Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Comment On Coach Zielinskie

The first talk with Coach Z. at last year preseason picnic.

My last interview with Coach Z.

The more things change the more they stay the same. As autumn give way to winter, once again Shamokin Area is looking for a head football coach. Dave Zielinskie was fired yesterday by a 5-4 vote of the school board. The board voted, 5-4, with directors Charles Carpenter, Ed Griffiths, Todd Hockenbroch, Barry Rebuck and Daniel Venn voting yes, and directors LaRue Beck, Robert Getchey, Tracy Witmer and Mark Anonia voting no. Over 15 years ago, when Zielinskie was let go, too many penalties was the excuse.

This time the firing was a little bit more elaborate. Athletic Director Nick Celinscak gave an "evaluation"of Mr. Zielinskie and a substandard performance only to be rebutted by Zielinskie himself.

Celinscak was only a "patsie" for the board. Someone had to make a motion, second it and vote.

Covering Shamokin and Dave Zielinskie

When Zielinskie took over for Carmen Defrancesco, I asked to video our pregame interview that would be played back on radio on game night. Coach Zielinskie obliged and it was pretty much a staple. As far as handling players and coaches, I thought he great support.

One thing that is very hard to do in life is notice change while it is occurring. Kemp Memorial is still the same, except for the turf and new booster stand, but many things have changed. Not many kids are motivated to play football anymore. On average Shamokin has dressed the below 40 the last few seasons.

With the schedule and personnel, how much better were Shamokin than 5-15 in two years. Zielinskie lost his number one running back to illness, most of his secondary to injury and insubordination, but he never offered any excuses. With a full squad of players that were with him in the preseason would Shamokin have beaten Southern, Mount Carmel, Selinsgrove, and Montoursville?


If you look back at the Indians over the last 20 years was it the coaching or the players? If you point out to the winning season's Shamokin has had since 1988, their success centered on having a 1000-yard rusher (Tim Krebs, Richie Shick, Jamie Wis., etc) or a strong one-two punch like Kirk Stehman and Gary Anascavage.

One of the by-products of the head coaching merry-go-round is the developing talent. The senior class of 2010 would have played for 3 different head coaches. Most of the success of Mount Carmel and Southern Area is delveloping football players and plugging them in the right holes. The other thing is coaching stability. MCA has had three head men since 1961. The core of Southern's staff have been together for 25 years plus they still have many mile left.

X's and O's

I am firm believer in taking what the Lord has provided. Last season the Indians ran what I would call an offense of the week. There was a different offense for like six straight weeks. This season Shamokin ran a different offense the first two weeks and went smash-mouth the final 8 games. Offense is about consistency and repetition. The points will follow.

What's Next?

It should be an interesting sideshow until Christmas. With a $6000 bill staring the Board in the eyes, will they go cheap? Dave Zielinskie did all that was asked of him by the board and some more. He didn't stand for insubordination and got rid of players that violated team rules. This was done in 2007 and 2008 knowing full well he was short at those positions. As far as ejections this season, I believe there were two. One against Southern and one against Selinsgrove.

Coach Z. still has alot of coaching left in him, sad to say with his second stint over at Shamokin it will not be as a head coach.

1 comment:

jim said...

I was Coach Z's room-mate at Lock Haven (At that time State College) from 1977-80. Z played a lot, I practiced a lot. He actually was responsible for winning a couple of games with key interceptions and tackles from his Safety spot. I live in Tallahassee Florida now. I'm not sure what happened to high school football in the past 25 years, but things are getting a bit insane. Where I live, there is a school called North Florida Christian. One of their players actually went on to Florida State, and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's, as a pretty decent QB. His name is Casey Weldon. He was hired as Head Football Coach at his alma mater a couple of years ago, in three seasons he was fired. His record? 25-3. Hang in there Zeebo!!!!!!