Head coach Ryan Yarosic carries a pair of boxing gloves with him. They’re a post-game award for the most difference-making player, but they remind each Warrior that it’s a heavyweight fight. “He doesn’t have to score a ton – maybe he really played great defense,” Yarosic explains. “But during every game, something happens.” And that ‘something’ leads back to a particular player whose performance for the team that day made him the pound-for-pound best.
On an experienced squad with a choice of starting sets, Yarosic will have some trouble with the award decisions this year. “It’s a good problem to have,” he says.
For those Penn Trafford fans concerned about not seeing Zach Emerick in the sports pages enough, they can take heart in the fact that he is a talented senior guard. “Zach Emerick is just a tremendous leader,” Yarosic says. “This is my fourth year of coaching -- and I played college basketball -- and I’ve never come across someone like Zach. He doesn’t score, but he must grab 15 rebounds a game for us. He’s a solid defender,” Yarosic adds. It’s not always about the scoresheet with Emerick, but for the Warriors he’s got to be on the floor.
Yarosic is also excited that Corey Stanford has returned to the Warriors. Stanford, a junior shooting guard/small forward, is receiving Division I interest. Stanford was with Penn Trafford as a freshman, where he played on the varsity squad before transferring to The Kiski School for his sophomore year. As a Cougar, Stanford averaged 13.5 points per game and 10 rebounds. “He’s a natural scorer,” says Yarosic. Stanford is currently No. 5 on the Pittsburgh Basketball report’s Top 10 list for 2013. “He’s a great passer. He’s got the mind of a point guard but the body of a big man,” Yarosic added.
Junior point guard Dorian Stevens is another potential glove-winner. “I will be surprised if he’s not mentioned for All Section,” Yarosic says. Stevens endured an ankle injury last year, but by the end of 2011 he was a frequent contributor to the scoreboard. Guards Christian Rohaus and Mike Cumberledge add to Yarosic’s team confidence as well. Cumberledge is back after an ACL injury the previous season. “I really feel strongly about our guard positions with these two,” Yarosic says.
Team captain and junior forward Brian McDonough adds to the mix by almost taking a coach’s role. And junior forward Andy Abreu is also showing glove-winning potential. “He’s playing really well inside,” says Yarosic. “He’s relentless with the boards.”
Maybe the best thing that could happen is for Penn-Trafford to add glove-winners who aren’t in any articles, yet. Of all the seasons to do this, 2012 could be the one.
Penn Trafford opens its regular season on December 13th, at home against Woodland Hills. Game time is at 7:30PM.