Scholastic Notebook – 04/08/2011

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Friday, April 8, 2011 | 12:00 AM


It was in the mid 1970s and young Riverside High School baseball coach Dan Oliastro drafted a letter of resignation. There are 500 reasons why Riverside is glad Oliastro never handed in that letter to the school board.

On Thursday, Oliastro won his 500th career game as Riversides coach when the Panthers defeated Beaver Falls, 4-0, in a WPIAL Class AA Section 5 game.

Oliastro, 67, is in his 43rd year as Riversides coach and his record is 500-363. There are no records anywhere as to who are the winningest coaches in WPIAL history. But youll have a hard time finding many with 500 wins. Even some highly-successful, longtime coaches in the WPIAL who are now retired didnt get 500 wins. Hopewells Joe Colella might be the frontrunner with 655 wins in 48 years.

Legendary Shaler coach Jerry Matulevic, now retired, is one of the few with 500 wins. He had 519 in 31 years.

Oliastro must still have something left on his coaching fastball, especially after a few down years. Riverside was 9-9 in 2009 and 7-13 last year. This season, Riverside is 4-1.

Oliastro, a retired guidance counselor, has two WPIAL championships (1996 and 2006). Also, he is one of only two coaches in WPIAL history to win back-to-back state championships. Oliastro did it in 2005-06. The only other one to win two states in a row was Moons Tom Hoffman in 2000-01.

South Park Thrower Best in the Country

Is it something in the water at South Park? Whatever the reason, this school always seems to produce good javelin throwers. This year, it is Bill Stanley.

Stanley won the Tri-State Coaches Association javelin title last weekend with a throw of 206 feet, 7 inches. But the impact of Stanleys throw goes much further than Western Pennsylvania. According to national lists with Track & Field News and www.milesplit.com , Stanleys throw is the best in the country this season. Throwing more than 200 feet is quite a feat this early in the spring.

As for South Park javelin throwing tradition, some of the WPIALs top javelin throwers in the past decade have come from South Park. Chad Radgowski was one of the best high school throwers in the country as a senior. In 2005 at the WPIAL championships, Radgowski won the Class AA title and teammate Mike Graziosi was second. Radgowski went on to throw at LSU and the University of Oklahoma.

A year ago, Stanley was the WPIAL champion. In 2008, Rodi Vis was 10th at the WPIAL championships and fourth in 2007.

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