Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Two local football teams advance; PT, Latrobe fall in volleyball semis; County girls named All-WPIAL soccer

Mon Nov 07, 2022 - 3:46PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Nov 07, 2022 - 3:51PM

Greater Latrobe, Ligonier Valley advance in football playoffs

Only two of the 10 Westmoreland County football teams in action survived the first week of the WPIAL playoffs, as Greater Latrobe and Ligonier Valley both advanced. Keyed by a pair of Robby Fulton touchdown runs, the second of which came in overtime, Greater Latrobe upset host Highlands 28-21 in the Class 4A first round. Fulton’s 7-yard score gave the No. 11 Wildcats the lead in OT, and Ja’Tawn Williams intercepted a pass to secure the first playoff win for Greater Latrobe in more than 50 years. The Wildcats also received a pair of TD passes from John Wetzel, as he hit Corey Boerio on a 14-yard pass and hooked up with Connor Lakin on a 7-yard strike. Wetzel finished 5-of-7 passing with 47 yards, adding 71 yards on the ground, while Fulton compared 74 yards on 15 carries. Greater Latrobe advances to the 4A quarterfinals, and will face No. 3 Thomas Jefferson, which received a first-round bye. Meanwhile, Haden Sierocky accounted for all four touchdowns in leading Ligonier Valley to a 27-20 victory against Western Beaver at Offutt Field in the Class 2A first round, the first WPIAL playoff win in Rams’ history. The No. 7 Rams received a monster performance from Sierocky, who rushed 25 times for 200 yards. Additionally, Ligonier Valley’s defense recorded three interceptions and five sacks. With the triumph, LV advances to the quarterfinals to face No. 2 Beaver Falls, which received a bye. Belle Vernon Area, which received a bye as the top seed in Class 3A, begins its postseason this Friday with a matchup at home against No. 9 East Allegheny.

Brozeski steps down from Norwin football

After guiding Norwin football for the past nine years, Dave Brozeski is stepping away from the game. Last week, Brozeski announced his resignation as the head coach of the Knights. His decision came just days after Norwin’s 2022 campaign concluded. The Knights, who dropped their final contest to rival Hempfield Area 34-7, finished at 1-9, including 0-5 in the Class 5A Big East Conference. Although he just concluded his ninth season at the helm of Norwin, Brozeski was a longtime assistant with the program. After a one-year stint at Derry Area after he graduated college, Brozeski spent 17 years as an assistant at Norwin. As a player, he excelled at Blairsville in high school and Washington & Jefferson in college.

Penn-Trafford, Greater Latrobe volleyball fall in semis

A couple of Westmoreland County girls volleyball teams were ousted in the WPIAL semifinals last week, as Penn-Trafford fell to North Allegheny in Class 4A, while Greater Latrobe lost to South Fayette in 3A. The No. 4 Warriors were swept by the top-seeded Tigers 25-13, 25-20, 25-16 last Tuesday at Fox Chapel Area High School. Penn-Trafford concluded its campaign with a mark of 11-6. Meanwhile, the Wildcats were upset by the No. 10 Lions 3-1 last Tuesday at Gateway High School. South Fayette handed third seed GL (18-1) its first loss of the season, prevailing 26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 25-12. The Wildcats qualified for the PIAA 3A playoffs as the fourth-place finisher from the WPIAL, and will play on the road against WPIAL champion North Catholic Tuesday at 6 p.m.

PT hockey knocks off Greater Latrobe

Propelled by a sparkling effort in net by Jackson Kerrigan, Penn-Trafford claimed a 3-1 victory against Greater Latrobe in a PIHL Class AA showdown last Tuesday at the Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont. Bryce Kropczynski opened the scoring in the first period for the host Warriors, as he darted between a pair of Greater Latrobe players and ripped a shot past Wildcats goalie Connor Keddie to stake PT to a 1-0 lead. Early in the second period, the Warriors added to their lead, as TJ Ferguson banged home a loose puck near in the crease. Greater Latrobe had a response, as Louie Amatucci took a shot that ricocheted into the net to pull the Wildcats within a goal near the midway point of the second. Early in the third, the Warriors notched an insurance goal, as Chase Bonson sent a shot from the right point that floated past Keddie. That was plenty of offense for Kerrigan, as the PT senior posted 27 saves. Kropczynski paced the Warriors with a goal and an assist, while Ben Zierski, Damian Dynys, and Marco Ferracio also contributed helpers. Peyton Myers and Fletcher Harvey added assists for GL, while Keddie made 15 saves in net. With the victory, the Warriors improved to 3-1-0, while the Wildcats suffered their second loss in a row, falling to 2-2-0.

County girls litter All-WPIAL soccer list

While no Westmoreland County girls soccer teams captured WPIAL gold over the weekend, more than dozen individuals from county teams recently received recognition for their play. More than a dozen area girls were honored as All-WPIAL performers, including Norwin’s Reagan Casper in Class 4A; Regan Reilly, Robin Reilly, Ella Bulava, and Sofia DeCerb of Greater Latrobe and Franklin Regional’s Sierra Todero and Aris Lamanna in Class 3A; Mount Pleasant Area’s Morgan Gesinski, Riley Gesinski, Rylin Bugosh, Marisa Garn, and Maggie Piper, McKenzie Pritts and Kendalyn Umbel of Yough, Kendall Fabery of Southmoreland, Belle Vernon Area’s Farrah Reader, and Burrell’s Ali Hughes in Class 2A; and in Class 1A, Greensburg Central Catholic’s Sara Felder and Riley Kerr.

Kelly tabbed to lead Derry Area baseball

Tommy Kelly was approved as the new baseball head coach at Derry Area last Thursday. Kelly, a 2006 Derry Area grad, returned to his alma mater on the staff in 2017, serving as the middle school head coach. Since 2018, he has guided the junior varsity, while also working alongside former coach John Flickinger as a varsity assistant. Kelly played for the Trojans before continuing his baseball career collegiately at Westmoreland County Community College and Penn State Altoona. After his graduation, Kelly played semi-pro baseball in the Desert Sun League in Arizona. Flickinger guided the program for 11 years as the head coach. This past spring, the Trojans posted a mark of 11-7, falling to New Brighton in the WPIAL Class 3A first round. In 2021, he helped guide Derry Area to its first section crown since 1992, when Flickinger was a senior standout for the Trojans.

Pitt-Greensburg WSOC wins conference title

The University of Pitt-Greensburg women’s soccer team captured the second conference title in program history on Saturday, as the Bobcats edged Penn State Behrend 3-2 in overtime of the Allegheny Mountain College Conference Championship. Maya Wertelet netted the winner in the second OT period for top-seeded UPG at Ridilla Field. Ashley Lucas notched a goal and an assist for the Bobcats, while Jenna Conty also scored, Logan Jennings picked up an assist, and Hailey Kepner made five saves in net. With the win, Pitt-Greensburg, which previously won the AMCC crown in 2019, secured an automatic berth for the NCAA Division III Tournament.