Westmoreland County high school notebook: Ligonier Valley adds 2 new opponents to football schedule

Monday, August 31, 2020 | 6:17 PM

When Ligonier Valley joined the WPIAL, it was eager to play new opponents.

What it didn’t expect was an open date on the schedule, which was created when the WPIAL decided to shorten the season because of coronavirus concerns.

That grew to two open dates when Summit Academy decided not to play this season.

Ligonier Valley lost a Week Zero game against Indiana and a Week 2 game at Jeannette in the season-shortening process.

A Week 1 game against Elizabeth Forward was turned into a scrimmage, but when Elizabeth Forward came down with some covid-19 cases, the scrimmage was canceled.

With the help of Burrell coach Shawn Liotta, Ligonier Valley was able to pick up South Allegheny as its scrimmage on Saturday. South Allegheny was supposed to scrimmage Summit Academy.

Football coach Roger Beitel and new athletic director Wesley Siko kept looking and were able to fill their open dates. The Rams will play at Western Beaver on Sept. 26 and at Waynesburg on Oct 16.

Even though both games are on the road, Beitel said he wasn’t disappointed.

“We just wanted to play,” Beitel said. “We’re playing a lot of sophomores and juniors that need playing time. This is not only for the season, but for the future.”

Other than the scrimmage, Ligonier Valley only has two home games — Steel Valley on Oct. 2 and Shady Side Academy on Oct. 23.

New Southmoreland AD

Southmoreland wrestling coach Dan Boring added athletic director to his name plate at a Thursday school board meeting.

He replaces Charlie Swink, who resigned in July.

Boring, 30, has been teaching in the school district for seven years. He teaches elementary physical education.

This will be his third season as wrestling coach. He was the middle school coach for three years and a volunteer coach under Ryan Shaw his first season.

Boring graduated in 2008 from Derry, where he wrestled and played football and baseball. He wrestled at Waynesburg University and was a walk-on at West Virginia.

“It’s exciting and I’m a little cautious,” Boring said. “I hit the ground running and I had to catch up on a lot of things.”

Hempfield wrestling vacancy

Hempfield is searching for a wrestling coach to replace Tommy Dolde, who was not retained after the 2019-20 season.

Athletic director Brandon Rapp said the district was accepting applications until Friday.

“We will look at all the applications next week and decide who we bring in,” Rapp said. “We have a really good team returning, so I expect a lot of applicants.”

Hempfield returns three PIAA placewinners including state champion Ethan Berginc. The others back are Ty Linsenbigler, who finished fifth, and Isaiah Vance, who was second.

The Spartans were Section 1-AAA champions, defeating Kiski Area. They finished fourth in the WPIAL.

Also back are junior Briar Priest and sophomores Ethan Lebin, Lucas Kapusta and Coby Stepanik.

WCCA events cancelled

Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association has cancelled three events this fall — the boys and girls golf tournaments and the cross country championships.

The board voted 8-1 to cancel both events because of coronavirus concerns.

WCCA President Larry Sellitto said some of the older volunteers would be compromised and there were liability worries.

The WCCA hasn’t held an event since the 2019 swimming championship at Derry.

The track championships in the spring, the 7-on-7 football tournament and basketball tournaments were all canceled.

“We hope to restart things in January with the wrestling championships at Kiski Area,” Sellitto said.

Mourning the loss

The high school wrestling community in the state is mourning the loss of two-time PIAA Class AA placewinner Kai Burkett of Chestnut Ridge, who was killed in a vehicle accident in Bedford County on Friday.

Burkett was a three-time District 5 champion. He placed fifth in the PIAA in 2019 and 2020. His career record was 106-22.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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