Westmoreland high school notebook: GCC soccer coaches step down

Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 4:48 PM

Greensburg Central Catholic is looking for head coaches for boys and girls soccer after the coaches from both programs resigned.

Rob Fabean, who led the boys team after two seasons, stepped down and was hired last week to coach the Ringgold boys on a three-year contract.

Kara Batey resigned after one season with the girls. She is going back to Penn-Trafford to serve as an assistant to Jimmy Mastroianni.

Fabean was 31-8 with back-to-back playoff trips. GCC made the WPIAL Class A final, and the second round of the PIAA playoffs, in his first season. The top-seeded Centurions were upset by Charleroi last year.

Fabean cuts ties with a school he has been around since his daughter, Malea, was a GCC standout from 2010-14.

He was an assistant during that time, and served as an assistant with the boys for two years before he took the head-coaching reins.

“I was fortunate to coach a lot of great players and win a lot of games and championships,” Fabean said. “However, the memories from those teams and all of the players, especially the ones my daughter and son played on, will remain with me forever.

“It was always a unique feeling before each season knowing that you were the team everyone was trying to knock off, but we always accepted the challenge and put in the work to make sure we earned that respect. I’ll miss the family-oriented, close-knit teams at GCC, but it’s time for a new venture and challenge.”

Batey, a Norwin alum, was an assistant at Penn-Trafford from 2019-21.

GCC went 15-5 last fall and reached the WPIAL and PIAA Class A semifinals.

“After coaching on my own this past season, I learned and grew a lot and wanted to be a part of a school and program that shared the same passion and respect for the game,” Batey said. “Jimmy and I work exceptionally well together, and have the same goals.

“I wish GCC all the best and thank them for the opportunity.”

Play-in games return

The WPIAL brought back play-in games this year for the PIAA basketball playoffs.

Teams won’t have to wait any longer to see if other teams win or loss to determine if they get into the state tournaments. They can earn their way in this year with the return of a consolation bracket.

Previously, the WPIAL used a follow-the-winner format where teams could pull others into the PIAA bracket. Teams could qualify for states if they lost to the eventual WPIAL champion or runner-up.

The WPIAL used play-in games in 2014-15 and ‘15-16, but the WPIAL deserted the format when it went to six classifications.

Teams that lose in the quarterfinals of classes 5A, 4A, 3A 2A and A will enter the play-in bracket with a chance to qualify for states. In Class 6A, teams must reach the semifinals to qualify for the play-in games.

Class 6A has three state qualifiers.

Class 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A have seven apiece, and Class A has five. On the girls side, Class 6A has four, Class 5A and 3A seven, Class 4A six, Class 2A eight, and Class A, five.

Gardner points

Junior Lorenzo Gardner on Friday night became the first Monessen boys basketball player to score 1,000 career points since Jaden Altomore did it in 2016-17.

Justice Rice also reached 1,000 that season for the Greyhounds.

Hockey playoffs

The PIHL playoffs are approaching, and several county teams have secured spots in the postseason tournaments.

Latrobe, Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional and Hempfield are in the Class 3A field of eight teams.

In Class A, Greensburg Salem and Norwin are headed to the playoffs. Norwin is the defending Class A champion.

Burrell has clinched a spot in Division II.

FR joins Cager

The Cager Classic all-star basketball games, a staple in the Alle-Kiski Valley basketball season, expanded its selection area this year to include Franklin Regional.

The girls and boys games will be March 25 at Highlands High School in Harrison Township near Natrona Heights.

The games pit seniors from both sides of the Allegheny River in an East-vs.-West format.

Franklin Regional players selected are Jake Kimmich, Max Leven, Sarah Penrod, and Brooke Schirmer.

A skills competition will be 7 p.m. March 24. On March 25, The girls game starts at 5:30 p.m., with the boys to follow at 7:30.

The Cager returned last year after a two-year absence.

Tickets are available through B&J Sporting Goods.


Norwin football standout Jackson Pons, a junior wide receiver and defensive back, added a third Ivy League opportunity with an offer from Dartmouth.

Columbia and Penn also like Pons.

• Broderick Schreyer, a senior who played quarterback, linebacker and defensive back for Ligonier Valley, announced he will play collegiately at Grove City.

Greensburg Salem senior Brianna Campagna will continue her lacrosse career at La Roche.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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