Site last updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Enrietto: High school coaches in Butler County deserve our respect. They have mine

John Enrietto

Two things amaze me about high school coaches.

They get paid so little, and they do so much.

Numerous athletes I’ve talked with over the years refer to their high school coaches as “second fathers (or mothers)” or key mentors in their lives. No doubt, coaches fill such roles in the lives of young athletes time and time again.

You have to respect coaches who have built consistent programs that stand the test of time. Mars basketball coaches Rob Carmody and Dana Petruska are two of those. So are Seneca Valley track and field coach Ray Peaco, Moniteau track and girls golf coach Sue Scialabba and Warriors girls basketball coach Dee Arblaster.

Karns City football coach Ed Conto was that way before he retired, and there are plenty of others.

Numerous Butler coaches have earned my respect through the years with their longevity and dedication to their sport. Girls volleyball coach Meghan Lucas, cross country coach Rick Davanzati and girls track coach John Williams are certainly on that list.

Four Butler guys that really amaze me are boys basketball coach Matt Clement, wrestling coach Scott Stoner, boys volleyball coach Lew Liparulo and boys track coach Mike Seybert.

Once he was done with his major league baseball career as a pitcher, Clement and his wife, Heather, could have raised their kids in any part of the country. They are both from Butler and wanted their kids to grow up in Butler.

When Clement was hired as the Golden Tornado boys basketball coach, it was like a dream come true for him. He is genuinely excited when kids he coaches achieve big things on and off the court. This is a Butler guy who has always taken pride in giving back to his hometown.

I’ve always loved that about the guy.

Stoner, Liparulo and Seybert were already head coaches in their respective sports at Butler at the time I was hired as sports editor here in 1997. Their passion for their respective sports has never wavered.

Liparulo was bothered a bit when the boys volleyball program surprised him with a celebration of his 30 years as head coach. That’s because he’s never done it for himself. He’s never considered the program to be about him. He loves the sport and wanted to turn his athletes into the best volleyball players they could be.

Gotta respect that.

Seybert has been part of numerous WPIAL and state championships while coaching Butler track. He’s watched plenty of track and field athletes go on to Division I schools. Yet he’s just as excited when anyone in the program achieves a personal best.

Stoner likes to build wrestlers’ skill sets so much that he recently got a building in town and opened the Legacy wrestling club, where he works with Butler wrestlers and those from other teams during the offseason.

These guys have coached for so long because they care so much.

What they get paid doesn’t matter. Their relationship with the kids they coach is priceless.

John Enrietto is sports editor of the Butler Eagle

More in Sports

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required