Central Catholic hopes big season brings back tradition
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last season, Central Catholic won its first section title since 2003. Hoping to build on that success and a rich tradition, the Vikings have set their hopes high this season.
“This season is the 40th season, so we're excited about that,” said head coach Bill Connelly. “It's been a while since we've made it to our ultimate goal of winning a state championship. Given the history of the school and the history of the hockey team, we certainly like to keep that tradition with us at all times.”
Entering a season as long as the PIHL's, Connelly said he want to guard against his players looking too far ahead.
“(We have to) focus on playing well each night,” he said.
Central Catholic lost to Class AAA rival North Allegheny, 3-1, in their opening game of the season Oct. 30. Connelly said it was a good first test against the team ranked No. 1 in the preseason.
If the players can stay healthy and play consistently, Connelly said he thinks the Vikings can put themselves in good standing to compete when the playoffs start.
Last season, Central played in a lot of close games. Connelly said his players are ready to put it in the time and do the little things that could help them take the next step.
“With preparation comes execution,” Connelly said.
One of the new preparation methods Central Catholic is utilizing this season is watching video on Wednesday mornings, when the school has a delayed start time.
“That's a great time to kind of prepare for the next game,” said Neil Carleton.
A challenge facing the Vikings is that 11 players left the team last season — some graduated and some are playing for travel teams. Connelly said he's not worried because he has confidence in the current roster.
Central has three senior defensemen, JK Freyvogel, Dylan Junker and Carleton, who is the team's captain.
“He's going to be a big factor. He can play in any situation. He really dictates the tempo,” Connelly said.
On offense, Central Catholic has strong forwards in seniors Anthony Parrucci and Chris McCambridge and junior Jesse Yeckel.
New players have joined the team, too, and are excited to make a name for themselves.
“We have a lot of spots that have to be filled, but they are definitely capable of filling them,” Parrucci said.
The player turnover has brought a new dynamic to the team, one that's more about teamwork and less about individual achievements.
“Last year, we had a lot of talented players, but this year, I think we could definitely come through as a team,” Parrucci said. “Last year, we forgot about that.”
Carleton agreed with that assessment.
“I think this year's team is a much more coherent team with great team chemistry,” Carleton said. “I think this group of guys is ready to handle the adversity of the season.”
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.
- Rossi: After L.A., NFL should tread carefully
- Starter Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates to series sweep of Mets
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Cochran repair center planned in Harrison
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Pirates notebook: Substance rule a sticky subject
- Memorial Day service in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies still growing
- Motorcyclist killed after striking pole in Penn Township
- Oncologists wary of scaled-back guidelines in cancer screenings