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Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete award nominees announced

Paul Schofield
| Thursday, March 30, 2017, 3:42 p.m.

The 2017 Westmoreland County Scholar/Athlete banquet winners, which will be announced April 25, had a lot of competition.

It is likely the toughest vote the committee (principals and athletic directors) had in years.

This year's 36 nominees — two each from the 18 high schools in Westmoreland County — featured three three-time PIAA champions and numerous outstanding athletes and scholars.

The banquet is chaired by Judge John J. Driscoll and will be held at 6 p.m. at Ferrante's Lakeview.

“We had multiple state champions and numerous students with outstanding scholar and athletic accomplishments,” Driscoll said. “Westmoreland County students are as accomplished as anybody.

“The committee was provided with outstanding candidates. It starts with the difficult process that the school's athletic directors and principals are put through to decide who are worth the award. It's a tough judgment call on their part.”

The committee pared the nominees to 11, six boys and five girls, and then voted on a male and female winner.

Last year's winners were Derry wrestler Micky Phillippi and Norwin basketball player Alayna Gribble.

Former Greensburg Central Catholic coach and athletic director John Sullivan will receive the Michael and John Ferranti Memorial Award for his contributions to promoting high school athletics.

Here are the nominees:

Belle Vernon: Sierra Lynn (track) and Tim Labuda (football).

Burrell: Nicole Kristof (basketball and track) and Ben Edwards (soccer, cross country, tennis and track).

Derry: Allison Brownlee (swimming) and Matthew Marron (football, wrestling and volleyball).

Franklin Regional: Spencer Lee (wrestling) and Morgan Birdy (swimming).

Greensburg Central Catholic: Mikayla Bisignani (volleyball, swimming, track and lacrosse) and Olivia Zambruno (golf).

Greensburg Salem: Riley Kwiatkowski (cross country and track) and Clay Palmer (football and basketball).

Hempfield: Samantha Orie (indoor and outdoor track and lacrosse) and Morgan Ryan (softball).

Jeannette: Brendt Billeck (golf, basketball and baseball) and Jada Morgan (softball, basketball, tennis and cheerleading).

Kiski Area: Joey Blumer (wrestling) and Nicholas Bisceglia (soccer, football and basketball).

Latrobe: Austin Butler (football, basketball and track) and Regan McCracken (basketball and softball).

Ligonier Valley: Joshua Fitz (football and track) and Catherine Cmar (volleyball, swimming and softball).

Monessen: Justice Rice (basketball and soccer) and Victoria Cooper (cheerleading, soccer, softball and basketball).

Mt. Pleasant: Anna Billey (soccer and track) and Cole Dombrosky (swimming and track).

Norwin: Kyle Turcovsky (football, track and wrestling) and Maura O'Donnell (basketball, soccer and track).

Penn-Trafford: Cam Coy (wrestling) and Ryley Watt (soccer).

Southmoreland: Adeline Nicholson (softball, basketball and volleyball) and Tommy Pisula (football and basketball).

Valley: Anthony Guzzo (baseball and basketball) and Brooke Doran (soccer).

Yough: Olivia Cook (swimming) and Dom Charletta (golf, baseball and wrestling).

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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