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New coach tries to right West Shamokin's boys soccer program

| Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 10:49 p.m.

It has been a school year in which West Shamokin's football team and basketball programs have excelled, and Joe Treglia hopes he can help another of the school's programs turn into a success story.

Treglia, an assistant principal at West Shamokin High School, became the school's boys soccer coach after being approved by the Armstrong School Board at its meeting Jan. 23. He replaces Jon Minteer Sr., who led the team to a 3-11-0 record last season.

Victories have been hard to come by for the West Shamokin program, which made its only WPIAL playoff appearance with a school-record seven wins in 2005. The team has won more than three games once in the past five seasons, and Treglia's plan to improve on that mark begins with trying to raise the profile of the program as a whole.

“What made the position intriguing to me was that you really don't hear much at all about the program here,” Treglia said. “Football gets a lot of buzz for what they've done. I want to create some buzz, see more people come to the games and see the soccer program make a turnaround.”

Treglia's background in soccer began with playing at the youth, high school and local amateur level in the Greater Pittsburgh Soccer League. He also has coached at the club level, most recently with youth teams in the Deer Lakes area where he lives.

“I've played and coached all around. I've refereed. I've been around the game pretty much since I was able to walk,” Treglia said.

The days off from school because of snow and cold weather meant that Treglia had to wait before he could talk with the returning players after he got the job. He does have a degree of familiarity with most of the players as a principal at the school, which should make the coaching transition easier.

“For the most part, they know me,” Treglia said. “I hope to meet with all the players in grades 7-12 to let them know where the program is headed. We want to try and get the kids to learn to play together, whether that's in the gym or outside during the year.”

The Wolves will face a new challenge in 2014 after being moved up from Class A to Class AA. In the WPIAL's realignment for the next two school years, West Shamokin will be in Section 2-AA, a section with a very wide range of teams in terms of achievement.

The section is headed by powerhouse programs Shady Side Academy and Mars, but it also features Deer Lakes, Knoch and some teams that have struggled in recent years, such as Kittanning, Highlands and Freeport. That group will set the bar very high at the top but also give West Shamokin an opening to work their way upward in the section.

“I look at it this way: If you want the program to get better, you have to play some better competition,” Treglia said.

“We have some teams in there that we've seen before and some teams that are consistently top-notch programs. It's going to give us a gauge of where we are. Our goal is to get to .500 and make playoffs, and being in that section, that would be a big accomplishment.”

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