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Vincentian adding football team

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Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011
 

Vincentian Academy president John Fedko could be announcing his employers' football highlights as early as next season.

The longtime sports anchor, who became an administrator at the McCandless private school in July, outlined plans Friday for Vincentian to begin playing WPIAL football, an audacious step for a Class A school that has an enrollment of about 230 students, including 97 boys in grades 9-11.

Fedko guaranteed that the Royals would be ready by 2014, but he also said there's "an outside shot" of playing as early as 2012.

"We looked at it from several perspectives," said Fedko, who retired from WPXI in 2010 but still hosts his "Skylights" football highlights show Friday nights in the fall. "First, we looked at what it's going to cost us and is it going to be feasible and not put a dent in our budget. We're convinced that if we add seven to 10 students, that it will pay for the football program. And we're convinced that we're going to be able to do that."

Part of that conviction had to do with Fedko's conversations over the past six weeks with Bud Beatty, who as athletic director helped Our Lady of the Sacred Heart start a football program before the 2010 season.

Vincentian hired Tim Storino to coach the team. Storino was an assistant at Central Catholic for the past two seasons, working with the receivers. He also compiled a 14-1 mark during that time as the JV coach.

Storino, who played quarterback at Bethel Park and Lock Haven University, will meet with prospective players next week to gauge interest. If at least 20 show up, Storino said he'll begin a push to play next fall, which would first require permission from the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Vincentian then would have to apply for a WPIAL slot by Jan. 3.

"Obviously it will be tough, but we're going to hope that with all the Catholic schools in the North Hills, that it would be an interesting draw," said Storino, who has been an assistant at Bethel Park and Shaler. "If we could get a big freshman class to come in, we think that we can give it a go next year."

Gibsonia native Anthony Tommarello started at center for the freshman team at Central Catholic this fall but transferred to Vincentian in November because he didn't feel that Central was the right fit. He -- along with Fedko and others -- already is pitching the new program.

"I'm trying to get people to join, even if they say they haven't played football," he said. "I'll tell them, 'It's OK. We don't have to win.' We'll get better as the season goes on, and maybe by my senior year, our team will be very good."

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