The 2015 CYO basketball season starts this Sunday. After last year when St. Jude’s took a trip to Greensburg for the state tournament, they look to compete with other teams in the area for the championship. As we look to start this season, let’s take a look at the preseason power rankings and which teams and players are going to have a major impact on the upcoming season.
- Saint Jude (OLC) – They have many key returning players, including the three guard tandem of Jack Kloecker, Ryan Podufal, and Sam Sweny. Also returning is the down-low presence of Tim Zieziula and Jake Dailey. OLC is loaded off the bench as well. They have Sully Johnson, Alex Gorny, Hayden Downey, Dan Brugger, and John Fessler. Look out for OLC to take charge early on in the season and potentially make a postseason run onto the state tournament down in Harrisburg.
- Mount Carmel (OLMC) – OLMC is very close in talent and skill level to OLC, so watch out for very competitive games between each other. Key returners for OLMC include the two-headed monster of Hunter Neimeic and Dillon Wolbert. The guards of OLMC aren’t that far behind their forwards however, they include Noah Vroman and Ben Ladaika along with the new added scorer, Billy Snider. OLMC has as much depth, if not more depth than OLC. Their bench includes Bryce Vogel and Drew Farrell, to name a few. Look for OLMC to make a deep run in the CYO playoffs, and possibly onto the state tournament.
- Our Lady of Peace (OLP) – OLP has many talented players who didn’t play last year, but they also have some key returning players, including sharp shooter Chris Callari, and the athletic freak, Connor Robbins. They also have Timmy Beveridge coming off the bench. But OLP has really recruited in the offseason and acquired Mike Douds, Jeremy Hill, and Jake Mays. Look for OLP to be able to finish in the top three by the end of the regular season, and then they should be able to make a run in the playoffs.
- Blessed Sacrament (BS) – BS is returning many of their top players. Their team is led by three-year starter and three-point shooter, Sean Reed. BS’s starters also include Jake Galla, Zach Bednarowicz, Tanner Ziacik, and freshman stud, Alex Welz. BS also has a deep bench, which includes two seniors, Charlie DeSantis and Kody Witchcoff. BS has three defensive specialists that will come into the games periodically to shut down the best player on the other team. They include Thomas Rosenthal, and the dynamic duo brothers of Dominic and Nick Frisina. Everyone needs to watch out when Tyler “Sweetness” Smith checks into the game to hit a couple of threes and then get out. Look for BS to be able to finish in the top half of the league by the end of the regular season, and they could do well in the playoffs depending on how first year head coach, Dan Mackowski, controls the team.
- Saint George (SGS) – SGS is returning many key players, but they also have some new additions. Key returners include scorers, Mike Carrara and Hunter Horn, and also the down-low threat of Mike Spizarny. They also have the deep shooting threat of Noah Corapi. SGS made a key offseason acquisition by obtaining former Prep basketball JV starter, Koran Williams. Look for SGS to be able to make the playoffs and possibly be able to make a run to the championship.
- Saint Peter’s (Dukes) – The Dukes are coming off a winless season last year, but they are returning many key players to help them win one this year. The Dukes are led by soccer star, Ollie Wiesner, the scoring presence of Jack Bloomstine, and rising star Alex Blatt. Luckily the Dukes have a player who can make a shot from anywhere on the court, Daniel “Radar” Scutella. Look for the Dukes to be able to win a couple games and squeak into the playoffs.
- Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS) – HYS is coming off a great season last year with two big wins, and is looking to improve on that momentum. Look for HYS to be able to compete with most of the teams in the league and get a couple of wins by the end of the regular season.
Preseason All-CYO First Team
Senior Guard/Forward Sam Sweny
Senior Guard Ryan Podufal
Senior Guard Billy Snider
Senior Forward Mike Douds
Junior Guard Jeremy Hill
St. Jude players Ryan Podufal (left) and Sam Sweny (right)
Moun Carmel guard Billy Snider
OLP forward Mike Douds
OLP guard Jeremy Hill
Preseason All-CYO Second Team
Senior Guard/Forward Sean Reed
Senior Guard Jack Kloecker
Senior Forward Hunter Neimeic
Senior Forward Dillon Wolbert
Junior Guard Koran Williams