A-K Valley high school notebook: Highlands’ Chuck Debor resigns as AD to focus on teaching

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Thursday, April 18, 2019 | 5:29 PM


Chuck Debor spent the past handful of years working part-time as Highlands’ athletic director, but he soon will go back to doing what he loves full-time.

The Highlands school board Monday accepted Debor’s resignation as athletic director and facilities scheduler, effective June 30. He spent the last five years in the position.

Debor, a physical education teacher in the district, said he stepped down so he could focus his attention on teaching. The move also gives the district the opportunity to hire a full-time athletic director. The position is part-time.

Working in the athletic department was nice. I had a blast, don’t get me wrong,” Debor said. “But I’m only dealing with a certain type of person. I don’t get to see the entire student body. I really miss it because (teaching is) my first love. So this would give me an opportunity to go back into the classroom.”

Debor also worked as athletic director from 1992-95.

“It’d be a good opportunity to bring in a full-time athletic director in there,” he said. “With me being right across the hall, I can help them with any problems or any situations or any questions they would have.”

Kelly book

In the first season of Kelly Robinson’s tenure at St. Joseph, the Spartans competed in a section that included Dayton, Elderton and Shannock Valley. Those schools no longer exist, with Shannock Valley and Dayton merging to form West Shamokin in 2000 and Elderton closing in 2012.

It is just one example of the change that happened in the WPIAL over Robinson’s 21 seasons at St. Joseph, which came to an end this week as he announced his retirement.

For all the change around him, Robinson oversaw a stable program, guiding the Spartans to 17 playoff WPIAL berths, five section titles and four appearances in the PIAA playoffs. One of those state appearances ended in a first-round forfeit, as Robinson didn’t want to risk travel in a heavy snowstorm.

“It’s been quite a change over the last 21 years,” said Robinson, who described a career in which he coached brothers of players he previously coached, and even some fathers and sons. “I’ll remember mainly just trying to keep a winning team on the court and having fun. It always meant a lot to me when the kids enjoyed the game, and they had fun. It seemed like when the kids had fun, they had more success.”

Robinson’s last game came at last weekend’s Roundball Classic at Geneva, where he coached St. Joseph players Matt Arvay and Daniel Fabregas.

St. Joseph is seeking a replacement for Robinson, who won 283 games in 21 years. Candidates are asked to send a resume, letter of interest and two references to athletic director Matthew Skoda at [email protected] by May 3. Questions can be directed to Skoda at 724-224-5552, extension 113.

Classic finish

A pair of Alle-Kiski Valley players closed their high school basketball careers on a high note after earning team MVP honors at the Roundball Classic.

Burrell’s Logan Bitar and Valley’s Nyjewel Carter had strong performances for their respective teams at the seven-game event that featured seniors from the WPIAL and surrounding districts.

Bitar scored a team-high 17 points for Team West in a 115-107 victory over Team East on Friday, earning MVP honors. Carter had a game-high 22 points for the City League/Prep/ District 6 team in a 110-108 victory over District 10 on Friday.

“It felt great to end my athletic career on a high note,” said Bitar, who won’t play in college, choosing instead to focus on academics.

Other double-digit scorers from the Alle-Kiski Valley at the Roundball included Knoch’s Julian Sanks, who scored 21 points for the Class 4A/A team in a 119-113 loss to Class 3A/2A, and Deer Lakes’ Brad Perrotte, who scored 10 points for Team West.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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