Westmoreland HS notebook: BVA’s Guess set to get his kicks at Pitt

Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 12:18 PM

Belle Vernon’s Cameron Guess made it all the way to No. 1 in the Kohl’s Kicking Camps national punter rankings last year for the Class of 2020.

Pitt made it to No. 1 on the senior’s list of college choices.

The strong-legged Guess announced recently his commitment to Pitt.

He received an offer Wednesday night to join the Panthers’ special teams unit and immediately accepted. Pitt was the offer he most wanted.

Guess also had offers from West Virginia, Kent State and Toledo.

“All I wanted was to wear blue and yellow since I was 2 years old,” Guess wrote on Twitter. “I’m staying home … Lock those gates … Hail to Pitt.”

Guess averaged 40 yards a punt this season and made 53 of 56 extra points for the Leopards (10-2), who finished as runners-up in WPIAL Class 4A. He was 1 of 2 on field goals with a make from 32 yards.

“It’s amazing,” Guess said. “I’ve always wanted to stay home and be a Panther.”

Guess said the commitment comes with a scholarship, and he will enroll in January.

“He is a special kid,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “He has great hang-time on punts, and he’s a great combo prospect. One of the strongest punt and kickoff legs in the country.”

At Pitt, he will join another Belle Vernon grad in lineman Blake Zubovic.

Wehner a winner

Someone from Westmoreland County earned a championship ring last Saturday at Heinz Field.

North Huntingdon’s Jim Wehner is an assistant coach for Central Catholic, which squeezed past Pine-Richland, 10-7, to win the WPIAL Class 6A title.

Wehner has been a head coach at Avonworth, Yough and Baldwin. He also served as a college assistant at Duquesne and Morehead State.

He coaches wide receivers at Central.

Wehner is the father of Norwin senior basketball player Jayla Wehner.

Local drought

Belle Vernon’s trip to Heinz Field marked the fifth straight year at least one Westmoreland team made the WPIAL football finals. None won a championship at Heinz in that span.

Jeannette came away with a Class A title in 2017, but that was at Robert Morris.

Runners-up at Heinz since 2015 are Penn-Trafford (2015, ‘17), Jeannette (‘15) and Derry (‘18).

Since the title games came to Heinz in the early 2000s, four local teams have won championships there: Franklin Regional (2005), Jeannette (‘06, ‘07) and Greensburg Central Catholic (‘09).

Apodiakos makes commitment

Belle Vernon standout soccer player Niko Apodiakos will continue his playing career at Seton Hill. The senior signed with the Griffins last week.

Apodiakos scored 15 goals with seven assists for the Leopards (17-2). He was second on the team with 37 points.

His brother, Markello, is Belle Veron’s all-time leading scorer. He is a freshman at Duquesne.

Frankovic a finalist

Norwin senior Eva Frankovic was one of three finalists for the first Kaitlyn Moe Rosensteel Award, which recognizes the WPIAL’s top girls soccer player.

Frankovic, a Pitt recruit, was one of the better defenders in WPIAL Class 4A.

Mars junior midfielder Ellie Coffield won the award after helping the Fighting Planets (22-0-1) win WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA titles.

Rosensteel, a former soccer standout at Ringgold, died in June.

North Allegheny junior forward Sarah Schupansky also was a finalist.

Twenty-four players were nominated by a 10-person committee of coaches, observers and media members.

PWO for LaCarte

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Ben LaCarte received an offer to play football at Duquesne as a preferred walk-on. That means he can join the team and earn a scholarship.

LaCarte (6-foot-1, 175 pounds), a wide receiver and defensive back, had 29 receptions for 335 yards and six touchdowns this season and had eight interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown.

Labuda’s records

Nolan Labuda scored the only touchdown for Belle Vernon in last Saturday’s 41-7 loss to perennial power Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL Class 4A championship at Heinz Field.

The wide receiver, who pulled in a scoring pass from senior quarterback Jared Hartman, will leave the program with his name all over the Leopards’ record book.

He has records for career receptions (68), receiving touchdowns (18) and interceptions (13), as well as single-season marks for receptions (48), receiving touchdowns (12) and single-game touchdowns (six).

Eisaman at GS

Former Greensburg Central Catholic girls basketball coach Joe Eisaman is back with a new team.

Eisaman will be an assistant this season with the Greensburg Salem boys. He is a Golden Lions’ alum.

Softball openings

Latrobe and Yough are expected to name softball coaches in early December.

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

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