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."
# # #
Here are some links from Saturday's high school action:
BOYS BASKETBALLChester 66, Red Land 50
for the story; Click
for photo slideshow by Eric Hartline
.Penn Wood 51, Penn Manor 46
for the story; Click
for video by Bob Gurecki
GIRLS BASKETBALLArchbishop Carroll 59, West York 42
for the story.Camp Hill 54, Sacred Heart 41
for the story.Delco Christian 51, Greenwood 45
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.
Labels: Aaric Murray, Bob Gurecki, Craig Mellinger, Eric Hartline, Jon Campbell, PIAA Class AAAA basketball playoffs, Rob Parent