UPG men looking for bounce-back year
College Football Videos
After a frustrating 9-16 season in which the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg went 6-12 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, coach Sean Strickland is implementing a more offensive mindset.
“I joke with the guys, there's that quote that ‘defense wins championships,' ” Strickland said, “but that was actually a quote from a football coach. In basketball you've got to put the ball in the basket.”
The Bobcats averaged 68.2 points per game last season, and Strickland said his team has set a goal to average over 80 this season. The hope is that the up-tempo style will help the defense out, as well.
“The other team is going to get shots,” Strickland said, “but we're hoping their shots are contested and playing at a faster pace than maybe they're used to playing at.”
Strickland has confidence moving forward after returning five of his top six scorers from last year, including AMCC Newcomer of the Year Rocco Contristano, who averaged 11.5 points per game as a freshman. But it's still a work in progress.
“I think realistically, we're still a year away,” Strickland said. “With that said, we have enough talent to do some good things. It will just be a matter of how quickly we grow up from a mental standpoint.”
UPG will be counting on three veterans — seniors Mike Pearson and Scott Melick, and junior Brian Heinle — to lead the maturation process.
“We have a lot of young guys, and that can be a big issue with young teams — losing composure, losing confidence,” Pearson said. “So for me, (my job) is just to keep that confidence in those guys.”
Heinle averaged 10.2 points last year and was named MVP of the Bobcats' preseason for the way he stepped up both on and off the court.
“I'm normally not a talkative guy, and a lot of the guys on the team aren't,” Heinle said, “but even sophomores have to step up and be leaders. I'm only a junior and I'm one of the oldest guys on the team now. We've just got to push each other.”
Ultimately, the young Bobcats are convinced that they can win now.
“Coach has said stuff like ‘We're a year away,' but he just says that mentally,” Heinle said. “He wants this to be our year. We all do. I'm sick of losing.”
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cal U falls after earning No. 22 ranking
- District college notebook: IUP senior puts Stamp on program
- Campus clippings: Springdale grad nets All-PAC honors
- Thiel big man Mallinger thrives on rejection
- Daily Courier roundup: Penn State Fayette women fall to Slippery Rock
- Campus clippings: Keeper Daughtry scores a goal for Waynesburg
- Seton Hill men prepare for 2nd year in PSAC
- District college football preview: Slippery Rock seeks first NCAA playoff win since 1998