Westmoreland notebook: Heide ‘excited’ to be Latrobe athletic director

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Saturday, April 17, 2021 | 6:56 PM


Latrobe sports will be under the direction of Zac Heide, the newly named athletic director who has served as an assistant in the school’s athletic department since 2017.

Heide replaces Mark Mears, who is retiring from the position after 11 years but will remain as the Wildcats’ wrestling coach.

A former baseball standout at Mt. Pleasant and Seton Hill, Heide will take over full-time AD duties July 1.

At Seton Hill, “Ziggy” was a third-team All-American first baseman. His claim to fame at Mt. Pleasant was when he hit three grand slams in a season.

At 27, Heide will be one of the youngest ADs in the WPIAL.

“I am excited to continue creating relationships within the industry and the school district,” Heide said, “while watching our students and athletes grow and become successful, both on and off of the playing surfaces.”

Heide wants to help keep Latrobe on the map as a strong contender in various sports.

“Within the next five years, I hope to put a few more WPIAL championships in our trophy cases and increase the number of student-athletes going on to pursue collegiate careers,” he said. “Mr. Mears and I have created many opportunities to allow this to happen, and I feel that we are starting to see it pay off. With the recent facility upgrades we have made and the continued around-the-clock hard work put in by our athletes, these goals are within our reach.”

One of Heide’s teammates at Seton Hill was Ryan Hayden, a Hempfield grad and the athletic director at Jeannette.

Whitlock offered

Belle Vernon star football player Devin Whitlock has his first scholarship offer, from a Division II school in … Oklahoma?

It’s true. Whitlock announced an offer from East Central University of the Great American Conference. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Whitlock is a versatile playmaker who has played quarterback, running back and defensive back for Belle Vernon. His stock is expected to rise in football and basketball.

The East Central Tigers are located in Ada, Okla.

Some famous alumni include former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Paul Waner and former Pitt football coach Todd Graham.

Softball Tuesday

There are three games to watch Tuesday in local softball, including a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in Class 3A.

No. 1 Mt. Pleasant visits No. 2 Southmoreland in Section 3-3A. Class 5A No. 1 Penn-Trafford will have a tough out at Latrobe, and 6A No. 3 Hempfield hosts Norwin.

Twin pack

The Roundball Classic all-star basketball games will return next month to Geneva College and fans will be seeing double.

There might be some double-doubles on the court, but there are several on the rosters.

The event will feature four sets of twins. Organizer Allen Deep said the event never had one set of twins before, let alone four.

Two sets will play on the same team.

The siblings are Marcus and Sam Haswell of Laurel, who will play together on the boys’ Class 3A team; Kaylin and Emily Venick of Trinity (Class 5A girls); Jasmyn and Jayla Golden of Penn Hills (Class 5A girls); and Kenzie and Maddie Weiland of Beaver (4A girls).

“All of them are amazing,” Deep said. “This would be quite the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.”

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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