New South Fayette hockey coach looking to grow program
By Nathan Smith
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
When you approach the South Fayette School District, you will be met by a sign listing accomplishments by various sports teams and athletes.
If first-year coach Frank Certo has his way, the hockey team eventually will be featured on that sign.
Certo was an assistant coach the past two seasons at South Fayette. He had previously been on the coaching staffs at Chartiers Valley, Gateway, Penn Hills and Upper St. Clair, not to mention various amateur clubs.
The experiences will be needed as the Lions enter a rebuilding year. The team returns senior Joe Testa, who scored 25 goals with 12 assists last season.
Outside of Testa, there are a lot of unknowns for the Lions as the team graduated three of its four top point producers. Sophomore Spencer Barber is expected to have an extended role, as is freshman Jordan Timmons.
On defense, Dimitri Marrese returns after scoring two goals with nine assists in 2012.
John Lipovich and Jacob Stack – both freshmen – will both see time on the ice.
Wesley Sprecher will skate in as the team's goalie. The team entered the season without an experienced goaltender and the senior was asked to fill the void after playing as a defender the past two seasons.
“He did it for the love of the game,” Certo said. “He showed his commitment. It is going to be something we will work our way through this season.”
South Fayette has struggled to find consistency in recent seasons. After finishing with 13 wins in 2010, the total dropped to five last season.
Certo said the team is in a transition period and is putting an emphasis on the developmental program, something the older players on this year's squad never had a chance to participate in.
“From sixth to ninth grade, we have as much talent as anywhere,” Certo said. “We will be able to make a run to be the top team in Class A in a few years. South Fayette is a young program with a bright future.”
While it isn't expecting to compete for a Penguins Cup, the coaching staff wants to establish pride in what it means to be a hockey player at South Fayette.
“We want to establish a model of what it means to be a varsity hockey player,” Certo said. “We want to start to set an example that makes a sixth-grader look up and say ‘I want to be on that team.'
“We want to set a work ethic and standard for South Fayette hockey.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him 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.
- PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs roundup: Penn-Trafford beats North Allegheny in overtime
- Baldwin hockey captures Open Class championship
- Butler hockey team enters PIHL playoffs on a roll
- Freeport’s Hepler will continue hockey career in Alaska
- Armstrong stops Latrobe to reach PIHL semifinals
- Bethel Park tops State College
- Season, careers come to end for Norwin hockey seniors
- Freeport advances to PIHL semis by beating Westmont Hilltop
- PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs roundup: Pine-Richland wins in overtime
- TJ goalie’s strong play keys playoff win over Deer Lakes
- Franklin Regional hockey looks forward after season