Westmoreland notebook: Belle Vernon’s Baron joins long list of linemen with Division I offers

Saturday, June 1, 2019 | 7:44 PM

Lineman looks to be the premier position for the upcoming high school football season in Westmoreland County.

At least six incoming seniors have Division I scholarship offers, with Belle Vernon’s Hayden Baron joining the conversation last weekend.

Baron, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound offensive guard and defensive tackle, received his first FCS offer, from Valparaiso.

The centerpiece of the local group appears to be Hempfield’s Fintan Brose, a 6-4, 280-pound two-way linemen who has 10 FBS offers, including from Vanderbilt, Navy, Ohio, Tulane, Florida International, UMass, Buffalo, Akron, Kent State and Bowling Green — and about a dozen FCS offers.

Ligonier Valley has been on the GPS locators of a number of college coaches, who are showing interest in a trio of Rams linemen.

Michael Petrof (6-2, 275), a defensive tackle and offensive guard, is nearing a dozen offers, a number of which are from the Ivy League and FCS, but also include Air Force, Navy and Youngstown State. Christian Jablonski, the Rams’ 6-5, 260-pound defensive end and offensive tackle, has a handful of FCS offers, including Lehigh, Fordham, Richmond and Dartmouth. And watch 6-3, 260-pound two-way tackle Wylie Spiker, who just grabbed an offer from Duquesne.

Derry’s Max Malis (6-3, 270), a defensive end and offensive tackle, has an offer from Air Force.

PIAA sites

Five Westmoreland teams will begin play Monday in the PIAA baseball and softball playoffs.

The Penn-Trafford baseball team, which finished runner-up to Pine-Richland in WPIAL Class 6A, opens against Wilson at 4 p.m. at Wenger Field in Fredericksburg, and Franklin Regional plays Cathedral Prep at 4 p.m. at Neshannock in the Class 5A baseball first round.

Hempfield softball just won its fifth consecutive WPIAL title — seventh overall — and will begin the PIAA playoffs as a three-time defending champion. The Spartans play Chambersburg in the first round at 5 p.m. at Seton Hill.

A local softball doubleheader will be played at Penn State: Mt. Pleasant plays Bellefonte at noon in Class 4A, followed by Penn-Trafford and Central Mountain at 2:30 p.m. in 5A.

All-star football

A pair of local wide receivers will play in the “Never Fear Be Different” All-Star Game set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Cupples Stadium on the South Side.

Jeannette’s Marcus Barnes, a William & Mary recruit, will suit up for Team Never Fear, and Mike Evans, a Robert Morris commit, will play for Team Different.

Another all-star game, the 49th Ken Lantzy Classic, will be played 7 p.m. June 14 at Johnstown. Four Ligonier Valley players will suit up for the North squad in quarterback John Caldwell, wide receivers Aaron Tutino and Zach Beitel and defensive lineman Blake Bridge.

Gold Bowl

Belle Vernon announced teams for its Gold Bowl 7-on-7 football passing tournament set for 9 a.m. July 20 at James Weir Stadium. Frazier, Yough, Southmoreland, Connellsville, McKeesport and Burrell will compete with the host Leopards.


Franklin Regional’s Tommy Kegerreis, a senior outfielder, will continue his baseball career at Mesa Community College in Arizona. Kegerreis will help lead the Panthers into the PIAA Class 5A playoffs, set to begin Monday.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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