A for Athlete

Squeglia resigns as PT coach[]

By Mike Kovak, Staff writer, mkovak@observer-reporter.com

The Peters Township girls basketball team enjoyed its best postseason run in 2007-08, reaching the WPIAL Class AAAA girls championship game and the second round of the state tournament.

It was a remarkable achievement for a team making its initial playoff appearance in Pennsylvania's largest classification for high school athletics. Two years earlier, Peters Township won eight games. The year before, seven.

Three starters, including two-time Observer-Reporter Player of the Year Emily Correal, and several key reserves return for the 2008-09 season. Sources have confirmed head coach Dennis Squeglia will not, as he resigned from the position earlier this week.

Messages left for Squeglia and Peters Township athletic director Rich Relich were not returned.

Squeglia compiled a 51-49 record during four years at Peters Township. A former Class AAA power, Peters Township moved up in classification prior to the start of the 2000-01 season but often struggled against rivals Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park and Mt. Lebanon.

Peters Township narrowly missed qualifying for the playoffs during the 2006-07 season, despite compiling a 15-9 record in Squeglia's third year as head coach.

A third place finish in Section 4 assured the Indians' first Quad-A playoff berth in February 2008. Seeded 11th, Peters Township defeated Fox Chapel, Butler and eventual state runner-up Mt. Lebanon - all higher-seeded teams - on its way to the WPIAL title game.

Peters Township lost to Upper St. Clair in the finals at the A.J. Palumbo Center but quickly rebounded with a win over New Castle in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The Indians lost to Schenley in the second round to finish with a 21-9 record.

Squeglia's decision marked the second time in the last several months a local girls basketball coach resigned after a successful season. Coaching veteran Joe Ravasio left his post at Ringgold following a WPIAL Class AAA playoff appearance. Ravasio was replaced by Nick Mandich, Ravasio's assistant and a former head coach at Trinity and West Greene.