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Local notebook: Coaching openings abound in Alle-Kiski Valley

Springdale girls basketball coach Dan Ross reacts to a call during a game at Riverview on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Ross has since resigned, joining three other local girls basketball coaches who left after the season ended.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013, 12:41 a.m.

The Alle-Kiski basketball season has been over less than a month, and five area schools are looking for girls basketball coaches.

Last week, St. Joseph opened its coaching position despite Dan Slain being 4 for 4 in WPIAL playoff appearances. Slain said he plans to reapply.

That came after Valley coach Jeff Cheatham turned in his resignation. Three more local coaches followed.

Apollo-Ridge, Leechburg and Springdale also are seeking new coaches after former leaders stepped down.

Desiree Syster stayed three years at Apollo-Ridge and compiled a record of 24-41, while Theresa Eddinger departed Leechburg after two seasons. She was 2-39.

Neither team made the WPIAL playoffs under those coaches.

Dan Ross, meanwhile, a long-time local coach, left after a second stint with Springdale, this one lasting two seasons. Ross also coached the Dynamos from 2005-08. His record in five seasons was 48-70 with four playoff berths.

Ross also coached Fox Chapel's girls for nine years and was 139-94 there.

Girls Roundball picks

Three Alle-Kiski Valley senior basketball players have been selected to play in the girls Roundball Classic on April 20 at Geneva College.

Deer Lakes guard Becca Babincak will play for the West team in a game featuring players from WPIAL Class AA and A and City League players. That game is at 2 p.m.

Highlands guard Nikki Misejka will play for the Class AAA team against a Class AAAA team that will include Kiski Area forward Maddie Antone. Tip is set for about 4 p.m.

There are also two boys all-star games at 6 and 8 p.m.

Fox Chapel presence

Fox Chapel boys basketball coach Zach Skrinjar and his staff will coach a WPIAL team against one from the City League in the Champions Association All-Star Game at 5 p.m. April 7 at Penn Hills.

Fox Chapel's Nate Huwar, who also is in the Cager Classic, also will play in that game.

Another D-I QB

With the verbal commitment of Vandergrift's J.J. Cosentino to Florida State, the A-K Valley quietly has had nine high school quarterbacks move on to Division I/Division I-FBS colleges since 2001.

Cosentino, a junior at Pittsburgh Central Catholic, played his freshman season at Kiski Area before transferring.

The other local signal-callers to commit to Division I programs in the last 12 years include Deer Lakes' Drew Geyer (Robert Morris), Highlands' Matt Bonislawski (Connecticut), Kiski Area's Josh Vick (New Hampshire), Knoch's Mark Rupert (Duquesne), Highlands' Jeff Sinclair (Robert Morris), Central Catholic/Plum native Perry Hills (Maryland), Knoch's Ky Kenyon (Robert Morris) and Fox Chapel's Alex Romango (Bucknell).

Kenyon since has moved to strong safety.

Other offers

Cosentino said he committed early so Florida State did not waiver.

He also picked up offers from South Florida and Akron.

“I think the time was right,” Cosentino said. “I didn't want them to think I was losing interest in them. We've developed a good relationship. Now I can focus on winning a championship at Central and being the best quarterback I can be.”

Altmire tournament

The third annual Caleb Eli Altmire Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will be 9 a.m. April 27 at Apollo-Ridge High School.

Proceeds once again benefit the Caleb Eli Altmire Scholarship Fund. A former two-sport standout at Apollo-Ridge, Altmire was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2010.

Each year a scholarship is awarded to an Apollo-Ridge senior in his name.

Cost is $30 per team. Contact: Greg Fox, 724-448-2144.

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