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Busy offseason gives hope for youthful Springdale boys basketball

Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Springdale's Adam Kralik drives the lane during practice Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Springdale's Adam Kralik drives the lane during practice Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch - Springdale's Adam Kralik, drives to the hoop during practice on Monday at Springdale High School, December 2, 2013
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Springdale's Adam Kralik, drives to the hoop during practice on Monday at Springdale High School, December 2, 2013

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By George Guido
Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 10:12 p.m.
 

After decades of winning for the Springdale boys basketball program, tough times have arrived atop Mount Colfax.

The Dynamos have enjoyed just one winning season (17-7 in 2007-08) in the past 19 years.

But third-year coach Seth Thompson believes the program is on its way to a turnaround.

“We had a great offseason,” Thompson said. “We played over 30 games this summer. Between team camps, the urban league in the city and informal get-togethers, we were busy.”

Once again, Springdale is a Class A school playing “up” in classification to Section 3-AA.

It's a foregone conclusion the Dynamos will return to Class A next season, according to school officials.

The program comes into the season with 1,062 victories and has made 31 WPIAL playoff appearances.

But for now, Springdale will be going with youth. Sixteen of the program's 21 players are freshmen or sophomores.

“We tried to speed up the maturation process by playing over 30 summer games. They have matured in terms of basketball IQ since April, but we're still young, physically.”

The Dynamos lost leading scorer Charlie Guy, who last season was seventh in the Alle-Kiski Valley at nearly 16 points per game.

The only returning starter is senior Matt Matisko, a 6-foot-3 forward. Matisko played on the perimeter last season, but must now move inside because of the team's lack of height.

“Of our 21, he's the only one that has seen any significant varsity time,” Thompson said.

Also set to start when the Dynamos open their 87th basketball season Friday are junior forward Roy Newcamp, senior Nathan Shaw and guard Taran Roesch, a transfer from Sharpsville who's set at the point.

“We're a lot different than last year,” Matsiko said. “We had a good offseason so there's a lot of potential to do some good.”

Thompson said the final starting berth is still up for grabs as Zach Acheson, Adam Kralik and Joel Wynneberg are pushing for playing time.

With highly rated Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette and Shady Side Academy occupying the upper echelon of the section, Thompson feels his team is poised to compete for the fourth and final WPIAL playoff berth this season.

Springdale begins section play Dec. 17 against visiting Serra Catholic. The Dynamos will play five games in the season's first eight days.

“We're not going to use our youth as a crutch,” Thompson said. “We're going to compete the best we can, but there will be growing pains.”

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