Notebook: New coaches take reins in District 6
Blairsville baseball coach Mark Palmer isn't out to make any bold predictions. As the first year baseball coach at Blairsville, Palmer is just hoping to compete within the conference.
And the three other first-year coaches in the Heritage Conference feel the same way.
The conference has a new look to it this season, with four of the seven teams getting new coaches at their respective high schools.
"There's a lot to learn," Laurel Valley coach Lew McLaughlin said. "There are a lot of experienced coaches, but they need to know the ins and outs of the school. They have to realize they are not going to have the same lineup everyday."
McLaughlin, Paul DeHaven (Marion Center) and Pete Poldiak (United) are the only mainstays from last season, while the other four schools found new coaches.
Palmer and Homer-Center coach Rob Stossel each won their debuts with their new teams, while Purchase Line (Gary Buffone) and Northern Cambria (T.J. Mullen) did not play.
United coach Tom Whitcomb and two United wrestlers participated in the second-annual Flood City Showdown last Tuesday at Westmont Hilltop High School.
The tournament pitted the top senior wrestlers from the Heritage and WestPAC conferences against the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.
Whitcomb served as an assistant coach, while both United wresters came away with victories.
Chuck Boring beat Dan Svonavec of Somerset, 6-2, and Ty Boyer beat R.J. Hostetler of Forest Hills, 12-0.
United was the only team other than North Star on the Heritage/WestPAC team to place multiple wrestlers.
"The matches were really close," Whitcomb said. "This was a nice thing for the senior boys and a nice way for them to go out."
Two other wrestlers from the Heritage Conference also participated.
Northern Cambria's Brian Kosidlo beat Vince O'Donnell of Westmont Hilltop, 2-0, and Dan Golias of Westmont Hilltop beat Marion Center's Seth Bicker, 9-2.
This and that
Homer-Center junior Tyler Clifford leads the conference in RBI with five in two games, while Homer-Center's Matt Zenisek and Seth Henderson each lead the conference in runs scored with three apiece. ... With perfect 2-0 records, Northern Cambria, Saltsburg and Homer-Center are tied for first place in the softball standings.