Westmoreland high school notebook: Football season kicks off with ‘heat week’

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Saturday, August 6, 2022 | 3:47 PM


High school football season is a hot topic again.

Monday is the beginning of heat acclimatization week, a requirement of teams started in 2013 by the PIAA, marking the start of the 2022 season.

While teams can’t begin full contact workouts until next Monday when training camps open, this week will allow players to ease into hot and humid August weather and the flow of practice.

Players will be limited to helmets and shoulder pads. They must have five consecutive days of heat preparation before contact drills begin.

Many coaches use “heat week” to install plays and schemes, which they run through sans the hitting and tackling.

“Heat week allows us to do a lot of mental prep and get in shape,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “We put a large emphasis on special teams.”

Players are often involved in “stations” during heat week, where they rotate and work on different techniques and lesson plans, before a number of mandatory water breaks.

After two weeks of official camp, the WPIAL season starts Aug. 26 with Week Zero games.

Tee it up

WPIAL golf season returns, only much earlier than past years.

Teams will start tryouts and practices Monday, and matches will start Aug. 11.

Last year, practice began Aug. 16, and matches teed off Sept. 3.

WPIAL Golf Steering Committee Cchairman Jim Croushore said the league moved up the start because of the timing of the PIAA championships (Oct. 17-19).

Avoiding a schedule cram was the main point of contention.

“The schedule becomes very tight during the individual tournament season,” he said. “If a team is to complete section matches due to weather or schedule conflicts, that can become difficult for those coaches who also have players playing in the individual tournaments.”

Croushore said other districts, such as District 10, also is starting the season earlier than normal.

Most of the other WPIAL fall sports will not start games and matches until Aug. 26.

Martin adds Tennessee

Another Power 5 scholarship offer came in last week for Belle Vernon football standout Quinton Martin when Tennessee offered the junior.

Martin is expected to play running back, receiver and safety this season, but he likely will line up at other spots as Belle Vernon makes the drop to Class 3A.

Martin, the No. 11 overall prospect in the Class of 2024 by Rivals.com, has 20 offers from major Division I programs.

Dominick to UPJ

Latrobe 6-foot basketball player Camille Dominick, a rising senior, made a verbal commitment to play at Pitt-Johnstown.

A versatile swing-guard with a defensive presence, Dominick, gets plenty of recruiting attention playing AAU for the Western PA Bruins.

She will be a key cog for Latrobe this winter alongside 6-2 center Emma Blair.

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More interest in Bilinsky

Another local basketball player has another opportunity to play in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Norwin rising senior Adam Bilinsky picked up an offer from Seton Hill

Bilinsky, a springy, 6-foot-3 guard, also has opportunities to play at Mercyhurst and D’Youville (N.Y.).

Volleyball honors

There were 19 players from the WPIAL who competed for the Exile Volleyball Club at the AAU Boys National Volleyball Championships this summer in Orlando, Fla., and who received AAU Academic All-American honors.

Among them is Latrobe’s Tyler Nelson, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker.

The others are: Ben Barker (Deer Lakes), Luke Bockius (Canon-McMillan), Oliver Enos (Moon), Dane Fazio (North Hills), Joey Gannon (Shaler), Josh Lubawy (Bethel Park), Zach Miller (Shaler), Cam Miller (Shaler), Corey Obeldobel (Hopewell), Logan Peterson (Shaler), Gavin Poe (Seton LaSalle), Aidan Price (Seton LaSalle), Dunnovan Ronel (Shaler), Dom Rossi (Shaler), Adam Smith (Plum), Jake Strnisa (South Side Beaver/Hopewell), Bradyn Winters (Moon), and Zach Wurzer (Shaler).

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

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