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The Ridgway boys basketball team was honored with a banquet Thursday night at The Royal Inn in Ridgway.
Ridgway varsity head coach Anthony Allegretto introduced the award winners. Eric Matheson was the recipient of the Frank Clark Award for the third time. Matheson wears âFCâ on the back of his shoes for Clark.
âThe award goes to a person that has the same vision and love of basketball,â Allegretto said. âEricâs motivation for playing basketball is from Frank Clark.â
Matheson was named as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
âSome people never get to coach a kid like that,â Allegretto said. âIâm very glad that I had the opportunity. A lot of guys can dribble and shoot, thereâs never been a guy thatâs been a leader like him. They all want to be there, thatâs what makes them such a good team.â
Aaron Sorge was named as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Sorge was put in during a game against Elk County Catholic during Sorgeâs sophomore year and Allegretto said the Elkers never looked back.
âWe never took him out after that,â Allegretto said. âWe saw what he could do defensively and he could shoot. Defensively, heâs got to be one of the best on-ball defenders in the state.â
Jordan Lundin and Matheson were co-winners of the Herbie Lenze Award. The late Lenze left money for the program which was used to buy video equipment for the team in all aspects of the program. Allegretto spoke of Lundinâs talents and smarts.
âOne of the smartest players Iâve ever coached,â Allegretto said. âHe wants to win. He did all the little things, he guarded, he rebounded, he knows how to work the baseline.â
Alex Oknefski was the scholar-athlete award winner. Kyle Kinkead was the Coachâs Award recipient. Kinkead has the distinction of scoring the teamâs final points of the season, a 3-pointer in the state semifinal against Lincoln Park.
âHe does the running, the conditioning, the weight-lifting,â Allegretto said. âThe kids love him, heâs part of the team.â
Allegretto spoke of the teamâs accomplishments and highlights.
âA 29-2 record, thatâs pretty unbelievable,â Allegretto said. âWe had to keep reminding ourselves on the bus rides home of our record. Our best ever record, probably never approached again. There were many times in that gym and at the Clarion floor where we looked up and saw all that maroon. With each game, that maroon wave just got bigger and bigger. We appreciated it. Itâs been a long road. We had three seasons where we won eight games. Itâs not taken for granted when we win 29 or 21 in two years, 64 in three years. Thatâs quite an accomplishment you guys have, thatâs wonderful. Never once did you guys say you were satisfied. I was worried about that. I talked to them about it for three days after we won the district title.
âWe had Eric scoring 1,000 points the first game of the season. We won the Elk County Tournament, we won 18 games in a row. We followed that with 11 wins in a row,â Allegretto said. âWe beat Sheffield to earn our PIAA spot. At halftime of the Sheffield game, besides the DCC loss, that was the worst feeling I had. Iâve never had another horrible feeling except coming out of that locker room during the Sheffield game while we were winning by three points. It was the most nervous Iâve been about anything. I donât usually get nervous, I get antsy.â
Allegretto spoke about the focus of the team.
âThe focus they have is unbelievable,â Allegretto said. âWe were all about what needed to be done that day. When that was done, we were about what needed to be done the next day. The seniors were great at keeping everybody focused. This was something very special.â
Assistant coach Denny Posteraro sent a letter to the team expressing his thoughts on the season. He spoke about âFamily, Integrity, Excellence.â
âIt has been 15 days since our last game and I have been thinking of images I observed after the game,â Allegretto said when reading Posteraroâs letter. âWe thought if we could get the team to compete at the highest level, we would be successful. We instituted beyond the absolute limit and 212 degrees. The goal is to compete at the highest level, break through it and compete at a level you thought you couldnât achieve. We had players that gave everything but we never had a team that competed at this level. In 40 years of coaching, Iâve never been involved with a group from Eric (Matheson) to Kinky (Kyle Kinkead) that competed with the intensity of this group.
Pick up a copy of the Saturday, April 7, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.View more articles in: