Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin’s Salopek draws more offers

Saturday, February 23, 2019 | 7:11 PM

Jack Salopek knows the recruiting process soon might be coming at him hot and heavy, like a rush linebacker in a Friday night conference game.

But the Norwin junior quarterback is adjusting and seems prepared for the onslaught.

“I think I’m handling it pretty well,” he said. “I try not to let it get to me.”

Cool under pressure, that junior with the strong arm and ability to escape.

Salopek received two more scholarship offers last week, from Youngstown State and Duquesne.

His schedule includes an array of visits, not uncommon for a player in his situation, but a lot nonetheless.

He has been to Pitt a few times, has met with Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and said he keeps in contact with Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi.

Pitt offered Salopek in June.

Massachusetts also offered.

“I want to be committed before my senior season starts,” Salopek said. “But any time between then I would be happy with.”

He visited Western Michigan on Friday.

Additional trips that could prove fruitful include Michigan State, Akron and Kent State.

“Jack is really handling it all well,” Norwin coach Dave Brozeski said. “He has a good head on his shoulders and really good support around him. (Recruiting) is a little different for a quarterback.”

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Salopek completed 116 of 226 passes for 1,790 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. With Norwin recently producing a pair of Division I players in linebacker Gianni Rizzo (Youngstown State) and safety Jayvon Thrift (West Virginia), Salopek knows advice isn’t far.

“I know that I can always go to those guys for help or if I have questions,” he said. “They are both great kids.”


Hempfield junior lineman Fintan Brose added an offer from Kent State to his growing list. The 6-3, 280-pound two-way tackle’s other offers are from Vanderbilt, Fordham, William & Mary and Bowling Green.

Franklin Regional wide receiver and strong safety Devon Powell (5-10, 160) said he will continue his football career at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster. Thaddeus Stevens is in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The versatile Powell had 10 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns and 21 carries for 169 yards. He went 3-for-3 passing with a touchdown and had 47 tackles and three interceptions on defense.

• Norwin senior softball player Hailee Culbertson committed to Alderson Broaddus. She was a first-team all-section player last season when she hit .354 with 10 stolen bases. She helped turn seven double plays.

New BVA coach

Belle Vernon hired former assistant Tracy Lovett as its girls soccer coach.

Lovett coached alongside the late Paul Stasko but left in 2015 when he resigned.

Lovett replaces Tom Cameron, whose position was opened in December despite pleas from current players to keep him as coach.

Belle Vernon went 13-4 and did not lose a section game last season.

Appropriately, from Lovett’s perspective, the Leopards will open the season by hosting the third annual Paul Sasko Kickoff Classic on Aug. 31.

Roundball Classic

Charity hoops maestro Allen Deep announced the annual Roundball Classic all-star basketball event has added a seventh game.

The Roundball will be April 12-13 at Geneva College. The schedule will include three boys games April 12 and two girls games and two boys games April 13.

Deep said the player selection process is underway.

New-look section

WPIAL boys basketball Section 3-A added two teams for next season. Aquinas Academy (Hampton) and Propel Montour (Robinson Township) will move in and join Clairton, Greensburg Central Catholic, Imani Christian, Leechburg, Propel Andrew Street and St. Joseph.

Trinity Christian was in Section 3 previously but opted not to play in the WPIAL.

The WPIAL will fully realign before the 2020-21 season.

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