Passing along a couple of items that were relayed to me Tuesday.
Sun Valley wrestling coach P.J. Steininger will not return this season. Steininger, who took over for now-Episcopal Academy head coach Damon Kuzemka, was at the helm of the Vanguards for two years before he was told his position was being opened back up and that he’d have to re-apply for his job.
“I emailed the AD (Joel Alutius) five times over the course of the summer and never heard back from him,” Steininger said via text message. “I got an email from the secretary to interview (Monday), …but after spending seven years with the school I deserved to be contacted from the AD directly but that never happened. So I decided to pull my application. I’m moving down to South Carolina and starting fresh.”
Steininger, who taught health and physical education at Chester Charter Community School, indicated that he was close to accepting an assistant coach position at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston, S.C.. His tenure as a head coach in Aston featured an All-Delco state qualifier in Seth Snyder during the 2010-11 season.
UPDATE: Alutius declined to go into depth as to the circumstances surrounding Steininger’s departure.
“I’m not ready to disclose anything about it until we finish our position hunting,” Alutius said. “I know that Mr. Steininger has moved to a different district and a different state.”
Not sure exactly why someone would have to wait to hire another coach in order to discuss the previous coach’s departure, but there you have it.
In other Sun Valley wrestling news, sophomore Steven Okoorian, the Vanguards’ second-leading returner in terms of wins, also won’t be back after transferring to Cardinal O’Hara. Okoorian, who went 18-16 as a freshman wrestling at 132 and 138 pounds, was a District One-South qualifier a year ago, and his departure is a big blow to an already thin SV team.
UPDATE: When reached for comment on his transfer, Okoorian didn’t hold back when discussing what he feels is a lack of commitment from Sun Valley to its students both academically and athletically.
“I transferred to O’Hara because of the lack of commitment at Sun Valley put in both academically and athletically,” Okoorian said. “I feel like the administration didn’t care about wrestling at all. Not P.J. He should have had the job still. Academically, they really didn’t teach me well enough. I tried coming to the teacher about my math, and he really didn’t accept me. (The transfer) was for a better education and to actually wrestle with a full roster.”
The transfer, which Okoorian said he decided on at the end of the summer, leaves the Vanguards with only Sean Donohue (27-11) and Alex Elliott (14-7) as returnees with double-digit wins.
After a year spent dominating the weaker ranks of the Tri-County Flight A Division of the Inter County Scholastic Hockey League, Archbishop Carroll is taking things up a notch…or two. The Patriots, who orchestrated a mini-Cinderella run to the quarterfinals of the Flyers Cup Class A bracket, would have faced a similar schedule this year, something that didn’t sit well with school president and assistant coach Father Ed Casey.
“We were put into such a weak division, I asked to be moved to AAA,” Casey said via text message.
This move could pay off in the long run. Class AAA isn’t nearly at the level it was a few years ago when there were more teams and better players, but it’s still the best league around. Unless someone else moved, Carroll joins defending Flyers Cup champion La Salle, Holy Ghost Prep, Father Judge, Delco rival Cardinal O’Hara, Roman Catholic, Malvern Prep and St. Joseph’s Prep in the AAA ranks. The Patriots will have their work cut out for them, especially with the amount of seniors they lost, but after La Salle, the league is fairly open for the taking.
– MATT CHANDIK