Westmoreland notebook: Youngstown State right fit for Norwin’s Rigone

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 8:51 PM


Emma Rigone had interest from a number of Division I women’s soccer programs but went with the one that checked all the boxes.

The Norwin junior defender, who played center midfield in cup soccer, announced her commitment to Youngstown State.

“The coaches stood out to me more than those from other schools,” Rigone said. “Coach (Brian) Shrum and coach (Josh) Green made me feel valued as a player and a student. They will allow me to take the classes and programs I am most interested in. The entire coaching staff has been very supportive of me for a long time now.”

Rigone, who received a scholarship offer from the Penguins when she was a freshman, said she was encouraged to apply to the honors program.

Her attraction to the Horizon League program was a slow build from initial interest, to offer time, to now.

“I was able to create a relationship with them before I officially committed,” she said. “I was lucky enough to see their coaching style when coach Shrum did some work with my Beadling team, so I already feel extremely comfortable. I have had the opportunity to talk with many players and everyone has been so welcoming and spoke highly of the environment YSU creates.”

Rigone was a staple for a defense that posted seven shutouts last season.

“Emma is extremely versatile with her ability to play offensive- and defensive-minded,” said Lauren Karcher, Norwin’s former coach who resigned last week. “She is an extremely strong player, very dependable, quick with decision-making and a leader on and off the field.”

Rigone stands in a long line of college-level players Karcher and her staff have coached.

She was recruited to play a defensive midfield position. She is unsure what position she will play in the fall at Norwin.

“The past three years I played center back, but, hopefully, I will have some time to play midfield as well,” she said.

•••

Bilinsky plays in Roundball

Norwin senior Ty Bilinsky, who battled several health-related issues this year that sidelined him for most of his senior basketball season, came back to play in the Roundball Classic.

Bilinsky played Saturday for the Class 6A all-stars. He scored 11 points in a 141-132 loss to the 5A team.

“It felt great. It was good to be back,” Bilinsky said. “I missed it a lot.”

•••

Newill earns recognition

Latrobe senior Frankie Newill was named the Western Pa. Volleyball Coaches Association Class AAA Player of the Week in the final regular-season honors announced by the association.

It was the second time the outside hitter was selected this season. Latrobe (6-7) was set to open the WPIAL playoffs at Butler (11-8) on Tuesday night.

Newill also plays basketball for Latrobe and took part in the Roundball Classic over the weekend at Geneva College. He led the Wildcats in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

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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