A-K Valley notebook: Surging Springdale softball weathers 18-day standstill

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Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 5:01 PM


Springdale is attempting to find a silver lining in the storm clouds that are hampering its breakout softball season.

The Dynamos last played April 10, the day of a 19-11 Section 3-A loss to Leechburg. Since then, weather and other factors forced several postponements.

“At least we’re well-rested,” coach Anthony Pototo said.

Pototo said the inclement weather not only caused Springdale (6-1, 3-1) to miss games, but it also forced the Dynamos to practice inside for the most part, not exactly an ideal circumstance for a team in the playoff hunt.

“When we get the opportunity to get outside, we’ve been doing things, and we’ve been doing things in the gym as well,” Pototo said. “I’ve been giving them days here and there. We’ve been doing some fun activities in the gym, too, just to keep things lighthearted. But it’s been a little rough.”

It might get even rougher this week for Springdale, which hopes to get back on the field Monday against Greensburg Central Catholic and Tuesday at Leechburg.

Because of the various postponements, Springdale has three scheduled doubleheaders in a five-day span: Thursday at Ellis School, Friday at home against Geibel and May 6 at home against Jeannette and St. Joseph.

Pototo said he is preparing other pitchers to get ready in case star freshman Alexis Hrivnak needs a break during that busy time.

“We have to get all these games in … and unfortunately these teams have to make up games, too,” Pototo said. “Basically, it hasn’t worked out. There’s some concern with that because we haven’t seen live action, but my girls are resilient. I firmly believe they’ll step right back on the field and pick up where we left off.”

Urso major

Fox Chapel graduate Brian Urso will take over the boys basketball program at Central Catholic, the school announced last week.

Urso currently works as director of basketball administration at Robert Morris, a position he will maintain in a limited role. Previously, the Fox Chapel graduate was an assistant at Chatham in 2015, when the school launched its men’s basketball program, and at IUP from 2016-17.

He also has experience coaching high school students as director of the Pittsburgh Nets AAU program from 2009-16.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Brian to Central Catholic,” athletic director Rick Capretta said in a statement. “He is truly passionate about the game. His resume is impressive and his experience working with students of all ages, both at the high school and the collegiate level, will be an asset to our community.”

At Central Catholic, Urso replaces longtime coach Chuck Crummie, who led the Vikings for 39 seasons.

Hess into service

Knoch has a new girls soccer coach, as the South Butler School Board approved Gregory Hess last month.

Athletic director Kurt Reiser said Hess previously served as the boys middle school soccer coach.

Hess replaces Kevin Wood, who stepped down after three seasons. The Knights went 20-30-5 under Wood, making a WPIAL playoff appearance in 2017. They finished 3-13-2 last season, including 2-10-2 in Section 1-3A play.

Apollo mission

Apollo-Ridge extended its deadline for finding a new girls basketball coach.

Athletic director Ray Bartha said interested candidates can apply through May 17 by sending a letter of interest, resume, clearances and two references to him at 1825 State Route 56, Spring Church, Pa., 15686.

Former coach Jim Callipare stepped down earlier this spring after six seasons.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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