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Ringgold grads help area college teams rebuild

| Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7:09 p.m.

Two Ringgold High School graduates, Zachary Smith and Emily Schmidt, have made solid contributions for rebuilding district college basketball teams.

Zachary Smith, a 6-foot-3-inch sophomore guard/forward, was the leading scorer for the Westmoreland County Community College men's team.

A native of Donora, Smith averaged 18.8 points per game with a 49.8 field goal percentage (115 of 231). He was the team's second-leading rebounder 97.8 rpg) and also produced 12 three-point baskets, 13 blocks, 43 assists and 22 steals.

Smith scored a season-high 32 points, on 12-for-18 shooting, in a Nov. 21 game against Penn State-DuBois.

The Wolfpack finished the 2013-14 season with a 4-24 overall record.

Emily Schmidt, a junior forward from Eighty Four, was Chatham University's second-leading scorer and rebounder with per game averages of 11.1 points and 4.7 rebounds. Schmidt also led the Cougars with 39 blocks and she shot a team-best 52.3 percent from the floor, converting 104 of 199 attempts. Averaging 23 minutes per game, Schmidt added 11 assists and eight steals.

Schmidt had season highs of 22 points and nine rebounds Jan. 4 against Westminster (New Wilmington). She also scored 20 points, making 10 of 12 shots from the field, in a Feb. 8 game against St. Vincent College.

Chatham finished the 2013-14 season with a 3-24 overall record and two wins in the NCAA Division III's President's Athletic Conference.

Wash-Greene HOF adds 13

Thirteen new members will be inducted into the Washington-Greene County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

The 29th annual banquet will take place Friday, June 13, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Meadow Lands.

Five of the inductees are wrestlers. They include Jeff Breese of McGuffey High School, Duane Day of Trinity, Dr. Emil Deliere of Canon-McMillan, Angelo Morascyzk of Immaculate Conception and Jerry Seaman of McGuffey.

Three basketball players — Bryan Barto (Burgettstown), Ray Natili (Immaculate Conception) and Rick Sonneborn (West Greene) — were chosen for the hall of fame.

Woman's basketball star Helen Paskutis Brown (Cecil/Hickory) will be posthumously inducted.

Abe Key, president of PONY Baseball/Softball, Inc., will be inducted for youth service.

The other inductees are Washington & Jefferson College men's and women's swimming and diving coach Mike Orstein and football standouts George Messich (Mapletown) and Patrick Rheam (Canon-McMillan).

The other inductees are George Messich (Mapletown, football), Patrick Rheam (Canon-McMillan, football) and Washington & Jefferson College swimming coach Mike Orstein. PONY Baseball/Softball, Inc., president Abe Key will be inducted for Youth Service.

Tickets for the banquet are $45 each and can be purchased by calling 724-678-4320.

Ross makes mark

Bentworth High School graduate Sean Ross will begin his second season as the defensive coordinator of Wittenburg (Springfield, Ohio) University's football team in 2014 and hopes to have a suitable encore for a most successful 2013 season.

Following a season-opening loss to NCAA Division I FCS opponent Butler (Ind.), the Tigers rolled to a 10-2 overall record and won its fourth North Coast Athletic Conference title in five years with a perfect 9-0 mark. The Tigers advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division III playoffs before losing to defending national champion and eventual national runner-up Mt. Union University, Alliance, Ohio.

Ross' defense ranked first in the 10-team conference in scoring defense and rushing defense, allowing per-game averages of just 12.1 points and 67.4 rushing yards, respectively. Five of Wittenburg's defensive starters received all-conference honors at season's end.

A 2004 graduate of nearby Waynesburg University where he was a three-year starting linebacker at Waynesburg, Ross led the Yellow Jackets' 2003 President's Athletic Conference championship in tackles and was named the team's defensive Most Valuable Player.

He joined Wittenburg's coaching staff in 2007 after spending two years at Westminster College.

Bruce Wald is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.