Mid-Mon Valley-area cage coaches getting their feet wet
By Jeff Oliver
Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The first week of organized practice is in the books for area boys' basketball teams.
This year, three local teams - Belle Vernon Area, Ringgold and California- have new coaches, Kyle DeGregorio, Phil Pergola and Steve Luko, respectively.
Pergola is not exactly new as he returns to the program he coached for 18 years guided to a PIAA title in 1996.
“Honestly, it felt a little strange coming into the gym and it still is to a degree, but I'm feeling more comfortable every day,” said Pergola, who coached at California last season. “The biggest changes around here are with the school. I mean, kids playing basketball is still kids playing basketball.”
Pergola said he was pleased with the turnout as 38 boys showed up for the first practice and he said he is down to 22.
“The kids are very receptive, which is a good thing,” he said. “I'm pleased. I think our future is with our younger kids.”Ringgold will scrimmage Albert Gallatin 4 p.m. Tuesday at the high school.
DeGregorio has been busy with the program ever since he was hired in June.
“We've been going five days a week every week since June,” DeGregorio said. “So that's like six months and you can see the skill level has increased with the kids. We have changed and improved in a lot of areas.
“So, once practice finally started, we were way ahead of where would have been had we just waited. We're in a much better place and the kids are really energized. It's a positive thing.”
DeGregorio said he has had 20 players and emphasized that he would not cut anyone who worked hard for him all summer long.
BVA scrimmages at Laurel Highlands at 9:45 a.m. today.
At Charleroi, coach Bill Wiltz says he is pleased with what he sees from the 18 players he has.
“We started with 18 kids and we still have 18 kids,” he said.
“Our practices have been real intense, which is what I like to see and I am seeing a lot of good things,” Wiltz said. “The kids are working hard. They are excited to play.”
Charleroi will scrimmage at Waynesburg on Nov. 30 at 10 a.m.
At Monessen, Joe Salvino is putting the Greyhounds through pre-season practice for his 30th season.
Monessen started with over 40 players and Salvino has whittled the roster down to 21.
“I really like what I'm seeing,” said Salvino. “We have some new kids who will really help us and I have seven kids back from last year, so it is a good mix. I like where we are right now.
“I was watching at practice (Thursday) and I saw that things are coming together. Kids are working hard and hustling and that is all I can ever ask for.”
Monessen has a three-team scrimmage Nov. 30 at Bethel Park along with Erie McDowell, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.
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.
- Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley prepare for rematch
- A-K Valley PIAA girls basketball playoff preview capsules
- Greyhounds again in underdog role
- Hampton, Luther prove too tall a task for Allderdice
- Frazier, EF girls set to hit PIAA road
- Defensive stop sets tone in Erie McDowell win over Kiski Area
- North Allegheny girls enjoy ‘bounce back’ win over WPIAL champion Penn-Trafford
- Greensburg Central Catholic boys roll past Bald Eagle in PIAA opener
- Elizabeth Forward girls advance to PIAA second round
- Lady Trojans set for PIAA playoffs
- After long layoff, Frazier, Mt. Pleasant girls set for PIAA tournament