Returning coach getting cozy with Carlynton boys hoops
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Mike Kozy isn't putting a number on how many wins the Carlynton boys basketball team will get in his first year back as head coach.
He isn't promising a section title or a trip to Palumbo Center for the WPIAL Class AA title game.
His focus is on three simple goals he feels will help return the Cougars to a program it once was.
“I gave the team three goals: We want to learn to play basketball well, we want to represent Carlynton as best as we can and we want to compete at a high level,” Kozy said. “I don't want to say we are going to win X many of games. We want to establish pride, get a sense of energy and get as many kids as we can playing and see what happens.”
Kozy is in his second stint as the Carlynton coach. A former Carlynton player and member of the 1987-88 WPIAL championship squad, Kozy coached the team from 2003-2005 and went 28-45. But with the birth of his third child, Kozy — who also teaches at Carlynton — resigned from the position.
Kozy replaces Kevin Trost, who coached the Cougars to a 14-31 mark, including 1-21 last season.
Kozy said his main goal coming in was to get athletes on the team. The Cougars struggled to keep numbers up last season, and Kozy wanted to bring enthusiasm back to the program.
“At the end of the season last year, in grades 9 through 12, there were 10 players at best,” Kozy said. “We needed kids on the court. We now have a junior varsity team as well as a ninth grade team. We are turning things around.”
Kozy said between the varsity and junior varsity teams, the Cougars have 21 players on the roster.
Kozy said the starting five will be made up of seniors Mike Latimore, Seth Calorie and Brad Wisniewski; junior Mason Follmer; and sophomore Nick Schultz.
The team also will be able to call on seniors Dan Schuster and Tyler Throne and a handful of underclassmen.
“We can go as much as 10 deep,” Kozy said.”
None of the team stands above 6-foot-2, a problem Kozy said the team will overcome with a lot of ball movement and good shooting.
“Big-man play isn't what we are going to be about,” Kozy said. “We need to out-work the other team. We need to be faster than them.”
The Cougars competed in the Jefferson Morgan Tipoff tournament to start the season. Carlynton fell to Carmichaels, 47-44, on Friday. The Cougars led by seven after the first quarter but allowed the Mighty Mikes to outscore them, 26-15, the next two periods and let the game slip away. Wisniewski and Latimore led the team with 15 points each.
Carlynton rebounded on Day 2, as it defeated Neighborhood Academy, 43-31. Latimore led the team with 14 points, and Calorie added 11.
The Cougars will play in Section 6-AA this season after competing in Section 5-AA last year. The team makes the move with South Side Beaver and Sto-Rox and also will face the likes of Avonworth, Freedom, Northgate and Quaker Valley. Kozy said he has looked at the schedule but still needs time to dissect the teams they will face during the season. His concentration is more on improving his team instead of what other teams might do.
“We are going to concentrate on playing at a high level,” Kozy said. “As long as these guys go out and compete and play hard, I will be proud of them.”
Carlynton returns to the court tomorrow, Friday, as it hosts Quaker Valley. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-388-5813.
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.