Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford football was part of last championship weekend in Hershey

Saturday, February 26, 2022 | 4:05 PM

It turns out Penn-Trafford was the last Westmoreland County team to celebrate a PIAA football title in Hershey.

The PIAA came out with some shocking news last week, announcing it was moving the state football championships to Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg.

The finals have been played at Hershey for the last 24 years.

The PIAA soccer finals, another traditional stop in Hershey, also are shifting to Cumberland Valley for the 2022-25 finals.

Penn-Trafford edged past Imhotep Charter, 17-14, on Dec. 10 to cap a championship season.

“We feel very privileged that we got to be the last state championship win at Hershey,” Warriors junior tight end Conlan Greene said. “It’s definitely an experience I feel every high school football player should have at least once. To go out on the field knowing you’re the last two teams to play in the state, it almost brings a new edge and physicality to the game.”

Hershey’s Kisses and chocolate bars became party favors for WPIAL teams that won state semifinal games. That custom will be gone with the site change, not to mention teams visiting Chocolate World and making the visit to Hershey an experience. It was the same deal for soccer teams.

Penn-Trafford (13-2) hopes to make a run at a WPIAL and PIAA repeat in 5A, but it will be somewhat different should the Warriors return to the PIAA super bowl.

“It’s definitely not going be the same,” Greene said. “People won’t be throwing Hershey candies on the field after the semifinal game.”

Semifinal doubleheader

A pair of local basketball teams will play back-to-back Tuesday in the WPIAL semifinals.

The doubleheader will be at Gateway High School in Monroeville.

The Southmoreland girls (18-3) will play Knoch (20-2) at 6 p.m. in 4A, followed by the Greensburg Central Catholic boys (18-3) against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (21-0) at 8 in 2A.

Fetter wins

Latrobe senior football player Bobby Fetter was the winner of the Pittsburgh Community Service Award through the Challenge Program.

Fetter and teammate Tyler Lynch developed “Cats’ Pride,” a program where they took in donated sports equipment for young athletes to refurbish and use.

Fetter will receive a check for $1,000 and a plaque at the Crystal Owl Gala on April 28 at the William Penn Hotel ballroom.

“I hope anyone who has followed this story tries to give back to their community and their athletes,” Fetter said.

When their program was first launched, Fetter and Lynch received a $1,500 grant from a local donor, and another $1,000 from Dick’s Sporting Goods. They had an essay contest for Latrobe elementary students with the winners getting a shopping spree at Dick’s.

Fetter hopes his initiative can grow into a Westmoreland County-wide project.

Kennedy resigns

Longtime local soccer coach Tom Kennedy resigned as boys coach at Latrobe after seven seasons.

He coached the Wildcats for five years, took a year off, then guided the team the last two seasons. His record was 48-59-5.

Kennedy, who also coached at Westmoreland County Community College, led the Greensburg Central Catholic boys team for 18 years. At GCC, he went 231-85-7 with three WPIAL championships and 10 section titles.

Overall, Kennedy won 279 games at the high school level.

Latrobe football coach

Latrobe did not hire a football coach at its last board meeting as initially forecast.

Athletic director Zac Heide said interviews are ongoing, and candidates are being evaluated.

He said the district hopes to have a candidate ready for a vote in March.

Jason Marucco resigned in December after eight seasons as the Wildcats’ coach.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Tags: , , ,

More High School Football

Former Franklin Regional football player Joe Purdue remembered for kindness, positivity
Armstrong’s Cadin Olsen repeats as Willie Thrower Award winner
‘Emotional leader’ Gavin Moul caps Bethel Park career with Big 33 appearance
Armstrong’s Olsen, the 2022 winner, leads candidates for Thrower Award
GCC football standout Dlugos will tour Italy with American all-star team