Meadville Tribune


July 5, 2013

BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Tool City 14s lead Patton to best Junior National finish

July 5, 2013 7:00 a.m. — Volleyball pioneer Denny Patton has seen just about everything the sport has had to offer during his 56 combined years involved with the game. From the individual triumphs of players to the collective success from his coached teams, Patton has witnessed it all.

Perhaps it took that kind of experience to lead this year’s Tool City 14 Orange team to a fifth-place finish at the Junior National Championships last week.

When the squad left for Reno, Nev. to play in the premier volleyball tournament in the country, things were, lets say, not looking good.

“No,” Patton said, when asked if he thought his team would perform the way it did at Juniors. “If we went out their with our original lineup, with the way we were practicing and scrimmaging, we would have finished no better than 17th or 18th out of the 26 teams.”

The 14 Orange team, chalk full of talented players from the region, certainly had the ability to play well, but simply didn’t have the time to gel and develop a team chemistry. Practices were shaky leading up to the tournament, and following the team’s second scrimmage, Patton had seen enough.

“I was disgusted enough with the team that I switched the lineup entirely,” Patton said. “We only had two more practices and a scrimmage left before leaving. It was a little late in the game to be making those kind of changes.”

Those changes, however, proved to be catastrophic on some level, as a team that had little continuity stormed the courts in Reno looking to prove itself worthy of being there.

Mixing up the entire squad’s positions just days before the tournament might have been bold enough, but the boldest of changes had yet to come.

And this time, it wasn’t Patton who took the leap of faith. It was assistant coach Kelly Goodsel.

Following the first match on the third day of the tournament, a contest that Tool City lost, it was clear to Goodsel that something had to be done. The suggestion: Switch Saegertown’s Luke Dangel to a defensive specialist, and put Corry’s Austin Goodsel at libero.

Turns out, it was the perfect switch.

“Kelly came to me and said maybe we should switch the two players,” Patton said. “I thought, he might be right, so we made the change. From that point on, Dangel caught fire and made more defensive plays than anyone for the rest of the tournament. He wasn’t serving as a libero before, but now that he was, it turned out he had a beautiful serve. It was like we had a new player on our team.”

 Austin Goodsel was now on the floor more as the libero, which propelled the team to six wins in a row, solidifying the change in personal as a brilliant strategy.

“To run off six wins in a row, we didn’t know we could do that,” Patton said. “Of the four losses we had up to that point, we replayed two of the teams that beat us, and beat them both pretty good. We just kept getting stronger as the tournament went on.”

Perhaps the strongest of those players was Zac Wigton.

A talented player for Cochranton, Wigton was sharp throughout the tournament, leaving Patton with only praise for the 14-year-old star.

“The guy who was the strongest player on the team was Wigdon,” Patton said. “He was really quick and really talented. He made some saves that other people wouldn’t have made because they wouldn’t be able to get to the ball. He was the leader of the pack.”

If Wigton was the leader, Meadville’s Nick Brady and Nick Rose were about as good of a supporting cast a team could have.

On the final day of the tournament, Brady went on a tear when he rotated to the right side of the floor, making the most of his limited time in that spot.

Not to be outdone, Rose was switched back to the setter position, where he continually got better and better, and made an impact at the net.

Making the decisions to shift players around requites an entire coaching staff, a staff that included Tom Gawlinski, Dan Jackson and Goodsel. The trio each brought something different to the team, a certain something that Patton realizes was invaluable.

“This year, we got more positive work from the assistants than ever before,” Patton said.

Tool City, which finished 10-4 for the tournament, was the perfect storm of great athletes and great coaching. Included in those great athletes are Corry’s James Goodsel, Conneaut Lake’s Mike Sperry and Maplewood’s Zach Wellman.

Calling the successful run from Tool City a total team effort is as cliché as it comes.

But when every player on the team contributes in a big way, and when every player continues to get better and better with each passing game, it’s near impossible not to credit the entire group of players.

“I hate hearing coaches say it’s a total team effort. To me, it’s like a coach is trying to cover up for someone, and that they don’t want to hurt any feelings,” Patton said. “But in this case, it was a total team effort. I’m guilty of what I hate to read.”

Text Only
  • District 1 District 1 girls enjoy day off

    It was a tense day for many of the teams participating in the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hawley scores District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey

    Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
    Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide