Westmoreland High School Notebook: Jurica and Derry set for WPIAL Team Golf Semifinals

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Sunday, October 9, 2022 | 4:20 p.m.


Call it a validation point.

Derry senior golfer Hunter Jurica won the WPIAL Class 2A Individual Championship last week at Oakmont Country Club, after opening 74 at Hannastown Golf Club with a 78 at Oakmont for an 11 of 152.

Derry has become a WPIAL contender in team golf over the past six years, and Jurica’s victory marks the reputation of the Trojans.

“Going into first grade, we kept building,” Jurica said. “Now we’re almost like the team to beat and that’s great. It’s cool to see Derry on the map. It’s good for the program.

Derry did not win a Section title between 1974 and 2017 but has four consecutive titles and is among the contenders for Tuesday’s WPIAL 2A team semi-final tournament at The Links in Spring Church near Apollo. The top three out of 10 teams will advance to Thursday’s WPIAL Finals at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver.

“Now Hunter can’t wait to see what he can do with his teammates,” said Derry coach Tracey Smeltzer.

Jurica will also compete in the PIAA Championship on October 17-18 at Penn State.

“States are next,” he said. “That’s the next goal. I can’t wait.

team golf

The Penn-Trafford boys will compete in the Class 3A semifinal on Tuesday at Duck Hollow Golf Course in Uniontown. The top three out of nine teams advance to Cedarbrook.

On the girls’ side, Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford advanced to the eight-team WPIAL 3A Finals on Thursday at Cedarbrook. Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant are two of four teams in a small 2A field.

Parade of Champions

Jurica joins a long list of Westmoreland County men’s golf champions. Other past winners include Nick Turowski of Penn-Trafford (2021), Bo Lustig of Belle Vernon (2010), Ben Gjebre of Latrobe (’09), Tim Moynihan of Franklin Regional (’02), Nate Speer of Burrell ( 1998), Brian Tutich of Greensburg Central Catholic (’93), Kevin Reisenweaver of Latrobe (’86), Seth Pevarnik of Greensburg Central Catholic (’85), Paul Balest of Greensburg Salem (’83), Bob Bradley of Hempfield (‘ 79), Ray Nelson of Ligonier (’77), Scott Yard of Greensburg (’63), Arnold Palmer of Latrobe (’46, ’47) – yes, him – and Tom Denny of Greensburg Salem (’45).

Dlugos draws attention

Greensburg Central Catholic senior Liz Dlugos will be one of the WPIAL’s top varsity pitching prospects this track and field season.

A shot putter and discus thrower, Dlugos received two scholarship offers last week to compete at the Division I level, from Bucknell and Holy Cross.

She finished fourth in the WPIAL 2A shot put last spring, and followed that up with a sixth-place finish at the PIAA Championships.

Dlugos’ father, Joe, played football at Bucknell.

palm driver

Young hired Dan Palm to coach his baseball team. Palm was an assistant under Craig Spisak, who stepped down after six seasons as head coach.

Palm has previously served as head coach, to Belle Vernon and Albert Gallatin.

He is also a junior football assistant.

good sports

Ligonier Valley and Penn-Trafford were two of five schools to win a WPIAL Sportsmanship Award for the 2021-22 sports year.

The award, which has existed since 1996, recognizes schools that best represent sportsmanship, fair play and school spirit, among other attributes that make up the “Spirit of Sportsmanship: The Only Missing Piece Is you”.

Each recipient will receive a banner to hang in their gymnasium. They will be honored Nov. 16 during the WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit at the Heinz History Center and Sports Museum.

The other winners were Beaver, Hampton and St. Joseph.

This is the second time that Penn-Trafford has won the award. The last time was in 1998-99.

Rodriguez wins

Belle Vernon’s junior Tessa Rodriguez rode an impressive run at the Bald Eagle Invitational.

She won the Class 2A title with a time of 20 minutes, 18.86 seconds.

GS Hoops Tournament

The 3rd Annual Greensburg Salem Lady Lion Shootout will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 5 at the Hempfield Recreation Center.

There will be 18 high school teams on the field, including Greensburg Salem, Penn-Trafford, Hempfield, Greensburg Central Catholic and Yough.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

Bill Beckner Jr. is an editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Key words: Derry Area, Franklin Regional, Greensburg CC, Greensburg Salem, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Penn-Trafford, Yough

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