Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford to dedicate bench to late pitcher

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Friday, March 26, 2021 | 11:40 PM


Penn-Trafford will officially dedicate its bench monument to late standout pitcher Maclean Maund on Monday in a short ceremony before the baseball team’s season-opening game against Connellsville.

It also will be the Warriors’ first game on the new turf infield in Harrison City.

Maund was killed in a vehicle accident on Route 130 near Jeannette in January of 2020. The 18-year-old was set to make an impact with the Seton Hill baseball team.

Like the rest of the WPIAL, the Warriors lost a season last year over the pandemic. But unlike others, they also lost a talented alum and beloved teammate.

The Penn-Trafford Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) raised money to purchase the marble bench in the name of Maund.

On Monday at around 3:50 p.m., both teams will stand along the baselines and the bench, located at the top of hillside on the third base side, will be dedicated.

Shortly after, Maund’s parents will hand over a baseball for the first pitch. The game begins at 4.

Penn-Trafford initially was going to host Norwin, but the game was postponed to April 9 due to covid-related closures at the schools.

Penn-Trafford’s softball opener against Mt. Pleasant scheduled for Friday will now be 4:15 p.m. Monday in Harrison City. The game features two of the top teams in the state, Penn-Trafford in Class 5A, Mt. Pleasant in 3A.

Yeschenko takes over

Al Yeschenko had a good couple of days. He guided a Beadling Club ‘07 boys soccer team to a tournament championship Sunday in Delaware.

On Monday, he was hired as the boys head soccer coach at Belle Vernon.

Yeschenko, 47, was an assistant last year with the man he is replacing, Rob Miele, who guided the Leopards for the last four seasons. Yeschenko, who has been involved with Belle Vernon youth baseball, basketball and soccer for the past eight years, coached the West Mifflin girls for two years. He is a health and physical education teacher at West Mifflin.

He also coached golf, basketball and baseball at the varsity level at West Mifflin.

Miele had a record of 57-14-4 with two section titles and four playoff appearances. He holds the best winning percentage by a coach in program history (.787).

Belle Vernon finished 14-3 this season, losing 2-1 to Indiana in a shootout in the first round of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

Don’t look for Yeschenko to change too much stylistically with the Leps, but expect some tweaks.

“I really liked what the staff at BVA was doing,” he said. “I plan to continue much of what is already there, but I need to put my own personality on the program.”

Yeschenko retained Jamey Caldwell as an assistant.

“The players are familiar with our expectations,” Yeschenko said, “so I expect them to adapt quickly to anything we add to the already successful system.”

Cernuto to W&J

Southmoreland senior Zach Cernuto will continue his football career at Washington & Jefferson. A quarterback and outside linebacker, Cernuto (6-0, 200) said he could move to H-back with the Presidents.

A three-time all-conference quarterback, Cernuto is the Scotties’ all-time passing leader with 4,797 yards and 44 touchdowns. He finished with 52 total TDs and was one of the top tacklers on defense last season.

His career passing total ranks sixth in Westmoreland County.

Advantage, FR

Franklin Regional has a strong boys tennis team, which is not a huge surprise with the success of longtime coach Howard Fisher.

But even Fisher was impressed with a recent result. The Panthers blanked Connellsville, 5-0, and did not allow a single point in the entire match.

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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