Blogs > Gettin' Schooled

A boys basketball blog hosted by Daily Times reporter Christopher A. Vito

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The feelings Glen Mills coach Craig Mellinger expressed openly outside his team's HersheyPark Arena locker room Saturday night were those of remorse. Maybe there was some regret dashed in there too.

Mellinger, who has been around long enough to win his 300th game this season (pictured), has been down this road before. He knows that the Battlin' Bulls' first state playoff team since 2004 might have been their last for quite some time. There is never any certainty which student-athletes will be back next season at Glen Mills, a school for court-adjudicated youths.

"How many am I guessing I'm losing? Every single kid in our locker room," Mellinger said after the Bulls' 59-44 loss to Central Dauphin East in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA tournament. "And that's always a huge question-marked proposition. A, who's going to still be committed to the court system, and B, who will be in a situation where maybe it's not conducive for him to go back home and they need to stay here and get processed.

"Honestly, and I'm not being facetious – we're probably going to lose every kid in there, so we'll have to start over again."

It also does not help the Bulls' cause that they lose 6-10 All-Delco center Aaric Murray, a La Salle signee who you can pencil in for a double-double almost every night. Murray, who prior to three years ago had never played organized basketball, was considered a project at The Mills.

"All of these guys, from the moment they set foot on our basketball court, are our kids and our projects," Mellinger said. "Some, their learning curve is going to be a lot quicker. Other guys, we’re willing to work with any and all. We just got done saying to these guys, ‘It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you all.'

"…From November and until now, I don't think they realize how far they've come. I think they'll reflect back on it in a couple of weeks and they'll understand it."

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Here are some links from Saturday's high school action:

Chester 66, Red Land 50: Click for the story; Click for photo slideshow by Eric Hartline.
Penn Wood 51, Penn Manor 46: Click for the story; Click for video by Bob Gurecki.

Archbishop Carroll 59, West York 42: Click for the story.
Camp Hill 54, Sacred Heart 41: Click for the story.
Delco Christian 51, Greenwood 45: Click for the story.

Springfield's Andre Petroski, the reigning Daily Times wrestler of the year, took the bronze medal in the 189-pound division at states. Jon Campbell has the story. He and Daily Times sports editor Rob Parent tag-teamed (wrestling term, get it? Albeit a WWE one) the state championships, where Springfield had four wrestlers make states and three win medals.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The wait is over. Finally.

Ridley officially announced that Dennis Decker, a former standout with the Green Raiders, will take over as coach of the school's football team. The decision was made official when the Ridley school board confirmed Decker's hire Monday.

This is big news for the Green Raiders. Not only do they get a class-act hometown boy to follow in the footsteps of freshly-retired coach John Waller, they also get someone who is quite familiar with the legacy of Pennsylvania's all-time winningest football program.

In leading the Raiders to the 1990 PIAA championship game, Decker accrued 2,737 passing yards - a single-season record in Delaware County. The 35-year-old told Daily Times staff writer Jon Campbell he is aware of the pressure involved with the Ridley job.

"There is a little more at Ridley, with the tradition," Decker said. "Passion runs depe with Ridley football. Guys follow the program 30 or 40 years. There was going to be pressure whether I got this job this year or four or five years down the line."

Decker's hire comes three months after Waller stepped down. There was much debate how long Ridley could hold out without a coach.

As of Monday, the Green Raiders have found their man.

For Campbell's story in its entirety, click here.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Central League will hold its fourth annual Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser today and tomorrow.

The games are intended to collect as much revenue for the charity as possible. In 2006, the league's first year of affiliation with C vs. C, it raised $6,500. Last year, it collected $17,000. Make sure you go out and show your support.

Tonight is Lower Merion at Ridley. But every other game is Friday night in a 6 p.m. start for the girls and a 7:30 p.m. tipoff for the boys:
  • Conestoga at Upper Darby
  • Radnor at Strath Haven
  • Springfield at Penncrest
  • Haverford at Garnet Valley
  • Harriton at Marple Newtown



In the last two weeks, the spread of herpes gladiatorum (otherwise known as 'mat herpes') has been rampant in parts of Chester County and has local wrestlers and their coaches concerned. Wrestling beat writer Jon Campbell sheds some light on the skin infection, which is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can cause lesions on the head, neck and face.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


You don't go from a lean 171-pounder to a bulky 189-pounder overnight. Springfield's Andre Petroski knew that, so he started to hit the weights.

