Westmoreland notebook: GCC grad Ritenour takes major steps toward college golf

Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 5:17 PM

If Ben Ritenour didn’t think he was ready for college golf coming out of high school, he probably does now.

A 2020 graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic, Ritenour had an outstanding summer playing competitively, winning the Tri-State PGA Player of the Year in the Boys’ 17-18 age division.

That came after he carded Junior PGA tournament wins at Ligonier Country Club and Green Oaks Country Club.

Ritenour followed that success by winning the Pittsburgh Fall Open on the Hurricane Junior Tour last weekend at Totteridge Golf Club.

As for college golf, Ritenour is taking a gap year before entering college. He is considering Central Michigan, where he would play golf.

This fall, he returned to GCC and helped athletic director Dan Mahoney coach the boys golf team.

“He was a leader during the 2020 season and was a great help to our young players this past season,” Mahoney said.

A PIAA qualifier who finished tied for ninth at the WPIAL Class 2A championship when he was a senior, Ritenour took up golf during the summer before high school, playing with his grandfather in a Monday morning league at Irwin Country Club.

His sister, Lauren, won two WPIAL 2A pole vault titles before competing collegiately at Wheeling Jesuit and Seton Hill.

Hershberger breaks record

Penn-Trafford sophomore field hockey player Ava Hershberger broke the Warriors’ single-season record for goals in a season with her 35th tally in a 9-0 win over Latrobe.

The previous mark was 34 held by Amanda Steffy from 2012. Hershberger also reached the 50-goal mark for her career.

Tight match

Latrobe and Hempfield staged quite a finish to Section 3-4A play Thursday, their final match before the WPIAL volleyball playoffs.

Latrobe won, 3-2, with set scores of 25-15, 25-23, 19-25, 19-25 and 15-12.

Lily Fenton led the Wildcats with 14 kills, 39 assists and 11 digs, while Anna Rafferty had 13 kills and five blocks. Elle Snyder finished with 11 kills and 13 digs, and Bailey Watson had 17 digs.

For Hempfield, Liz Tapper had 15 kills, Katelyn Ross added 10 kills and Morgan Rosensteel logged 45 assists.

Fabean sweep

Greensburg Central Catholic first-year boys soccer coach Rob Fabean and his son, Mason, a senior standout midfielder for the Centurions, picked up some hardware after GCC won the Section 2-A title.

Rob Fabean shared section coach of the year honors with Ben Kost of Trinity Christian, and Mason Fabean was named the section player of the year.

GCC (12-3), the No. 1 seed in WPIAL Class A and fourth-ranked team in the state, opens the WPIAL playoffs Tuesday.

Lorenz update

Some soccer fans might wonder what became of former Franklin Regional standout midfielder Zach Lorenz, who graduated in 2020.

Lorenz is playing soccer at Woodstock Academy, a first-year prep school in Woodstock, Conn.

Lorenz, who scored a goal in the Centaurs’ first victory — 3-2 over the MLS New England Revolution Next Team.

Recently, he was named to the Top 11 list of noncommitted seniors in his class by Prepsoccer.net.

Hoop talk

It’s never too early in the fall season to start thinking about basketball in the winter.

Practice begins Nov. 19.

As normalcy continues to make its way back to high school sports, showcase events such as the Shootout at Seton Hill are set to return.

Organizer Allen Deep released the field for the one-day, 10-team showcase set for Jan. 30 at Seton Hill.

The matchups are: Greensburg Central Catholic vs. Franklin Regional (girls), 1 p.m.; Homer-Center vs. Franklin Regional (boys), 2:30; Indiana vs. Southmoreland (girls), 4; Latrobe vs. Greensburg Central Catholic (boys), 6; and Geibel vs. Jeannette (boys), 7:30.

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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