Westmoreland notebook: Mid Mon Valley hall of fame selects newest class

Sunday, March 10, 2024 | 4:16 PM

Longtime Belle Vernon softball coach Tom Rodriguez, former Monessen football standout Joe Como and late Belle Vernon administrator Steve Russell are part of the 29th Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame class.

The class will be inducted June 21 at St. Spyridon’s Hellenic Center in Monessen.

Rodriguez has been the Leopards’ leading man since 2002 and has a career record of 303-143 with five WPIAL championships, including one last season.

Como, a 1975 Monessen alum, was an all-state fullback and linebacker who went on to play at IUP and Salem.

Russell, known as a Belle Vernon historian, was a teacher, principal and superintedent in the district. He was a key member of the hall of fame committee and an originator of the BVA hall of fame.


In a rare treat for local basketball fans, the Jeannette (18-9) and Greensburg Central Catholic (23-4) boys will play each other in the PIAA Class 2A second round.

The game will tip at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Norwin.

Both teams won state openers Saturday. Jeannette handled District 10 champion Iroquois, 58-32, in Erie. GCC hosted District 5 runner-up Windber and won 57-42.

GCC swept the Jayhawks in section play this season. The teams have not met in the state tournament since 2012 when current Centurions coach Christian Hyland was a sophomore point guard.

Crosby offered

Samir Crosby, a sophomore football standout at Greensburg Central Catholic, received his second NCAA Division I scholarship offer, from Miami of Ohio, the alma mater of former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Crosby, who also has an offer from UNLV, has played running back, receiver, quarterback and defensive back for the Centurions.

Last season, he led the team in all-purpose yards (1,874), tackles (107), receptions (35) and receiving yards (690).

Crosby (5-foot-10, 175 pounds) also ran for 634 yards, passed for 311 and accounted for 22 touchdowns.

State champs

With five local teams winning their first-round games over the weekend, a PIAA basketball championship is a possibility for the area.

A local team hasn’t won a state title in 16 years.

Four boys teams from Westmoreland County have won state titles in basketball: Irwin (1947, ’48, ’53, ’54), Valley (1979), Monessen (1988, ’89) and Jeannette (2008).

Local girls PIAA hoop champions are: Franklin Regional (1979), Greensburg Central Catholic (1997) and Monessen (2004).

Spring in their step

The WPIAL spring sports season gets underway Monday with the start of boys tennis matches, likely indoors.

The other sports — baseball, softball, track & field, boys lacrosse and boys volleyball — are scheduled to start Friday.

Tryouts and practice began last 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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