And he hit them hard.

"I expect to win states," said Petroski, a senior who finished fifth at that level last season. "I am ready to do whatever it takes."

Petroski is someone to watch this wrestling season, which kicked off over the weekend but is previewed Wednesday in the Daily Times.

Beat writer Jon Campbell does a great job of previewing the sport with a sneak peek at the Central League and the others. In keeping with our new preview tradition, Campbell offers his High Fives, too.


Elsewhere in Delco
***Boys basketball: Monsignor Bonner, led by Jamal Melvin, raced past Academy Park last night. The recap of the county's other games follows the game story.
***Girls basketball: Without All-Delco Diamon Beckford, who left after the second quarter due to injury, the Royals dropped their Central League opener.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


Somehow, you get the feeling that Garnet Valley didn't want its football season to end under these terms.

Not when the Jaguars outgained Neshaminy in total yardage. Not when the Jags held a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Not on their home field in the District One Class AAAA semifinals.

The No. 2 Jags fell to the No. 3 Redskins, 21-14, Friday night amidst such high hopes after scoring two touchdowns in an eight-minute span.

The Daily Times triple-teamed the game in print coverage, with football writer Jon Campbell handling the game-story duties.

Despite losing in the semis, deputy sports editor John Lohn reports that the Jags have a bright future ahead of them. After all, did anyone expect the 2007-08 Class AAA state runners-up to run the table in the Central League and go 12-0 in Class AAAA?

Neshaminy, which boasts a number of talented running backs, questionably went to the air ... and had success against the Jags. 'Skins QB Brian Titus was awful efficient, at 9-of-14 for 87 yards, and made each of his completions count.

VIDEO FOOTAGE: The Daily Times also had photographer Bob Gurecki on hand to grab footage of the game. Check it out.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008


For boys soccer fans out there waiting to see if your teams will advance to the postseason, reprieve from the waiting game is on the way.

The District One Classes AAA, AA and A playoff brackets will be released Sunday following early-morning coaches meetings.

Check back to Gettin' Schooled throughout the weekend for the latest.


And onto the football scene, where Andrew McCloskey (pictured) and the Cardinal O'Hara Lions had a difficult time staying afloat against St. Joseph's Prep. O'Hara lost 34-0, suffering its first loss of the season. Jon Campbell's video from the game, highlighted as the Game of the Week, is available here.

In other games...
Springfield used some trickery to slip past Haverford, 21-14
Malvern Prep shut out The Haverford School, 43-0
Penncrest erased a halftime deficit to take down Upper Darby, 27-24
Academy Park's Laquan Frazer netted 162 yards rushing and two scores in a 42-6 rout of Chichester
Episcopal Academy lost captain Stephen Faulkner to injury, but won, 21-12, against Germantown Academy
Archbishop Carroll's ground game churned out 448 yards on 58 carries in blowing out Cardinal Dougherty, 56-21

There's a huge game today in the Del Val between Chester and Glen Mills. Pick up a copy of Sunday's Daily Times for the latest on that one, which will determine the league champ and who likely will be watching the District One playoffs from the grandstands.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did you see that?

Here at the Daily Times, we're getting with the times.

In case you missed the first few installments, football beat writers John Lohn and Jon Campbell (with the help of our photography department) will film game action and stand-ups weekly from the Game of the Week.

Last week's footage came from Interboro's win over Glen Mills. For video from the game, and the full report that appeared in the paper, follow the link.

And be sure to check back each week for more live shots from the Game of the Week.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chester's win: We've got it covered

If you were at the Palestra last night, you were witness to Chester's dramatic 75-64 win over Pennsbury in the PIAA Class AAAA semifinal. In case you missed it, we've got you covered:

THE GAME STORY. Despite foul trouble, all five Clippers starters scored in double figures. They weathered a flurry of fouls and Pennsbury 3-pointers to extend their season.

THE REAL STORY. Marvin Dukes, Brandon Robinson and Mark Burrell probably didn't expect they'd play a huge role in Chester's win. But they did. Staff writer Jon Campbell tells their story.

THE PREPARATION. The Clippers' prep work for playoff basketball goes beyond the court. It starts in the classroom, where - as sports editor Rob Parent tells us - coach Fred Pickett's players are excelling.

THE VISUAL. Last night's game wasn't televised, but staff photographer Eric Hartline offers his view from the baseline at the Palestra in slideshow form.

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