:57 PM


High school football season isn’t scheduled to begin until Aug. 23, but fans might be disappointed to know two long-time neighborhood clashes are being put on hold.

The annual battles — Greensburg Salem/Hempfield and Latrobe/Derry — will not be renewed this season, whereas one in the Mon Valley is being revived as Charleroi and Monessen will play once again.

“Ty (George, Greensburg Salem coach) and I talked, and because we’re in 6A and they’re in 3A, we felt it would be better for both to end the series,” Hempfield coach Nick Keefer said. “Instead, we’re going to scrimmage them.”

Hempfield leads the series 42-15-1 and has won the previous seven meetings including last year’s game 45-6.

Greensburg Salem will open the season at home against Albert Gallatin, and Hempfield will travel to North Hills.

After a scrimmage against Greensburg Central Catholic, Derry will open the season at Ligonier Valley, and Latrobe will travel to Connellsville. Ligonier Valley and Derry have played the past two seasons.

Here is a list of season openers: Penn-Trafford at Norwin, Charleroi at Monessen, Franklin Regional at Plum, Brentwood at Yough, Mt. Pleasant at Jeannette, Kiski Area at Knoch, Valley at Southmoreland, Springdale at Burrell and Greensburg Central Catholic at Shady Side Academy.

Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert still is working on his schedule.

Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant had opened the season the past two years, but the WPIAL scheduled them to play in Week 1.

Ligonier Valley HOF

Ligonier Valley inducted its second Hall of Fame Class on April 13.

There were six athletes, a contributor, a coach and a team inducted.

The individuals were Caleb Hood (2003 Ligonier Valley), Jason Burkhart (1992 Laurel Valley), William (Bill) Conrad (1983 Laurel Valley), Ray Nelson (1978 Ligonier Valley), Brandon Boyd (2008 Ligonier Valley) and Alec Bloom (2014 Ligonier Valley).

Mike Mannion, former coach, athletic director and teacher, was honored as a contributor. Albert Fiorina, who coached cross country and track, was honored as the coach.

The 2001 Ligonier Valley boys soccer team was also inducted.

Nelson was a WPIAL golf champion.

Job opening

Ligonier Valley is looking for a boys basketball coach after Tim Gustin stepped down.

Rams athletic director Wesley Siko is taking applications.

“We have a nice group coming back,” Siko said.

Ligonier Valley finished 5-17 overall and 3-9 in Section 3-3A in 2023-24.

Gustin was 28-55 in his four years as Rams coach, and the team made two WPIAL playoff appearances.

He is the golf pro at Oakbrook Golf Club in Stoystown.

Commitments

A couple junior athletes announced their commitments recently, both on X (formerly twitter).

Mt. Pleasant’s Joseph Gardner announced he will swim for Pitt. The multiple PIAA champion has earned four gold medals.

Thomas Jefferson’s Maddox Shaw announced that he will wrestle for Ohio State, joining former WPIAL and PIAA 3A champions Vinny Kilkeary of Latrobe and Rocco Welsh of Waynesburg.

Elizabeth Forward senior Damon Michaels is headed to Edinboro, and Connellsville junior Evan Petrovich selected Pitt, joining former Falcon Jared Keslar.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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