Westmoreland notebook: Latrobe adds football opponent

Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 8:00 PM

Penn-Trafford football dropped a bombshell recently when it announced it will play national power Washington High in Massillon, Ohio, to fill a void on its schedule.

Struggling Albert Gallatin withdrew from the WPIAL in football, leaving teams in the Class 5A Big East Conference with an open week to fill.

Two other Westmoreland teams also play in the Big East but only one has remedied the missing game. Latrobe will play Class 4A Midd-West High School in Middleburg, about 60 miles east of State College.

Midd-West has only had football for one year after a 20-year hiatus.

The sport was approved last year with the help of an NFL grant.

The Mustangs, who went 5-5, will host Latrobe on Oct. 18.

Franklin Regional still is looking for an opponent but athletic director Zach Kessler said there are “a few irons in the fire.”

Penn-Trafford will take a road trip to play the vaunted Washington Tigers on Sept. 20 at the school’s Paul Brown Stadium.

Washington will be quite a change from Albert Gallatin. It won a game by 96 points last season (101-6). Penn-Trafford beat Albert Gallatin last season, 70-0, in a game where the third and fourth quarters were shortened to 8 minutes.

All-star football

Norwin had two players selected for the PSFCA East-West all-star football game, but it is possible neither will play.

Linebacker Gianni Rizzo and Jayvon Thrift could skip the game.

Youngstown State recruit Rizzo wants to avoid injury and will not play in the game, set for May 5 at Mansion Park in Altoona. Thrift already is enrolled at West Virginia.

Rizzo recently played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Texas.


Franklin Regional senior football player Mike Evans is becoming more popular with college programs as signing day nears.

Division I and II players can sign Feb. 6.

Evans, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound big-play receiver and defensive back, has a number of offers of the preferred walk-on and scholarship variety from Division I, II and III schools.

Schools interested include St. Francis (Pa.), Robert Morris, Villanova, Millersville, Juniata, Westminster and Moravian. He expected to be in contact with additional schools.

No rest for the … Derry

Derry’s boys basketball team has winter weather to thank for a brutal stretch on its Section 1-4A schedule. The Trojans (12-5, 5-2) were supposed to play at No. 5 Knoch on Friday but the game was postponed.

It will be played Monday before the Trojans host Highlands on Tuesday.

Knoch (13-5, 7-1) and Highlands (13-5, 8-1) sit atop the section standings. Like those teams, Derry already has clinched a WPIAL playoff spot.

BV adds coach

Belle Vernon’s Rob Miele added a familiar face to his boys soccer coaching staff.

Chris Stasicha, who was coach of the Leopards from 2003-10, will join the team as an assistant.

Stasicha had a record of 110-42-12 in eight seasons, including two section titles, six WPIAL playoff appearances and one PIAA playoff trip.

Belle Vernon won a school-record 20 games in Stasicha’s final season.

Hipps to SVC

Reed Hipps, one of the top basketball players at Hempfield, will continue his playing career at Saint Vincent.

A third-year starting guard, Hipps is averaging nine points, four rebounds and three assists this season.

Recruiting trail

Slippery Rock football is getting a package deal of linemen from Belle Vernon, and also a solid pass-catcher from Norwin.

Anthony Rebar and Eric Oblak of Belle Vernon and receiver Billy Kerston of Norwin committed to play for the D-II Rock.

Rebar is a 6-foot-3, 240-pound offensive tackle and defensive end for the Leopards, and Oblak (6-3, 230) played center and defensive end. Kerston led Norwin last season with 27 receptions for 409 yards and four touchdowns.

• Southmoreland senior Ronnie Robinson committed to Division II Alderson Broaddus. He was recruited to play running back and chose the Battlers over Waynesburg, Washington & Jefferson and Thiel. Robinson (5-9, 185) ran for 1,312 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.

• Standout linebacker Niko Rosso of Penn-Trafford is headed to John Carroll in Ohio. Rosso last season registered 93 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions. The senior (6-1, 210) will play linebacker in college.

• Penn-Trafford senior placekicker Keaton Hier and Hempfield senior tight end Clay Metz each picked up an offer from Cal (Pa.). Metz also has an offer from Millersville and a preferred walk-on opportunity with Duquesne.

• Latrobe senior placekicker Nathan Clair has an offer from IUP.

• Belle Vernon’s Hunter Martin committed to Seton Hill for cross country and track and field.

• Greensburg Central Catholic soccer player Sean Gargan will continue his playing career at Mercyhurst.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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