Westmoreland high school notebook: Weather slows work on Penn-Trafford baseball field

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Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 6:49 PM


Look to the right while cruising up the driveway to Penn-Trafford High School, and it is clear change is happening at the baseball field.

When it is not blocked by construction vehicles, the infield glistens on a sunny day.

That is because Penn-Trafford is installing artificial turf to the infield and a better drainage system to counter adverse weather conditions. The project, however, is behind schedule because of a wet fall and and early stretch of winter that has followed suit.

The grass outfield is dug up, but that phase of the project is on hold until the ground dries.

Plan B already is in the works for the Warriors to play home games at another location — most likely Seton Hill — until their home field is completed.

The first spring practice date for baseball is March 2. The first games can be played March 20.

“We’re talking with Seton Hill, which already has been so generous to us in the past,” Penn-Trafford athletic director Kerry Hetrick said. “It’s a great facility and a far cry from a step down. We’re also talking to some other people about places to practice. We just hit a roadblock with the weather. That’s the hand we were dealt.”

The Warriors’ softball field also is undergoing construction, but Hetrick thinks that facility will be ready on time for the season. A new backstop is in place, as well as new fencing down the baselines.

The softball field, which also will have a turf infield, required less excavation, Hetrick said, so it was started before the baseball field.

Penn-Trafford won the PIAA Class 5A softball championship last season, the first state title for the school in any sport.

Norwin also is getting a turf infield on its softball field.

PFN all-state

The Pennsylvania Football News announced its all-state teams last week, and a number of Westmoreland players made the list.

Franklin Regional senior Anthony Bonacci made the Class 5A first team as a center, and Franklin Regional senior Justin Johns was a second-team linebacker. Penn-Trafford senior quarterback Gabe Dunlap made the Class 5A second team, and his teammate, Ethan Carr, was picked as a second-team wide receiver.

Also in 5A, Kameron Stevens of Latrobe was a second-team kick/punt returner.

In Class 3A, Yough junior C.J Waldier and Burrell senior Seth Fischbach made the second team as wide receivers, and C.J. Layne of Yough was picked as a second-team linebacker.

In Class 2A, Ligonier Valley senior Michael Petrof made the first team on defense as a defensive tackle, and the Rams’ Christian Jablonski, a senior defensive end, also was a first-teamer, and running back Kyrie Miller was a second-team pick.

Among the Class A selections were: Jeannette seniors Justin Cramer (first-team linebacker) and Jackson Pruit (first-team cornerback), Greensburg Central Catholic senior Luke Mazowiecki (second-team cornerback), Jeannette senior lineman Zach Crutchman (second-team offensive tackle), and Greensburg Central Catholic senior Chase Pisula (second-team defensive end).

Recruiting

Belle Vernon senior football player Max Bryer decided to continue his playing career at Kenyon, a Division III program in Gambier, Ohio. Bryer (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) played center and defensive end for the Leopards, who made the WPIAL Class 4A championship game this season.

He was a first-team all-conference center.

• Greensburg Central Catholic senior Ben LaCarte, a standout wide receiver and defensive back, picked up a preferred walk-on offer from St. Francis (Pa.). LaCarte (6-1, 175) had a team-best 29 receptions for 335 yards and six touchdowns this season and added eight interceptions and 41 tackles.

• Jeannette senior lineman Zach Crutchman received a scholarship offer from Seton Hill. Crutchman (6-2, 240), stood out as a down offensive lineman and defensive end for the Jayhawks.

• Franklin Regional senior center/defensive tackle Anthony Bonacci also was offered by Seton Hill.

• Latrobe senior wrestler Ricky Armstrong, a 145-pounder, committed to Seton Hill.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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