Westmoreland High School Notebook: Football Schedule Redesign
Sunday February 27, 2022 | 5:57 p.m.
The WPIAL 2022 football season schedules were released last week, giving some teams in new classifications and their fans a preview of what to expect.
Norwin and Hempfield will be new to Class 5A and play in a conference with Franklin Regional, Gateway, returning WPIAL and PIAA champion Penn-Trafford and Plum. Norwin will play Upper St. Clair in Week Zero and face Penn Hills, Fox Chapel, Woodland Hills and Class 6A North Allegheny outside of conference play.
Hempfield plays Greensburg Salem in Week Zero and plays non-conference Connellsville, Shaler, Seneca Valley and Latrobe.
Penn-Trafford’s non-conference opponents include McKeesport, Woodland Hills, Belle Vernon and North Allegheny. The Warriors open against Canon-McMillan in week zero.
Belle Vernon has gone to class 3A and does not back down from anyone. The Leopards will play non-conference games against a range of 4A and 5A teams as they take on returning playoff teams Laurel Highlands, McKeesport, Penn-Trafford and Thomas Jefferson all straight to start the season.
The WPIAL surveyed schools, asking which teams they would like to play and which they would like to avoid. The league listened, appeasing most schools on travel and rivalry games.
Class 6A has only five teams.
Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli is up for Mr. PA Football in the Big Schools Division (4A-6A) after a dynamic senior season that saw him lead the Warriors to the WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A championships.
He joins five other finalists for the prize, the winner of which will be announced next month. Online voting for the end of the awards on Tuesday.
Yacamelli, a commit from Wisconsin, rushed for 1,866 yards and 24 touchdowns while leading the team in receiving with 21 catches for 351 yards and five scores.
Penn-Trafford have won 11 straight games en route to the titles.
The PIHL playoffs begin on March 7.
Local qualifiers include Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford in Class 2A and Norwin in Class A.
The league semi-finals begin on March 14 and the Penguins Cup finals on March 21-22.
The state championship is on March 26, the all-star games on April 3 at the Alpha Ice Complex.
Franklin Regional freshman men’s basketball coach Jesse Reed and his assistant Mike Simmons have made training fun this season for the Panthers.
Reed, a former pro who played at American University and Greensburg Central Catholic, and Simmons, who stood out at Saint Vincent and Kiski Area, introduced the team to a shooter called “Dynasty.”
“It’s a two-man shooter where you go against another team of two to get around the 3-point line and come back,” Reed said. “We had odd numbers, so Coach Mike and I teamed up and joined. There was a lot of chatter and the teams wanted a piece of us. The competition was great. They quickly learned that even though Mike and I are old and retired, we still have it.
Ligonier Valley senior Haley Stormer has signed up to play volleyball at St. Vincent.
Stormer had 582 kills, 160 digs, 48 assists, 143 blocks and 313 service points as a four-year starter for the Rams. She was selected twice All-WPIAL.
• Nick Beitel, another Ligonier Valley senior, will continue his football career at Washington & Jefferson. Beitel, a four-year starter at defensive back, has also made an impact at running back for the Rams. He rushed for 873 yards and scored nine touchdowns last season.
Beitel’s brother, Zach, is a junior defensive back at W&J.
Key words: Belle-VernonFranklin Regional, Hempfield, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Norwin, Penn-Trafford