Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford football team honored in Harrisburg

Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 4:24 PM

Penn-Trafford traveled to Hershey to win a state football championship. The Warriors went to Harrisburg to be recognized for it.

The WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A champs were honored Tuesday at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Players and coaches were announced in the house and senate before touring the capital and meeting several state legislators.

The Warriors went 13-2 and brought home the school’s first WPIAL and state titles in football.

“Representative (George) Dunbar and Senator (Kim) Ward and their staffs provided our kids a priceless opportunity,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “We were able to sit in on sessions in both the senate and house … and just experience something we never would have been able to before. The architecture and artwork of the inside of every area was incredible. It was unique and something we all really enjoyed.”

Remembering Thomas

Jeannette has been wearing new basketball uniforms this season. The all-red Nike outfits with “Jeannette” across the chest in white lettering, were a special gift meant to honor the memory of a former Jayhawks player.

An anonymous donor purchased the uniforms to remember Brian Thomas, a 1996 Jeannette graduate and sharp-shooting guard, who died Sept. 26, 2021.

The Jayhawks soon will have a “BT” patch put on the jerseys to recognize Thomas, who wore No. 11.

Jeannette coach Adrian Batts said one of Brian’s former teammates contacted him about the unidentified donor’s idea for the uniforms.

Without hesitation, Batts was glad to accept and grant the request.

“I was speechless after the call,” Batts said. “I knew Brian from attending events in Jeannette. I didn’t know the impact he had on the basketball program. He had some huge games in his career shooting the ball and was loved by his teammates and friends.

“We will continue to honor No. 11 every time we step on the floor.”

Thomas’ younger brother, Jordan, was a standout at Jeannette and Seton Hill.


The Power Five scholarship offers continue to roll in for Belle Vernon sophomore Quinton Martin.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound running back/defensive back added Boston College and Cincinnati to his growing list, which now includes 14 Division I offers.

Greensburg Salem quarterback Hayden Teska, who is coming off a career senior season, will play locally at Seton Hill. Teska completed 135 of 280 passes for 2,137 yards and 20 touchdowns. He led the WPIAL in passing yards late into the regular season.

Seton Hill plays its home games at Greensburg Salem’s Offutt Field.

• Danny Dlugos, a senior football standout at Greensburg Central Catholic, accepted an offer to play at Mercyhurst. He was a fullback and linebacker. Slowed by a knee injury, Dlugos played seven games this past season but made 40 tackles and rushed for 323 yards.

• Senior two-way lineman Kory Ansell of Southmoreland announced his commitment to Cal (Pa.). The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Ansell was a two-year captain and three-time all-conference player for the Scotties during their return to WPIAL prominence.

• Senior Jack Bryer, a key fullback and inside linebacker for Belle Vernon during its run to the WPIAL Class 4A football championship game, will play at Case Western Reserve.

He is expected to play either linebacker of H-back.

Norwin senior lineman Jacob Yough committed to Division II Notre Dame College in Ohio. Notre Dame also landed Gateway senior receiver/defensive back Brett Birch, who transferred from Jeannette.

• More Belle Vernon news: Senior Logan Hoffman will continue his wrestling career at UNC-Pembroke, a Division II program that competes in the Mountain East Conference. Hoffman also was a key football player for the Leopards.

Norwin senior quarterback Luke Levendosky picked up a scholarship offer from West Virginia Wesleyan of the Division II Mountain East Conference.

• Senior Tatum Lucero, a Geibel senior who plays for Southmoreland’s girls soccer team as part of a co-op, signed to play collegiately at Point Park.

Southmoreland senior Taylor Klingensmith, her teammate, signed with Pitt-Greensburg.

• Penn-Trafford senior soccer goalkeeper AJ Visco was offered a roster spot at St. Francis (Pa.). He also has a Division II offer from Cal (Pa.).

Mt. Pleasant senior Riley Czekaj will compete in track & field and cross country at Cal (Pa.).

Hempfield senior Lily Murphy will run track and cross country at Saint Vincent.

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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