Westmoreland HS notebook: Norwin, Hempfield ready for challenges after football reshuffle

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Saturday 22 January 2022 | 17:40


Now that they have a better idea of ​​what they will face in their new classification and conference, Norwin and Hempfield can start planning for next football season.

The WPIAL has announced new alignments for the next two-year cycle, and the Class 5A entrants, Norwin and Hempfield, are stationed in Section 2 yet to be named, aligning with Franklin Regional, Gateway, Penn-Trafford, Plum and Woodland Hills.

Geography is a definite advantage, as the Knights and Spartans will drastically cut down on long road trips to the South Hills and surrounding areas.

“The closest team to our 6A conference schedule has always been Hempfield,” said Norwin coach Dave Brozeski. “Now our trips to conference games have been greatly reduced.”

Recasting also ups the ante in the Norwin vs. Penn Trafford. Instead of a Week Zero opener, the matchup becomes a conference game.

Hempfield is also getting more backyard rivalry-like games that should attract more fans and hype.

Then there is the competitive position. Norwin and Hempfield will be able to compete for a playoff berth against more similar teams – which they will learn about in the off-season.

“Our focus is still solely on our team and how we can prepare to develop our team for the 2022 season, regardless of the opponents,” said Brozeski. “That said, an adjustment that my coaching staff and I need to address is increasing our familiarity with the conference teams. We have only played games against Hempfield and PT and will have to do our homework to increase our awareness of their personnel, as well as the types of fouls, defenses and special team schedules we will be dealing with.”

Other local football changes will involve Latrobe, which will drop from 5A to 4A and will participate in a conference featuring Connellsville, Laurel Highlands, McKeesport, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson and Trinity.

Belle Vernon, the WPIAL 4A runner-up, and Greensburg Salem are both trailing, in 3A, and will again face the conference with Elizabeth Forward, Mount Pleasant, South Allegheny and Southmoreland.

Class 2A’s Section 1 will house Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Derry, Imani Christian, Ligonier Valley, Serra Catholic, Steel Valley and Yough.

Section 1-A, likely to remain in the Eastern Conference, has Clairton, Frazier, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Leechburg, Riverview, and Springdale.

football changes

Penn-Trafford and Latrobe dropped from 4A to 3A but remain section enemies in boys’ and girls’ football.

The Warriors and Wildcats will be in a section that includes Franklin Regional, Gateway, McKeesport, Obama Academy, Penn Hills and Plum.

Greensburg Salem, Belle Vernon and Ligonier Valley all dropped to 2A.

Jeannette is the only Westmoreland boys’ team to ‘play on’. A Class A team, the Jayhawks will compete in 2A.

The girls Penn-Trafford and Latrobe will play in the same section, alongside Greensburg Salem, Gateway, Franklin Regional, Penn Hills and Plum.

“We have to stay sharp,” said Latrobe coach Jamie Morrison. “We still have to be ready to compete every night.”

Latrobe is expected to be one of the top teams in the class after reaching the 4A quarterfinals, but eternal power Mars and Moon may have something to say about that.

Ligonier Valley plays up in 2A. The section also includes Mount Pleasant Area, Southmoreland and Yough.

Like Mother like daughter

Senior basketball player Gracie Spadaro moved in with a unique company when she joined the 1000-point club in Southmoreland.

Well, she was already withdrawn. Her mother reached the same milestone 25 years ago.

Susan (Love) Spadaro, an assistant coach on her daughter’s team, also scored 1,000 when she played for the Scotties. She graduated in 1997 with 1,076 points.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill via email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Keywords: Beautiful Vernon, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Jeannette, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland

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