Carlynton hires new girls volleyball, basketball coaches

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Sunday, July 18, 2021 | 9:01 AM


While the summer months are down time from actual events going on, coaches and athletes are working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the upcoming season.

That preparation is amped up a bit when new coaches are involved.

Such is the case at Carlynton after athletic director Nate Milsom recently announced the hiring of two new Cougars coaches for the 2021-22 school year.

“It is a difficult process as we want to make sure we get the best candidate for our kids,” Milsom said when asked about hiring new coaches. “This is someone who is going to make them better people in the years after they are at Carlynton. We want our coaches to teach these kids life lessons that they can use in their everyday lives even as adults.”

Aaron Cygnarowicz has been named the new head coach of the Cougars girls volleyball program.

“What excites me about this opportunity at Carlynton is how high the ceiling is for this team,” Cygnarowicz said. “We have a great mix of experienced talent as well as a talented group of young athletes coming up this year. I believe that they are hungry to improve their record from last year and are going to put the work in necessary to make that goal happen.”

Carlynton finished tied for fourth place in Section 2-2A and reached the playoffs last fall. However, coach Amber Seibel wanted to spend time with her growing family and stepped down.

“Our new coach has shown so far that he is dedicated to putting the time in,” Milsom said. “The girls have been going three days a week all summer and are involved in a summer league, so they are definitely getting better each and every day.”

Cygnarowicz spent the last three seasons as head coach at Sto-Rox.

The hope is the postseason run the Cougars are on will continue, but playing in the same section as powers North Catholic and Avonworth won’t make it easy.

“I expect big things for this upcoming year,” Cygnarowicz said. “We are a young, talented team, and I feel confident that we will be competitive in our section, and we have set our goals on making a deep WPIAL playoff run this season.”

The girls basketball team will have a new leader on the sidelines this winter after the hiring of Marc Heil as new head coach.

Heil has been an assistant at Bishop Canevin, as well at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana and Wheeling Jesuit and spent the last three years as the head coach at Ellwood City.

“Our new coach brings a wealth of knowledge with him and has coached at the collegiate level as well as the high school level,” Milsom said. “He is a coach that will be well prepared and knows the game.”

Even though the WPIAL basketball tournament was open to all this past season, the Cougars would have qualified anyway after finishing tied for third place in Section 3-2A.

Carlynton won via forfeit over Shenango in the first round of the district postseason before losing to eventual runner-up Serra Catholic in the quarterfinals.

“I’m excited about this job because at Carlynton, there is a history, culture and expectation of success here,” Heil said. “Within the past 20 years, the girls basketball team has produced multiple Division I players and has even won a WPIAL championship. I’m looking forward to building upon that tradition.”

While the learning curve is just getting underway here in the summer, Heil likes what he sees from his returning Cougars.

“I expect us to be a very versatile and scrappy team,” he said. “I believe we can win games with both our guard play and post play. I’m excited to see how we come together as a team over the summer and into the school year.”

Just because there is a new head coach, Milsom believes the expectations for this winter will not change for the Cougars hoops program.

“I expect us to build on the success that we had in the years past and continue the tradition of girls basketball at Carlynton,” Milsom said.

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