Monday’s Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Former Laurel Valley Coach Jerry Page passes away; Franklin Regional hockey reaches top spot in AA

Mon Dec 27, 2021 - 2:00PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Tue Dec 28, 2021 - 11:05AM

Paulone hired as Jeannette football coach

Thomas Paulone, a 2010 Jeannette grad, was hired as the new Jayhawks’ football coach last Monday, replacing Roy Hall, who stepped down after last season. Paulone was a member of the 2007 Jeannette team that won the WPIAL and PIAA titles under head coach Ray Reitz. He also played quarterback and linebacker as a senior when Hall was in his first season at the helm of the program. Paulone continued his career on the gridiron at Waynesburg University, and it was there that he also started his coaching career. He continued to add to his coaching resume at Chartiers Valley for the past four years, serving as the quarterback coach. Jeannette has nearly unparalleled success, with more than 750 victories and 10 WPIAL titles, but was ravaged by a bevy of transfers last campaign. The result was a one-win season, just a year after the Jayhawks reached the PIAA Class 1A Championship game. Paulone is in the process of assembling a staff.

Marucco steps down as Wildcats’ coach

Greater Latrobe football coach Jason Marucco has decided to resign from his position. Marucco, a 1991 graduate of Greater Latrobe, served at the helm of the Wildcats for the past eight seasons. Prior to becoming the head coach, he held assistant roles at Greater Latrobe, East Allegheny, and Mount Pleasant Area. Last season, the Wildcats went 3-7 overall, including 1-4 in the Class 5A Big East Conference, and failed to qualify for the playoffs. Greater Latrobe last reached the WPIAL postseason in 2019, falling to Penn Hills in the first round of the 5A bracket. After replacing Ray Reitz following the 2013 campaign, Marucco compiled a record of 20-56. The move cannot become official until approved at the Greater Latrobe School Board meeting in January.

Former Laurel Valley coach Page passes away

Jerry Page, 89, a longtime football and baseball coach at Laurel Valley, passed away last Wednesday. Page guided the Laurel Valley football team for 30 years, beginning in 1979. Throughout his tenure with the Rams, Page registered 206 victories, qualified for the District 6 playoffs 16 times, and won the district title three times. He also served as a baseball coach at the school for 35 years. Laurel Valley merged with Ligonier to form the current Ligonier Valley district shortly after Page’s retirement in 2008.

Franklin Regional hockey reaches top spot in Class AA

Courtesy of an impressive victory against Mars Area last week, Franklin Regional has ascended to the top spot in the PIHL Class AA. The Panthers defeated the Fightin Planets 10-5, improving to 10-1-1 as a result. With 21 points, Franklin Regional pulled ahead of Armstrong for first place in the East Conference, and also West-leading Thomas Jefferson for the most points in the entire classification. In the road triumph, the Panthers were led by Zachary Zeto, who scored two goals and added two assists. Ben Yurko also recorded a four-point performance, with a goal and three helpers, while Zach Abdallah, Roman Cicco, and Luke Beatty all tallied three points. Through a dozen games, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 75-35.

Several girls basketball teams open section play with wins

Although only about half of the WPIAL girls basketball teams have commenced section play, four Westmoreland County squads are off to perfect starts. Norwin, Greater Latrobe, Belle Vernon Area, and Southmoreland are all unblemished in the section. The Knights are 2-0 in Class 6A Section 1, courtesy of wins against Shaler Area and Pine-Richland. The victory against the Rams was 61-35 last Monday. The Wildcats scored their lone win in Class 5A Section 4 last Tuesday against Penn Hills 57-44. In Class 4A Section 3, the Leopards are 2-0, while the Scotties are 1-0. Belle Vernon Area notched wins against Mount Pleasant Area and Yough, the latter of which was a 43-34 triumph last Monday. Southmoreland, meanwhile, secured a 51-20 win against Ligonier Valley last Monday. Additionally, Derry Area, Mount Pleasant Area, and Yough are all 1-1 in their section tilts.

Trio of county coaches to be inducted to A-K Valley Hall of Fame

The Alle-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022 was recently unveiled, and three Westmoreland County coaches are among those to be inducted. Chris Como and Frank Phelps from Burrell, as well as Dianne Haney of Kiski Area are part of the 10-person class. Como served as the head coach for Burrell wrestling from 1998-2009, winning four WPIAL team titles during his tenure. He was also a standout wrestler for Burrell and went on to have an accomplished career at the University of Pitt – Johnstown. Phelps was the head coach and an assistant coach for Buccaneers track and field for more than 40 years combined, and he helped guide Burrell competitors to 74 medals at the WPIAL championships. Haney, meanwhile, guided Kiski Area softball from 1993-2014, posted 248 career wins, and reached the WPIAL championship game in 1995. The induction banquet is slated for May 21 at the ballroom of the Quality Inn of New Kensington.

Seton Hill baseball ranked in preseason poll

After its historic 2021 campaign, Seton Hill baseball is ranked 11th nationally in a preseason poll. The Griffins garnered the recognition in the Collegiate Baseball 2022 NCAA Division II poll that was released last week. The University of Tampa tops the list, while fellow PSAC schools Millersville and Mercyhurst rank 12th and 19th, respectively. The Griffins went 39-8 and advanced to the DII National Championships last season.

Recommended News