With half of this year's Dutch wrestling squad made up of freshmen and sophomores, second-year head coach Dominic Surra expressed the hope that the team's hardworking nature will allow them to remain competitive.
"We also will have a couple of wrestlers in the lineup who have not wrestled for a number of years in the starting lineup," Surra said. "We are working very hard to help those kids catch up."
The St. Marys Area High School gymnastics team returns to action this season under the direction of 10-year veteran head coach Irene McCandless and new assistant coach Mary Lynne Bellotti, who also brings years of coaching experience to the team. The team will look to improve on their results from last year, when they finished with a 5-3 record and placed second at both the League Championship meet and the PA Classic Bronze Division Team Championship meet.
McCandless noted that this season the team was definitely expanded in the number of participants.
A familiar name and face takes over the reins of the St. Marys Area Lady Dutch basketball program this year as Leona Hoohuli replaces the retired Bob Swanson.
Swanson retired following the 2010-2011 season after nine years at the helm of the Lady Dutch.
Coach Hoohuli has been coaching for the past 12 years. This is her first head coach position.
The Lady Dutch return six letter winners to form the nucleus of the 2011-12 squad. Those returning letter winners are seniors Jenna Anderson and Sloan Foster, juniors Adair Gennocro, DeAnna Yost, Becky Krieg and sophomore Kiana Hoohuli.
As Mark Guido enters his third year at the helm of the St. Marys Area Flying Dutch basketball squad, he has an enthusiastic group of players battling for the starting spots.
Guido has been coaching basketball for 23 years, eight with the St. Marys Area program.
â€śThis year we will have an athletic team. We have good overall team speed and quickness,â€ť said Guido. â€śWe have an enthusiastic group of kids. They are high-energy. Now we just have to convert that to the basketball court.â€ť
The Dutch have two returning letter winners in seniors Jimmy Werner and Justin Quiggle.
As Ken Pistner enters his 10th year as the Elk County Catholic Lady Crusader head coach, he has six letter winners returning to form the nucleus of the 2011-2012 squad.
â€śOur strengths are our depth and experience,â€ť said Pistner.
The six returning letter winners are seniors Abbi Petroski, Jena Struble, Lexie Meholic and Maggie Sorg and juniors Kristy Hanes and Taylor DaCanal.
Looking to fill the guard slots are Struble, Hanes, Sorg and junior Michelle Imbrogno.
The roster of this year's Elk County Catholic High School varsity boys' basketball squad is filled with new faces. While the team returns four seniors, there are no returning starters or letter winners on the 16-member roster.
"Any time you don't return any starters and you don't return any letter winners, I think that is a challenge," said head coach Aaron Straub. "By the same token, besides the challenge, there is a big upside and a big opportunity. I think this is a team that will get better as the season progresses."
Leona L. (Gagliardi) Hasselman, of St. Marys, died at her home, on Saturday, December 10, 2011 following an illness of the past nine months.
She was born on Apr 22, 1941 in Force, a daughter of the late Antonio and Sophia Black Gagliardi.
On July 16, 1964, she married the late James S. Hasselman, who preceded her in death on December 27, 2000.
M. Jean Asti, 73, of 249 N. St. Marys Street, St. Marys, died on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at her residence after a courageous battle with emphysema.
She was born April 21, 1938 in St. Marys, a daughter of the late Leander and Alice Sorg Haberberger. On September 6, 1958 in the St. Marys Church, she married the late Anthony J. "Junior" Asti, who preceded her in death on January 11, 1994.
In what has become an annual event, wreaths purchased by area residents are being laid on graves of veterans at the St. Maryâ€™s Catholic and Protestant cemeteries to honor their military service throughout the holiday season.
Area residents gathered at a noon ceremony Saturday at St. Maryâ€™s Catholic Cemetery in preparation for the wreath-laying. The St. Marys Servicemenâ€™s Burial Detail posted the colors and the assembly recited the Pledge of Allegiance and observed a moment of silence prior to remarks given by Father Eric Vogt, OSB, who spoke about the purpose of the event.