Another year, another late start for Clairton, which once again saw the opening of its season delayed because of the school's football success. The Bears are scheduled to play their opener Thursday against Jefferson-Morgan, followed by their Class A Section 4 opener Friday at Serra Catholic.
Just three days after Clairton lost in the PIAA Class A football quarterfinals, coach Matt Geletko said most of the basketball players on the team were already in the gym gearing up for the season. Among them were football stars Aaron Mathews and Lamont Wade. Fellow senior Harrison Dreher is recovering from a shoulder injury.
Geletko said the season is an important one for his seniors, particularly Mathews, who was a key contributor as a freshman when Clairton reached its last WPIAL final. The Bears have qualified for the playoffs 11 years in a row. Jeannette, the WPIAL runner-up last season, is the defending section champion.
"They want to win and I think they can this year," Geletko said. "Aaron took on a nice leadership in role in football and did this summer in basketball. He's really stepping up."