New Seton-La Salle boys soccer coach helps organize alumni game
The Seton-La Salle boys' soccer program has built a successful program that expects to win every season.
Over the past decade, the Rebels have secured two PIAA championships, five WPIAL crowns and eight section titles.
Some credit the program's winning ways to its strong alumni connection, which inspires a legacy of success to all those involved. Underclassmen inherit the Rebel pride each season, and work hard to continue the winning tradition.
The alumni connection clearly is evident in the number of former players on the current coaching staff, including Ryan Kelly (2002), who is taking over as head coach this season.
Kelly, 28, of Mt. Lebanon, will be assisted by fellow Seton-La Salle graduates Mark DelGreco ('06), David DelGreco ('09), Patrick Vaughan ('08) and Nik Balzer ('07).
In addition to the strong alumni bonds, Kelly believes the Rebels' long-standing success can be attributed to a combination of skillful players and good coaches.
“Every Seton coach has done a good job of getting the most out of every player they had,” Kelly said. “We've had some really good players over the years. But, there's some luck too.”
Seton alumni from various classes remain close, enjoying friendly rivalries about which teams were the strongest.
This Saturday at 6:30 p.m., they will have an opportunity to put those rivalries to the test in an alumni soccer game at Merrick Field. Teams likely will be organized with even versus odd years according to Kelly, one of the event organizers.
Registration begins at 6 p.m., and includes a game T-shirt and pizza following the contest.
Postgame festivities are planned at the Mt. Lebanon Saloon on Washington Road.
“It's partially a fundraiser, but it's also a way to keep the fraternity of Seton soccer together and do some networking with our alumni,” Kelly said. “We've gotten together over the years, but there's never been an alumni versus alumni game.”
Organizers expect more than 40 former players to register for this year's game.
Kelly and some of his coaching staff will act as referees.
“I think we can handle it. I'm more worried about keeping the older guys properly hydrated,” Kelly said, with a laugh.
Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.