Westmoreland notebook: Kovalcin returns to coach Latrobe softball

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Saturday, December 21, 2019 | 6:53 PM


A familiar name is set to take over the Latrobe softball program.

Bob Kovalcin, who guided the Wildcats from 2004-12, was hired as coach.

Kovalcin, 62, guided Latrobe to three WPIAL titles in 2007, ‘08 and ‘11, along with several PIAA playoff appearances. He was an assistant from 1998-03.

He had a record of 141-49 with five section titles and only missed the playoffs once (2005).

Kovalcin replaces Rick Kozusko, who resigned in August after three seasons.

Kovalcin, active for years with Latrobe Little League softball, also served as an assistant ninth-grade football coach at Latrobe (1998-99) and was a varsity football assistant at Southmoreland from 2000-02.

Big day for LV

Ligonier Valley saw three of its linemen sign Division I letters of intent Wednesday — a fine way for the program to depart District 6 football.

Coach Roger Beitel, who will lead the Rams into the WPIAL next year, basked in the proud day.

He certainly is not taking credit for the scholarships earned by Michael Petrof (Navy), Christian Jablonski (Lehigh) and Wylie Spiker (St. Francis, Pa.).

“We see our program as more than a football team. We see it as a mentor program that happens to play football games,” Beitel said. “As the head coach, I am proud that the Ligonier Valley School District has provided these three young men the great opportunity to get great educations that will prepare them for their futures and, most importantly, allow them to begin their careers debt-free.”

Recruiting

Riley Stoner, the first female to wrestle at Greensburg Salem, will continue her career at Gannon.

Stoner was a a three-time Pennsylvania girls wrestling champion in the junior ranks and a two-time national girls placewinner. She also was the first female to place at the Westmoreland County Junior High School Wrestling Championships.

Gannon women’s wrestling is a second-year program.

• Belle Vernon senior Hannah Seitzinger signed a national letter of intent to run track at Duquesne. She specializes in the 400-meter run.

• Norwin junior football player Nick Fleming has an opportunity to play at Penn. Fleming is a tight end and middle linebacker but could be the Knights’ quarterback next season.

• Norwin senior lineman Aaron Bowen grabbed his first offer from Division II Wheeling.

• Ashleigh VanHorn, a senior soccer player at Hempfield, will continue her playing career at Pitt-Johnstown.

• Belle Vernon senior volleyball player Maria Lacoboni will play at Carlow.

• Yough senior football player Russel Pytlak received a scholarship offer from Division II Lake Erie. He also has an offer from Seton Hill. Pytlak is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound tight end and defensive end.

Lake Erie also offered Franklin Regional senior linebacker Justin Johns and Greensburg Central Catholic senior defensive back Chase Pisula.

Family ties

Greensburg Salem freshman basketball player Cadence Peters has the game in her genes.

Peters is the granddaughter of longtime Greensburg Central Catholic coach Rich Rosensteel.

In two stints, Rosensteel won more than 600 games and three WPIAL titles.

Cadence is the daughter of Laurel (Rosensteel) Peters. Rich’s other daughters were standout athletes.

Colleen Rosensteel competed in judo at the Olympics and was a standout on the Florida track and field team as a thrower. She works as a strength coach at South Fayette.

Beth Ann Rosensteel played basketball at Saint Vincent and is in the school’s Hall of Fame.

Heritage’s best

The District 6 Heritage Conference announced its fall all-conference teams.

Ligonier Valley had strong representation with the following athletes making the list: Braden Myers (cross country), Mara Myers (cross country), Jenna Moore (volleyball), Michael Petrof (football), Kyrie Miller (football), Christian Jablonski (football), Ryan Jones (golf), Maddy Pierce (golf) and Jon Rankin (golf).

WCCA events

With the winter boys basketball shootout in the books, the Westmoreland County Coaches Association has two more events coming up.

The wrestling championships will be Jan. 3-4 at Kiski Area.

The swimming and diving championships will be Jan. 24-25 at Derry.

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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