Westmoreland high school notebook: Ligonier Valley girls basketball opts out of WPIAL open playoffs

Monday, February 22, 2021 | 5:10 PM

Ligonier Valley still is getting its feet wet in the WPIAL sports scene, including girls basketball. A challenging first year showed the Rams what is necessary to compete in a new district. It also showed they are not quite ready for playoff competition.

At least that’s the sentiment of coach Emily Daugherty and school officials. Ligonier Valley opted out of the WPIAL’s open playoff tournament.

“Every team in our section has been very welcoming, and it’s great to be a part of the section that we are in,” Daugherty said. “The teams are tough and competitive, and it’s been a change of pace for our girls. We are playing up a (class) and know we have a lot to work on moving forward.”

Ligonier Valley is a Class 3A school but played in 4A for girls basketball. The Rams are 0-10 heading into Monday’s home game against Southmoreland. They are average just under 25 points per game.

“My goal is to rebuild this program and put these girls in the position to compete with any team in our section,” Daugherty said. “We know what we need to do in the offseason and are looking forward to getting started.”

Hempfield openings

Hempfield is looking to fill several coaching positions, including football coach after the resignation last week of Rich Bowen after nine seasons.

The field hockey job is vacant because coach Michelle Fischer was not retained after eight years in the position. The move to change coaches was opposed by several parents and students at Monday’s board meeting.

Fischer took over the program in 2013 when it was on the verge of folding.

Hempfield also is looking for a coach to lead its new girls golf program. Girls have played on a co-ed team for years.

The girls volleyball position also is open after the resignation of Kourtney Foriska.

Yac yards

Two more scholarhsip offers came in over the weekend for Penn-Trafford junior running back and defensive back Cade Yacamelli. Add Army and Lehigh to his list.

Yacamelli also has offers from Navy, Columbia, Brown and Harvard.

McChesney offered

Greensburg Salem junior lineman Billy McChesney has his first Division I scholarship offer. Lehigh reached out to the 6-foot-2, 265-pounder over the weekend.

McChesney, who also is a standout wrestler for the Golden Lions, is one of top offensive guards and defensive tackles in the WPIAL Class of 2022.

Spring training

The PIAA announced spring sports can begin practice March 8.

The first games and meets can be March 26.

Teams must complete 10 practices before starting competition.

Spring sports are baseball, softball, track and field, boys tennis.

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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