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After 14 seasons as the Plum High School baseball coach, Waynesburg native Carl Vollmer resigned earlier this week.

“With my boys growing and playing, and the direction parental involvement has taken, I believe it is in my best interest to step away from the head coaching position at my own time, on my own terms,” Vollmer announced via Twitter. “Thank you to my coaches, players and supporters of our program over the years.”

Vollmer spent two years at Westinghouse before taking a teaching job at Plum and spending three years as an assistant. He was named the head coach in 2005.

He led the Mustangs to seven section titles and 12 straight appearances in the WPIAL playoffs. Vollmer was 218-81. His best season was in 2016, when Plum finished with a 25-2 overall record and as the WPIAL and state runner-up.

“It has been an awesome journey the last 17 years being a part of and leading the Plum High School baseball program,” Vollmer continued on Twitter. “It is my belief that the Plum High School baseball program helped play a positive role in the lives of hundreds of students that have come through the district during my time as the head baseball coach.”

SF’s Elia chooses Richmond: Less than one month after receiving an offer from the University of Richmond, South Fayette lineman Tom Elia orally committed to the school.

“When my dad and I first visited, I didn’t know what to expect,” Elia said. “I had no idea what the campus looked like, I didn’t know much about the academics or the football program. But as soon as I stepped on campus I fell in love.”

The college interest for Elia, who has started on the Lions’ offensive line since his sophomore season, progressed quickly over the past several months. He earned offers from Columbia, Colgate, Cornell, Davidson and Notre Dame College (Ohio) and also had visited and received interst from other Ivy League schools, including Yale and Harvard.

Elia started at guard and subbed in for defensive tackles Jake Walker and Ray Eldridge, both Northwest Nine Conference first-team selections. Eldridge is set to begin his freshman season at Richmond.

“I definitely picked his brain a little bit to get basic information from the player perspective,” Elia said of Eldridge, who is already at Richmond. “The move to college next year will be a lot easier with him there. I’ve known him since about the first grade.”

Beginning his final high school football camp in nearly one month, Elia has continued to grow. Since last season, he’s a half inch taller (6-3) and 25 pounds heavier (275).

“This offseason was really big for my development physically,” he said. “I knew from the start, as soon as I got my first couple offers, that I wanted to make a decision before the season. We were devastated after our semifinal loss last year. We don’t want that to happen again, so I wanted to put college in the back of my mind.”

PT’s Marisa adds to long list: Peters Township basketball guard Makenna Marisa added a pair of offers to the growing list of schools recruiting her.

West Virginia and William & Mary are the latest schools to show interest in Marisa, who averaged 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds per game this season for the Indians. She was named to the Observer-Reporter All-District and 2017-18 Sports Writers Pennsylvania All-State Girls first teams.

Marisa also has offers from Pitt, Penn State, Duquesne, Ball State, Villanova, St. Joseph’s and Cincinnati.

California hires Balla: A season after seeing a first-year head coach walk out on the boys high school basketball team, California is turning to a recent graduate for stability.

The district hired Aaron Balla, a 2009 graduate, to lead the program. He served as a volunteer assistant under Barry Niemiec and Lou Pasquale following the abrupt departure of Greg Golembiewski, whose tenure as head coach lasted less than one month.

The Trojans went 13-9 last season and were eliminated in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Bentworth, Brentwood, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, Jeannette and Serra Catholic are in Section 2-AA with California for the upcoming two seasons under the new realignment.

Staff Writer

Luke Campbell has been handling a multitude of tasks since joining the Observer-Reporter in 2015, following his graduation from Waynesburg University. He graduated from Waynesburg with a bachelor’s degree in sports broadcasting and information.

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