Franskos are first family of soccer
If there ever was a "first family" of soccer in the Mid-Mon Valley, the Franskos, of Monongahela, would fit the bill.
Ron, Kayla and Skyler Fransko have been involved with the sport for years.
Ron Fransko is the head coach of the Ringgold boys' soccer team. His son, Skyler, a senior forward, starred for the Rams' this season as they advanced to the WPIAL semifinals before losing in the consolation game to South Park.
The Rams finished the year with a 17-2-1 record and weren't scored upon until the last regular season game against Canon-McMillan. That goal came with the team's junior varsity players in the lineup.
"I coached most of those guys for six or seven years," Fransko said. "They came up through the program at Ringgold. I also coached most of them at the cup-level with Victory Express out of Washington."
Skyler Fransko finished with 16 goals and 16 assists for the Rams this season.
"When my daughter (Kayla) played her final game at Ringgold, I knew that I still had my son coming up," Fransko said. "This year when Skyler played his final game, it was very emotional, as his coach and his father."
Kayla Fransko, like her father, played for Ringgold and chose California University of Pennsylvania to continue her playing career.
"Cal U's men's and women's programs have come a long way," Fransko said. "Dennis Laskey, is owed a lot of credit for the success they've had there.
"I was part of the first men's team in 1984. Now, I get to go watch my daughter play there every day."
Laskey is currently the men's soccer coach at Cal U, but there was a time he coached both the men's and women's soccer teams.
"The coach Kayla has now, Al Alvine, has done a phenomenal job recruiting. They were one of the few schools that showed a lot of interest in Kayla."
Kayla Fransko, a junior midfielder, was named a Daktronics second-team All-Atlantic Region selection. She started 22 games this season for Cal U, who reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. The No. 2-ranked Vulcans fell to then-No.10 St. Rose (NY) 1-0 Sunday in Albany.
She scored two goals and tallied seven assists for the Vulcans, who finished with a final record of 20-1-2, with a 12-0-2 conference mark.
"It's an awesome feeling," the elder Fransko said. "I graduated from Ringgold and played for Cal U, now my daughter, who graduated from Ringgold, is playing for Cal."
Does that mean there's some pressure on the youngest Fransko to follow in his dad and sister's footsteps?
"I'm not sure where Skyler is going to go," Fransko said. "Actually, my wife (Stephanie) is taking him to visit some schools.
"But Cal U is definitely in the mix."