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Dave Roman introductory interview

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Dave Roman, Jr. was recently named as Head Boys' Basketball Coach at JHS.  He is only the fourth man to lead the program since the 1970-71 season.  He comes to Johnstown from Westmont Hilltop where he coached the last ten seasons and led the Hilltoppers to a 201-77 and four district titles from 1998-99 through 2007-08. 
 
Johnstown is Dave's third stop as a varsity head coach as he led his alma mater Johnstown Vo-Tech for one season (1997-98, 2-22).  Prior to manning a varsity bench, he coached the 9th grade program at Franklin Regional of the WPIAL for one season in 1996-97, leading them to a 20-4 mark. 
  
2008-09 will be Dave's 12th season as a varsity coach and he'll enter his first season with the Trojans with an impressive career mark of 203-99. 
 
We thank Dave for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck.

1.  First off Coach, congrats on getting the job. Can you tell us a few factors that attracted you to this job?

THANKS DOUG, IT HAS BEEN A CRAZY COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A TROJAN.

THE GREAT HISTORY AND TRADITION OF TROJAN BASKETBALL WAS VERY ATTRACTIVE TO ME. MY DAD WAS A TROJAN BASKETBALL PLAYER GRADUATING IN 1959. ALL OF THE GREAT PLAYERS THAT HAVE COME THROUGH HERE, CUMMINGS, MASER, HOROHO, MCNAIR, HORNER, AND THE LIST GOES ON. ALL THE GREAT COACHES AS WELL, LITWALK, SHIPMAN, AND FUSCHINO. I HAVE BIG SHOES TO FILL.

2.  Has your coaching staff been finalized and if so who will be on the bench with you?

MANY OF THE PIECES ARE IN PLACE. NEIL COBAUGH WILL BE MY VARSITY ASSISTANT. HE HAS BEEN MY ASSISTANT FOR 11 SEASONS. WE HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP AND CHEMISTRY. RYAN DURHAM WILL BE THE JV COACH. RYAN IS A GOOD YOUNG COACH. I SPENT A FEW HOURS WITH HIM THE OTHER DAY TALKING BASKETBALL. HE PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW IT WAS AN INTERVIEW, BUT HE PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS. JORDAN DEMARCO WILL BE A VOLUNTEER VARSITY ASSISTANT. JORDAN VOLUNTEERED WITH US LAST SEASON AND HE IS VERY GOOD YOUNG COACH. AT THE JUNIOR HIGH LEVEL, THE ONLY CERTAINTY RIGHT NOW IS ED MIKESIC WILL REMAIN AS THE 7th GRADE COACH. ED HAS DONE A FABULOUS JOB WITH THE 7th GRADE, OUR NUMBERS ARE REALLY GOOD AT THAT LEVEL. I HAVE A PERSON IN MIND AS A JUNIOR HIGH COACH TO HANDLE THE 8th AND 9th GRADE AND ALSO A VOLUNTEER TO ASSIST HIM.

3.  I know you've only been officially in the position for a short time, but can you give us an idea of what kind of team you believe you have coming back for the 2008-09 season?

I SAW THE KIDS AT OPEN GYM ON TUESDAY, AND THE FIRST THING THAT YOU SEE IS THE ATHLETICISM AND COMPETITIVENESS. PAUL WEATHERLY, CARLTON WYATT, ZACH ANDREWS, & JEREMIAH HASELRIG REALLY STOOD OUT AT THE FIRST OPEN GYM. IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR US TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER, BUT THE FIRST MEETING WENT WELL.

4.  What's on the horizon for the offseason? Summer league? Camps? Off-season workouts? Involved with any AAU clubs or anything?

WE HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION REAL QUICK ON SUMMER LEAGUES. I KNOW WE WILL BE ENTERING A TEAM IN THE WINDBER LEAGUE AS WELL AS THE ROXBURY PARK LEAGUE. WE WILL BE HOSTING AND ATTENDING SEVERAL ONE-DAY SHOOTOUTS. I DON’T THINK WE WILL BE ATTENDING A CAMP THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF SHORT PREP TIME THAT WE HAVE HAD FOR FUNDRAISERS. WE WILL ALSO HOLD TWO OPEN GYMS PER WEEK FROM MAY THROUGH THE END OF JULY.

SEVERAL OF OUR PLAYERS ARE INVOLVED IN AAU PROGRAMS SO THEY WILL SEE SOME GOOD COMPETITION THERE AS WELL.

5.  You eluded to some of your knowledge of the program's history in the Tribune Democrat article, does the prestige of this job make the challenge that much more exciting to you? Pride and Tradition are two words used a lot at JHS, do you feel an added sense of pressure when you look at some of the banners at the Doc Stofko Gym and the history behind them or do you prefer to take the approach that winning is expected everywhere and that there is no need to place any additional pressure on yourself and the kids?

THERE WILL BE NO ADDITIONAL PRESSURE ON MYSELF OR THE KIDS. I THINK ANYONE INVOLVED IN TROJAN ATHLETICS KNOW THAT EXCELLENCE IS EXPECTED. PRESSURE IS SOMETHING YOU FEEL WHEN YOU ARE NOT PREPARED AND OUR TEAMS WILL ALWAYS BE PREPARED. AS LONG AS WE ARE PREPARED AND DISCIPLINED, WE CAN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS.

6.  Westmont has a reputation as being a difficult place to coach sports, however, you had both tenure (10 seasons) and success (201 wins, 4 district titles) there, what factors do you think led to this?

I HAD A WONDERFUL 10 YEARS AT WESTMONT. IT WAS AN EASY PLACE FOR ME TO COACH. I LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO, NO MATTER WHERE YOU WORK, IF YOU FIRST AND FOREMOST TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT, MOST TIMES THAT RESPECT WILL BE RETURNED TO YOU. IF PEOPLE KNOW YOU WORK HARD, THEY WILL USUALLY LEAVE YOU ALONE. ANOTHER FACTOR IS WINNING. AS LONG AS YOU WIN, IT IS HARD FOR PEOPLE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

7.  Although you're new as JHS coach, you're obviously no stranger to the LHAC. Aside from the Trojans, who do you see as some of the teams to beat in the league this season?

OUR LEAGUE IS BRUTAL EVERY NIGHT. THE LEAGUE KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER. ASIDE FROM THE TRADITIONAL POWERS, THERE ARE PROGRAMS ON THE RISE. CAMBRIA HEIGHTS COMES TO MIND. THEY RETURN EVERYONE EXCEPT THEIR POINT GUARD. CENTRAL CAMBRIA RETURNS JORDAN MILLER AND THE YOUNGER HOLSINGER BOY, SO THEY WILL BE A FORCE. SOMERSET LOST SOME PEOPLE BUT STILL RETURN A GOOD NUCLEUS. WESTMONT WILL HAVE A GOOD GROUP OF SENIORS. MCCORT LOST SOME PEOPLE TO GRADUATION, BUT STILL RETURN TWO STARTERS AND A GOOD YOUNG POINT GUARD. GUILFOYLE IS ALWAYS GOOD. I COULD SIT HERE AND NAME EVERY TEAM, THE LEAGUE IS THAT GOOD.

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