There will be plenty of new faces on the sidelines in Section 1-AAA this season as the section welcomes in three new coaches. Hempfield will introduce Tom Sochacki this season, Latrobe welcomes Tom Kennedy and Kiski Area has first-year coach Sean Arnold. Sochacki and Kennedy will try to return their programs to the postseason after Hempfield finished fifth and Latrobe finished last, while Arnold will try to keep the Cavaliers postseason bound after they finished second behind Norwin last season. Also in Class AAA Penn Hills has a new coach in Ahmed Affaneh while the Greensburg Central Catholic boys welcome a new coach just like their girls team do. Tyler Condron will take over the Greensburg Central Catholic boys team.
Jeff Palm left Norwin after last season but he did not go far. Palm should be plenty familiar in Section 1-AAA where he takes over one of Norwin's rivals, Hempfield. Norwin meanwhile welcomes first-year coach Lauren Czapor. Also in Class AAA, Mike Petruzzi will try to turn things around at McKeesport after the Tigers finished 2-10 in the tough Section 4-AAA last season. First-year Allderdice coach Alexa Tokarski also inherits a challenge with the Dragons who finished 5-11-1 last season. Greensburg Salem, a playoff team a year ago, welcomes new coach Jackie Fawcett. The biggest coaching news in the zone is at Greensburg Central Catholic where the Centurions not only have to replace the record-setting scoring duo of Malea Fabean and Frannie Crouse but also coach Ashley Shasko who left and is replaced by Bryan Cartwright.
Because Allderdice has been added to the WPIAL's Class AAA, Section 2 alignment in field hockey, that section begins play this week, a week earlier than either Class AAA, Section 1 or Class AA.
Opening Day for Section 2 will be Tuesday. That's when Fox Chapel hosts Allderdice, Upper St. Clair hosts Oakland Catholic and Peters Township hosts Mt. Lebanon. Woodland Hills will not play a section game on Tuesday, but the Wolverines host Mt. Lebanon on Thursday. The other section games on Thursday feature Allderdice at Upper St. Clair and Oakland Catholic at Peters Township. Fox Chapel draws the bye on Thursday.
Below is a review of the East posts that appeared Sunday, Aug. 24 through Saturday, August 30.
*Sports Town East Week in Review (Aug. 17-23)
*Boys Cross Country: 2014 East Season Preview
*Boys Cross Country: 2014 East Runners to Watch
*Girls Cross Country: 2014 East Season Preview
*Girls Cross Country: 2014 East Runners to Watch
*Field Hockey: 2014 East Season Preview
*Field Hockey: 2014 East Players to Watch
Class AAA: Hempfield could be a serious contender
With another year of experience under their collective belts, expect some serious noise to come from the Hempfield High boys golf team on both the individual and team levels.
The Spartans did not qualify for the WPIAL Class AAA team championship a year ago. But with four returning players -- three of them seniors -- the Spartans served notice a year ago they are ready to be taken seriously.
They showed that this past Sunday as they were one of two WPIAL teams to compete in the Central Dauphin High Boys Golf Invitational in Harrisburg. The Spartans placed third in the 21-team field with a stroke total of 303, just eight strokes behind Peters Township, also a serious contender for the WPIAL team championship.