Though things are always changing in Waynesburg, one thing that has stayed constant is its well-deserved reputation as a paradise for those who enjoy nature and its bounty. Whether it’s taking advantage of some of the best white-tailed deer hunting in the state or enjoying the area’s pristine waters during fishing season, any outdoor enthusiast can find a good reason to slip away and enjoy the pristine surroundings.
However, if your sport of choice takes place in a gym or on a field with hundreds or thousands of screaming fans, Waynesburg enjoys a rich athletic tradition at both the high school and college levels.
During the school year, Waynesburg Central High School (WCHS), home of the Raiders, provides nine months of excitement for its fans and supporters. Whether it’s cheering on the WCHS football team in the cool fall months, watching the Raider grapplers continue one of the longest-running, most successful wrestling programs in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) during cold winter months or heading out to the baseball and softball diamonds as part of the spring sports schedule, there’s something for any sports fan to enjoy in the 14 WCHS athletic programs.
Who knows? You could catch a glimpse of the next Bill George (NFL Hall of Famer and 1948 grad of then-Waynesburg High School), Coleman Scott (three-time Pennsylvania State wrestling champion and NCAA Division I national champion) or Jocelyn Lindsay (the first-ever WPIAL and Pennsylvania state champion in the pole vault) while cheering on the Raiders.
If your sporting tastes are more geared towards the collegiate level, Waynesburg University has you covered with its 18 varsity programs. If Friday nights don’t supply you with a big enough football fix, John F. Wiley Stadium brings the college football atmosphere to town as the Yellow Jackets battle their rivals in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
Much like WCHS, Waynesburg University boasts a rich legacy in wrestling. Over the last two seasons, Waynesburg’s mat men have been reborn into a nationally ranked program that has seen a pair of native sons, Nick Garber and Corbin Semple, compete at the NCAA Division III national championships following each of the last two years.
Waynesburg University has also made looking to the future a major part of its athletic focus. In recent years, women’s lacrosse and track & field have been added to the more established programs like baseball, basketball and football. The Yellow Jackets have also enjoyed the fruits of the school administration’s labor, which have materialized as new playing facilities. Among them is a new artificial turf baseball field, which is located on route 21 to the west of town.
So, whether you are a die-hard high school sports nut or prefer that your athletics take you back to your college days, Waynesburg can certainly satisfy the cravings of any fan. The only problems one may face is how to catch all the action with just 24 hours in the day and what to do during the long, hot months of summer vacation.
By Bobby Fox, Sports Information Director, Waynesburg University