First-year coach looking for returning players to pace Shady Side Academy boys
The Shady Side Academy boys basketball team, under first-year coach David Vadnais, hopes to improve on last year's 9-15 record, which included a 6-6 mark in the section.
“We have some established players returning, and we hope that they can lead the way for our new players,” Vadnais said.
The Indians will return three starters in 5-foot-9 guard Dan Marous, 6-2 guard Kyle Olander, both seniors; and 6-4 sophomore forward Mike Ware, who opened some eyes as a freshman last year.
Junior Patrick Loughran, a 6-1 guard/forward, also made a few starts.
Returning letterwinners are 6-0 senior guard/forward Chuck Calabrese, 6-2 senior guard forward T-Jay Cleveland, 6-2 senior forward Cam Dively, 6-0 senior guard Josh Levy, 5-10 junior guard Tyler Demchak, 6-0 junior guard Jackson Fitzgerald and 5-10 junior guard Sean Gramley.
Senior Matt O'Connor, a 6-3 center, returns to the team after taking a year off, and he will be joined by newcomers Nick Andreos (5-9, junior guard), Alec Bernstein (5-11, junior guard), Dylan Groff (6-2, junior guard/forward) and Phil King (6-2, junior forward).
Vadnais said the strength of the team will be its depth and getting Olander back.
“He was off to a great start last year before being lost for the season with an ankle injury,” Vadnais said. “I think he could surprise some people, even though he is a senior.”
The coach said he has a lot of players who could bring talent off the bench.
“If we can improve their all-around game, our bench could become a real strength,” he said.
A deep bench will help the Indians as they prepare for a tough section battle.
“GCC and Jeannette should be the teams to beat in our section,” Vadnais said.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.