Coaching changes in Penn-Trafford soccer programs

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Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | 4:53 PM


Penn-Trafford’s soccer teams will be under new leadership next season.

The school district Monday night accepted the resignation of girls coach and new mother Jackie Bartko, who guided the Warriors to their second WPIAL championship in 2017.

The boys team, meanwhile, has a new coach in Sotiri Tsourekis, who coached the Keystone Oaks boys team for the past 10 years.

He replaces Rick Nese, who resigned after five seasons.

Bartko coached for five seasons and had a record of 68-24-3 with five playoff appearances. Penn-Trafford edged rival Norwin to win the 2017 WPIAL Class 4A title.

She also coached Greensburg Salem for two seasons.

Bartko, a teacher at Penn-Trafford, wants to spend more time with her young family. She had a boy last offseason and returned to coach this past season.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision for me,” she said. “I have truly loved my five years of coaching at Penn-Trafford. However, I now have a son who I want to spend the most amount of time with that I can. With working a full-time job, I already feel like I’m losing valuable time to spend with him and, unfortunately, the commitment to coaching makes me miss even more with him and (her husband) Chris. I have spent a long time thinking about what is best for myself and my family, and at this point in time, it is what’s best for me.

“I truly care about every player on this team, and I will miss them terribly. I plan on supporting the girls in any way I can.”

Penn-Trafford athletic director Kerry Hetrick said the school will miss Bartko’s leadership.

“We’re all moms and dads, and we understand the time commitment,” Hetrick said. “She has done so much for our program, and we wish her nothing but the best. It’s bittersweet to see her go.”

Tsourekis, who played at Pitt, is a coach with the Allegheny Force cup program.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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