Announcements and Important Events
By: Don Rebel
Sunday, August 15, 2021 | 10:01 AM
Even in a school year unlike any other, the typically outstanding athletic program at Quaker Valley reached its customary level of success.
With a WPIAL championship in boys tennis and runner-up finishes in girls basketball, wrestling, girls swimming and boys golf, the Quakers took top honors in Class 4A in the annual Trib Cup all-sports competition.
Athletic director Mike Mastroianni recently sat down with Trib HSSN’s Don Rebel to discuss the year. Here is what he had to say. (Comments have been edited for length.)
Some teams win the Trib Cup because one or two teams go on a long playoff run. Do you feel like your success was more based on consistency?
I think, in a number of our sports across the board, we always have an opportunity to challenge and go deep, but I think the best thing about our program over the course of the years has been our consistency with being at the upper level, and then when we have a little bit of a bump, the opportunity to chase some gold. This past year, we had so many of our teams that were consistent in getting to the playoffs, then capped off by our boys tennis team in the spring winning the WPIAL championship with an outstanding team and an outstanding job by our coach.
Tennis is often dominated by private schools. How is Quaker Valley able to have so much success?
Our tennis coach, for our boys and girls program, is Christi Hays. Locally, in our community, she’s a legend and in the WPIAL, she’s on the tennis committee. She’s been coaching close to 40-some years. She’s outstanding. If I walked out of my office right now about 20 steps, I’d look at our tennis courts and there’s about 40 little campers there that are there every day through the summer. She’s there working. She’s great in the community. She’s well known in the community and part of that success, on both sides, has a lot to do with the program she’s established for us. We’re so fortunate to have her running our tennis programs.
Do you think you might have had more playoff success if not for some covid cancellations in soccer and volleyball in the fall?
Those were a tough few weeks for us. Obviously, doing the right thing takes priority, but knowing that our student athletes in those sports, especially the seniors, qualified for the playoffs and didn’t have the opportunity … We were close. We were in contact with the WPIAL, trying to get dates and see how things could work, but they’re obviously on a schedule to get the tournament in, which we understand fully. They worked with us. (WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman), I can’t say enough great things about her leadership this year, she worked with us, but obviously, safety taking (precedence), we had a tough decision and weren’t able to participate in those sports. Our boys soccer team were the defending state champs as well, so they had a terrific opportunity for a run.
In addition to being the athletic director, you’re boys basketball coach. What did you think of the open-tournament format in the WPIAL?
I liked the open tournament last year and understand fully why we did it. It was exactly the right decision. I commend Amy and the committee for that. Going forward, if we have a year where we’re able to get a full schedule in, especially getting everyone’s full section in, a lot of games, I feel we should go back to just the regular system myself. The open system, which there’s a lot of positive things, I just think having some type of baseline and guidelines and playing for something, there’s an understanding of making of the playoffs is just a better approach. I think we’ve been more than fair in the WPIAL in the number of teams we allot in the playoffs.