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Alle-Kiski Valley high school notebook: New Knoch basketball coach has high hopes

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 11:39 p.m.
Knoch girls basketball coach Dave Peters

Dave Peters teaches vehicle collision repair at Butler County Area Vocational Technical School.

As the new Knoch girls basketball coach, he will try to pop the dent out of a program that's been spinning its wheels of late.

“I bet I'm the only coach who can paint and fix cars,” said Peters, a Butler native.

Peters, 44, was hired last week to replace Sean O'Donnell, who resigned after four seasons. Knoch will be the first head coaching job for Peters, who was an assistant with the men's team last season under Dick Hartung at Butler County Community College. He calls Hartung his mentor.

Peters also coached the Butler High School girls junior varsity team. His challenge will be getting Knoch to experience above-.500 basketball again. The Knights haven't had a winning season since 2008-09, and although they made back-to-back playoff appearances in 2011 and ‘12, they are 28-81 since.

“Knoch has a rich tradition and great facilities and it seems like the right fit for me,” said Peters, who has taught at Butler Vo-Tech for 11 years. “I had applied for other varsity jobs and made the finals, but never got over the hump. I love the game and I love to teach.”

Peters said he also applied at Slippery Rock and Moniteau. Peters said Butler County C.C. ran an uptempo offense, which he liked. He hopes Knoch can pick up the pace as well.

He said he would like to begin holding open gyms by early summer.

“We'll have to see what kind of skill-level of girls we have,” he said. “At BC3, we were fast-paced but we also had a shot clock.

“I want to come in and change the atmosphere. I think if the girls are willing to put the time in, that can happen.”

Tatrn absent

Deer Lakes boys volleyball coach Rick Tatrn's absence from the Lancers' 3-0 win over Keystone Oaks on Tuesday night begs a question as the team enters Thursday's quarterfinal against No. 1 seed Ambridge: Will Tatrn, Deer Lakes' coach since 1971, return to the sidelines against the Bridgers?

For undisclosed reasons, Tatrn missed at least one match and practice earlier this spring — he was not present when Deer Lakes hosted West Shamokin on April 29 or when the Lancers held practice April 30 — but returned to lead the team as it closed out its regular season.

On Tuesday, charges of simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment were filed against Tatrn by the Derry Borough Police Department, according to documents from Magisterial District Judge Mark Bilik.

The date of the alleged incident is listed as April 24, the same day Deer Lakes went to Derry for a match.

Official explanation for Tatrn's absences remains elusive. Tatrn has not returned calls.

Top assistant B.J. Reiher, who served as coach Tuesday night and April 29, declined to comment after both matches. And Deer Lakes athletic director Chuck Bellisario has refused to comment.

Another offerfor A-R's Tipton

Apollo-Ridge junior football standout Tre Tipton picked up another Division I scholarship opportunity with Ohio University offering.

Akron, Buffalo and Massachusetts also have shown interest of late. Tipton (6-foot-1, 170), an all-state defensive back and big-play wide receiver, also has offers from Toledo, Duquesne and St. Francis (Pa.).

Going camping

Knoch junior quarterback Dan Farinelli was invited to and attended the Nike Camp at the New York Jets' training center in Florham, N.J. The camp, held in April, was for the top 230 junior and sophomore players from the East Coast. Farinelli completed 82 of 175 passes for 1,175 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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