After all the struggles the Lincoln Park Leopards basketball team dealt with last season, they are more than ready to start over again. And with many new players and coaches, they’re ready and back in action.
After losing multiple seniors at the end of last year, they nonetheless have gained three new players in place of the graduates. In addition to the new players, they also have a new coaching staff. The new coaching staff happens to include our very own Athletic Director Mike Bariski as the head coach, Mark Javens as assistant head coach, and Bob Rizzo, who’s also serving as an assistant head coach.
Former coach Chris Raso “did a great job with the team, winning two section championships,” says Bariski. However, Bariksi was offered the chance to coach the team this year and accepted.
Coach Javens, who is in charge of the offenses, defenses, and the game management, spent four years coaching the Hopewell boys basketball team. In addition to that, he also spent 14 years coaching at the Community College of Beaver County, where he won two national championships.
He seems to be adding more perspective to the team. “I personally think he brings a different look and personality to the team. He’s more of a player’s coach, and he seems to know what young men need and want at this age to be successful not only on the court but off of it as well. Plus he has nice hair!” says Bariski, chuckling.
Both Bariski and Javens seem to hold characteristics that appeal to everyone, including one of their very own players, senior Dante Hutchins of Midland. “I think they are two really good coaches. Although they can be hard on us sometimes. I think Mr. B and Coach J together, both have really good people skills. Mr. B is a great instructor. I feel like he does his best to provide us with first class things.”
With the season just a few months away, the Leopards have no doubt that all their hard work will soon pay off. For information concerning the season schedule and events, please visit the LPPACS main office.