HS Buzz: West Allegheny coach still getting her kicks
West Allegheny softball coach Mindi McFate is hoping her team can make a long run in the PIAA playoffs — even if she isn't there for it.
The 11th-year coach is nearly nine months pregnant and could go into labor at any time during the next few weeks.
But that hasn't slowed her down as the Indians prepare for Monday's first-round showdown with District 10 champion Fort LeBoeuf in the Class AAA state tournament.
She continues to hit pre-game infield practice and coach.
“I'm not disabled. It's just hitting infield,” she said. “A lot of women take aerobics classes up until they give birth.”
McFate was concerned about spending too much time on a bus but was more than happy to continue coaching her team, which finished third in the WPIAL despite being the No. 12 seed.
West Allegheny (13-7) upset No. 5 Mars and No. 4 Elizabeth Forward before falling to WPIAL champion Greensburg Salem in the semifinals. The Indians then beat No. 7 West Mifflin in the consolation game Wednesday to qualify for the PIAA tournament.
“I told my kids the nice thing about the playoffs is what you did in the past doesn't matter,” said McFate, whose team went 10-6 in the regular season. “Whoever is playing the best softball is who goes the furthest.”
When West Allegheny does play its final game this season, whenever that may be, it also will be the final game for McFate, who plans to retire to spend time with her children (she also has a 2-year old son).
If she happens to go into labor before the season ends, she said the team will be in capable hands with assistant coaches Bob Buckels, Scott Meehan and Lindsay Littler.
Chartiers-Houston wrestling coach Bill Sutton resigned last week after 10 years with the Bucs. His teams advanced to the WPIAL playoffs eight times and the PIAA tournament twice. Chartiers-Houston finished 10-8 last season.
Safe Sports Award
Penn-Trafford is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers' Association Safe Sports School Award for its athletic and sports medicine departments. The award recognizes schools that provide a safe environment and emphasize providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.