The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

April 3, 2014

GJHS hires Price

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstown High School simultaneously landed a new boys basketball coach and lost a girls basketball coach on Tuesday night.

The Trojans’ athletic program also solidified its head football coaching position for another three years.

All three important developments occurred during the regularly-scheduled board of directors meeting at the district’s central office.

Rich Price was hired as head boys basketball coach and will replace Neil Cobaugh, who resigned last month.

A veteran coach, Price had successfully rejuvenated the Johnstown High girls program during his two seasons, taking the Trojans to the District 6 Class AAA title game this year. His move will leave a vacancy on the girls side.

In another board decision involving the athletic program, head football coach-athletic director Tony Penna Jr. said his contract was extended three years.

“This is a great opportunity,” said Price, who led the Johnstown girls to an 11-15 record, a District 6 Class AAA runner-up finish and appearance in the state playoffs. “It took me a lot of thought. I didn’t go into this lightly because leaving the girls was extremely difficult. I talked to many people but two of my close friends who are high school coaches – (Bishop Carroll’s) Cosie Aliquo and (Richland’s) Greg Burke – I talked to and compared notes. They really swayed me to take this opportunity. We went over pluses and minuses.

“The girls have improved much faster than I thought they would, and frankly that program is on its way up,” said Price. “I think it’s going to be very strong for the next six or seven years. I never want to leave somebody with the cup half empty. I’d rather leave it stronger in order to even be better than when I was the head coach. I think the girls program will be that next year and in years to come.”

Price takes over a program coming off a 12-11 season that included a 6-AAA semifinal appearance. Cobaugh had a 95-28 record and his teams won four consecutive District 6-AAA titles from 2010 to 2013 (overall the Trojans won five in a row including 2009 under Dave Roman Jr.).

The Trojans boys return all five starters and some key players off the bench.

“I thought the past couple coaches have done a great job of maintaining the boys program at a high level,” said Price, a 1980 graduate of Johnstown High. “I just want to build on that. The first step is I want to build a staff. We want to continue a strong junior high program and then basically build off the past and in the future we want to make a run at a state title.

“Athletically we are as good as anybody in the state. We want to get further in the state playoffs. Every year we want to make a run in the Laurel Highlands Conference, one of the toughest in the state from top to bottom. We have our work cut out for us. We also want to make a run through the state tournament.”

Price’s two sons will be members of the team. Ryan Price will be a senior returning starter at guard, and Tavis Price will be a sophomore.

Coach price led Johnstown’s girls to a 17-32 mark in two seasons. Overall as a girls head coach, he has a 103-68 record including five years at Windber. Price also spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant with the Ferndale girls and five years coaching boys AAU teams.

“We were very fortunate to have some strong candidates,” Penna said of the boys hoops position. “It was a tough decision for all those involved. At the end of the day, coach Price emerged as the best candidate. We’re looking forward to see what he can do with the boys program. He did an outstanding job with the girls program and we expect the same with the boys program.

“His experience, his familiarity with the kids and the overall calmness he has in tense situations are pluses,” Penna added. “I’ve coached with him in football and I’ve watched him in basketball in those critical situations. You have to be able to sit in there in those crucial situations with the blackboard and draw something up to get your team back in the game. He’s handled himself in those situations too.”

Penna said the girls position will be posted and a search will begin.

“We’re looking for a new girls coach,” Penna said. “Rich left the program in pretty good shape, with all five starters and two bench players returning. There’s a good, young class of ninth graders coming up too. It’s a good situation and we’re actively searching for candidates for that job.”

As for his extension as football coach, Penna appreciated the support after Johnstown’s following a long, successful stretch with an uncharacteristic two sub-.500 seasons.

“I’m flattered,” said Penna, who has a 25-19 record in four seasons, including a 19-4 mark during his first two years. “The pride and rich tradition of this program has been stated again and again. To be part of this a lot of times can be overwhelming. We have to live up to that tradition. The last two years haven’t been good.

“I understand where I coach and the expectations. We embrace that. it’s time to get the program back to where we need to be and I’m going to work tirelessly to accomplish that goal.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/masty81.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School Sports
  • coleman2 McCort pitcher wins May Award

    Bishop McCort High School’s Brad Coleman earned the May Point Stadium Award nomination based on his performance in a District 6 Class A playoff victory on May 22.
    Coleman pitched a seven-inning, complete game in a 7-2 win over Homer-Center in the 6-A semifinal round. With the win, McCort clinched its fourth consecutive state tournament playoff berth.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • maddison 4 Richland pole vaulter decides on Red Flash

    Maddison Feather has sailed to great heights throughout her scholastic career at Richland High School.
    Feather – a pole vaulter – takes away a District 6 title and an appearance in the PIAA championship meet from her senior season with the Rams.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • mccort27 Area players get PHSBCA nods

    Brad Coleman and Alex Sobecky were part of an amazing four-year run by the Bishop McCort High School baseball team.
    Jack Shirk is an underclassman who stood out on a Richland squad that also has been one of the best in the LHAC in recent seasons.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • lantzy22 color Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

    The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

    June 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • lantzy Local stars shine in Ken Lantzy Finest 40 game

    While the Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game brings football standouts from across the region to Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium, Friday night’s contest took on a distinct Richland flavor as the South toppled the North 48-18 in the 44th edition of the summer football contest.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • jerry Former coach honored for long service

    The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
    Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • north20 North offense shows big gains during Lantzy practices

    As the North offense prepared for tonight’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Trojan Stadium on the campus of Greater Johnstown High School, tightening up issues with timing and terminology was at the top of the unit’s to-do list.
    If the North’s offense takes the field and operates with machine-like precision tonight, it can thank the intersquad scrimmage on Tuesday as the breakthrough point of the group’s progress during the week.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • soff Three quality quarterbacks bolster South’s chances in Lantzy Game

    The South squad has an impressive arsenal of offensive talent on hand for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game, set for 7 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
    The Rebels have three skilled quarterbacks on the roster who have combined for nearly 5,000 yards passing and another 2,000 yards on the ground.

    June 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • South D.JPG South changes defense after last year’s loss

    After being thrashed 41-7 last year by the North, the South is hoping to rise again as it prepares for Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star Game set for 7 p.m. at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    On defense, those plans will evolve around the change in defensive schemes that has been instituted with teams now required to run a 4-3.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • lantzy north17.JPG North defense happy to get back to contact as Lantzy game approaches

    It’s been a while since organized live contact on the football field has been a concern for anyone suiting up to play in Friday’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    Talking to members of the North defensive unit, that long wait came with a satisfying end on Monday when teams went into contact drills in the week-long preparations for the 44th edition of the region’s football showcase.

    June 17, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads