Westmoreland high school notebook: Hempfield football leaning on strength coach Cortazzo

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Saturday, July 24, 2021 | 4:19 PM


If Hempfield football turns a corner and gets back into playoff contention again this fall, the Spartans might be able to thank their strength coach.

The team is working closely with Tim Cortazzo, who runs the reputable FSQ Sports Training in Trafford.

A Penn-Trafford grad, Cortazzo does a lot of sport-specific workouts with teams from across the WPIAL, including football, girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, girls volleyball and ice hockey at Penn-Trafford, his alma mater; along with Franklin Regional boys basketball and Serra Catholic boys and girls basketball.

“They have some really great kids who want to win, but they don’t know how to get to that point,” Cortazzo said of Hempfield. “And it all starts with their training. They have to show up every day, work harder than they ever have before and hold each other accountable throughout the process. My goal is to help coach (Mike) Brown provide that road map and be the best resource I can possibly be to make these kids more confident, better athletes.”

The players are responding to the new training.

“It’s going really good,” junior running back Gino Caesar said. “They have really helped with getting us faster and stronger. They are helping us learn to compete as well; Every rep we are competing against each other.”

I am Legend

Longtime Hempfield softball coach Bob Kalp announced his retirement last week after 25 years leading the Spartans.

Many of his colleagues and former players referred to Kalp as “The GOAT,” with some calling him a legend.

What does Kalp, the winner of 431 games and 11 championships, think of the regal status?

“I’m surprised,” he said. “Babe Ruth was a legend. I was just a regular guy trying to do the best job I could. I was extremely fortunate to have knowledgeable assistants and great players that made me look good.”

Kalp called his 2017 team “legendary.” That team finished 27-0.

“Only undefeated team in our softball history,” he said. “One of just five in our state softball history. That’s legendary.”

Brotherly love

Derry has a quarterback competition and a sibling rivalry all wrapped in one.

Senior Zach Revoir and his freshman brother, Brady, are battling for the starting nod. Both have seen reps in 7-on-7 workouts.

“We want to get both of them on the field,” Trojans coach Vince Skillings said.

Zach Revoir, who played tailback last season, isn’t putting pressure on himself or his brother.

“It’s a friendly competition,” he said. “Nothing but love for him, and I want to see him do well. We’re both going to play.”

Norwin coach

Norwin cut off applications on Monday for its boys basketball coaching vacancy. Interviews will begin soon, and the district hopes to have a coach named in August, athletic director Mike Burrell said.

Buddy Valinsky resigned as coach after two seasons.

Recruiting

North Catholic sophomore basketball player Alayna Rocco, the sister of former Penn-Trafford standout point guard Zach Rocco, picked up her second Division I scholarship offer. Akron reached out five days after Charlotte offered the talented guard.

• Greensburg Central Catholic senior Aaron Stasko, a wide receiver, defensive back and long snapper, has a scholarship offer from Wheeling, a Division II school in West Virginia. Stasko (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) also wrestles and plays lacrosse.

• Danny Dlugos, another Greensburg Central Catholic football player, has an opportunity to play at Bowdoin College, a Division III program in Brunswick, Maine. Dlugos (6-2, 220) is a fullback and middle linebacker for the Centurions.

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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