"The Shaler Area High School Class of 2012 were freshmen when boys basketball coach Howie Ruppert died in December 2008.
Sadly, the affable Ruppert, universally respected as one of the area's best basketball coaches, never got to see things through with a group of Shaler players that might go down as the best in the school's history.
Paul Holzshu was given the opportunity to replace Ruppert. He wasn't pleased by the circumstances under which he got the job, but he couldn't be more proud of what those players have achieved.
"It started off four years ago with a group that went 27-0 as freshman," Holzshu said earlier this week, referring to the Titans senior basketball players whose careers ended with a 52-49 loss to Erie Cathedral Prep in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals this past Saturday."
(Photo: Shaler Area junior Geno Thorpe, a Penn State recruit, averaged 21.4 points a game this past season. Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette.)