Westmoreland notebook: County well-represented in Big 5/6 selections

Saturday, March 13, 2021 | 6:31 PM

The Big 5/6 Conference, which recognizes the accomplishments of teams and athletes in the WPIAL’s two largest classifications, announced all-section teams for basketball and a number of Westmoreland County players made the list.

In Class 6A, Hempfield senior guards Christian Zilli and Michael Hosni, Penn-Trafford senior guard Josh Kapcin, and senior guard Ty Bilinsky and sophomore swingman Adam Bilinsky of Norwin made the Section 3 first team.

The Big 5/6 gave a special nod to Ty Bilinsky despite the guard missing most of the season because of health issues. He also has been invited to the Roundball Classic all-star event in May.

Section 3-5A had two local first-teamers: Latrobe senior guard Ryan Sickenberger and senior forward Kadyn Hannah of Franklin Regional.

For the girls, Section 1-6A first-team selections included Penn-Trafford junior guard Maura Suman, and junior forward Brianna Zajicek and senior guard Danielle Rosso from Norwin.

And in Section 4-5A, junior guard Abby Mankins (Greensburg Salem), and junior center Anna Rafferty and sophomore forward Emma Blair of Latrobe were first-teamers.

Bowen to Norwin?

Rich Bowen recently resigned as football coach at Hempfield after nine seasons but it doesn’t look like he will be out of the game for long.

Bowen might soon be coaching with his son, closer to home.

Norwin is scheduled to vote soon on hiring Bowen as an assistant coach on Dave Brozeski’s staff. Bowen lives in North Huntingdon.

Additionally, Bowen’s son, Sean, also is on the agenda to be brought on as an assistant. Sean Bowen is a former Norwin quarterback. His brother, Aaron, was a lineman for the Knights and graduated last year.

Rich Bowen was 30-55 with four WPIAL playoff appearances at Hempfield after a successful stint at Serra Catholic, where he won a WPIAL title.

Elizabeth Forward, Yough and Waynesburg University were other coaching stops. He planned to remain as assistant athletic director at Hempfield until his contract ends in June.

Spring break

Circle March 26 as opening day for a number of spring sports in the WPIAL.

Baseball, softball, track and field, boys volleyball and lacrosse teams can begin games and matches that day.

Boys tennis teams will begin competition Monday.

Teams in all spring sports began practicing March 8.


Greensburg Salem football player Billy McChesney, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound junior lineman, continues to draw interest from Division I and II colleges.

McChesney added Seton Hill to his list last week. The Griffins join Lehigh and Penn as schools that offered the Golden Lions’ standout.

• Norwin senior Brooke Alexander signed to continue her track and field career at St. Francis (Pa.). Alexander throws the shot put.

• Southmoreland senior Andrew Rodriguez is headed to Waynesburg, where he plans to continue kicking and punting for the football team. Rodriguez also was one of the Scotties’ top soccer players last fall.

• Cade Cavanaugh, a senior at Greensburg Salem, will continue his basketball career at Division III Penn College of Technology in Williamsport. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Cavanaugh averaged 9 points per game this season for the Golden Lions, who moved up to Class 6A. He was a two-year starter.

• Another Greensburg Salem football player, Joey McGough, will continue his playing career at Saint Vincent. McGough (6-3, 285) is a senior lineman.

• Kaylyn Odelli, s senior at Yough, will further her softball career at John Carroll. Odelli was slated to move from shortstop to catcher for the Cougars last year before the season was canceled because of the pandemic.

• Yough senior football player Cody Bogac also will play at Saint Vincent. He played wide receiver, free safety and running back for the Cougars.

• Another Yough senior, Vincent Martin, will play baseball at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

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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