Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Very few coaches can write three consecutive Section IV titles — or four Section IV titles in three years — on their resume, but Tioga's Kris Harrington can do just that and is the 2018-19 Valley Sports Report "Coach of the Year.”
Harrington's Tigers not only won their third straight Section IV, Division II team title, they won the Section IV Duals title, and then advanced to the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
A year after qualifying six wrestlers for States, Tioga advanced four, and all four reached the podium, led by state champions junior Brady Worthing and senior John Worthing.
Seniors Austin Lamb and Stephen Taylor, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at States last year, both won fourth-place medals this season. The foursome earned enough points to earn Tioga a team title to add to Harrington’s growing resume at Tioga.
Harringon was also the 2017-18 VSR "Coach of the Year."
The remainder of the “Super 7 Coaches of the Year” are:
Jake Lezak, boys soccer, Athens: Longtime boys soccer coach Jake Lezak has built the Athens program into one of the best in the bi-state area, and directed the Wildcats to their second District 4 titles in three years. He was named Valley Sports Report's 2018 "Coach of the Fall.”
Lezak has led the Wildcats to three consecutive District 4, Class AAA championships games. After winning its second D4 title this fall, Athens went on to win the program's first-ever state playoff game to advance to the state quarterfinals.
In the last three years, Lezak's Wildcats are 53-6-3.
Kevin Evanek, baseball, Tioga: Tioga bounced back from a disappointing end to the 2018 season with its third Section IV, Class C baseball title in five years to earn Kevin Evanek the 2019 Valley Sports Report “Coach of the Spring” honors.
In 2018 — his first year at the helm, Evanek led Tioga to an 18-3 record, a division title, and an overall IAC Small School title, but their season ended with a loss to Unatego in the Class C quarterfinals.
This season, Tioga got off to a slow start, and missed the IAC playoffs, but peaked at the right time and reeled off four straight postseason wins to win their third Section IV title in five years.
The Tigers dropped an 8-7 decision to Cooperstown in the state quarterfinals to finish their season at 17-5. Cooperstown’s season came to an end with a loss in the Class C state championship game.
Evanek’s record in two years at Tioga skipper is 35-8.
Brian Wendela, softball, Waverly: In his third season in the dugout, Wendela, whose Waverly teams lost to Susquehanna Valley in extra innings in the semifinals in each of the last two postseason, finally knocked off the Lady Sabers, this time in the Section IV, Class B championship game for the program’s first-ever section title.
The Lady Wolverines dropped a 3-1 decision to Oneida in the state quarterfinals. Oneida ended its season with a loss in the Class B championship game.
Wendela is 45-14 in his three seasons.
Kesha Sinsabaugh, volleyball, Waverly: Sinsabaugh took over a Waverly program mired in mediocrity prior to the 2011 season, and led them to an 8-8 record and a postseason appearance in her first season. In her second year, the Lady Wolverines advanced to the Section IV Class C finals, where it came up short against Susquehanna Valley.
It took six years, but Sinsabaugh got the Lady Wolverines back to the Class C finals this season, and avenged that loss to Susquehanna Valley for the program's first-ever Section IV title.
Nick Aiello, football, Tioga: After a 1-2 start to the season, Aiello directed the Tigers to their seventh Section IV title in eight years with seven consecutive wins for an 8-2 record entering the state playoffs. The Tigers finished the season at 9-3.
Tioga improved to 7-0 in Regional championship games to advance to the state semifinals, where it lost to eventual state champion Clymer / Sherman / Panama.
Kevin Gorman, football, Sayre: Gorman took over a Sayre program that was 1-9 in 2017, and engineered a five-game turn-around, ending the regular season with a 6-4 record.
After a 1-3 start, the Redskins won five of their last six games, including a regular-season ending win over Athens — the first since 2001 — in the Rusty Rail game, which vaulted them into a postseason berth. Sayre's season came to an end with a 19-7 loss at Muncy in the District 4, Class A semifinals.
IN PHOTO: Tioga wrestling coach Kris Harrington.
“Coach Of The Year”
2009-10: Joe Robinson, girls basketball, Tioga.
2010-11: Randy Felt, cross country, Sayre.
2011-12: Nick Aiello, football, Tioga; and Jason Miller, football, Waverly.
2012-13: Kyle McDuffee, baseball, Waverly.
2013-14: Des Ford, volleyball, Tioga.
2014-15: Nick Aiello, football, Tioga.
2015-16: Des Ford, volleyball, Tioga; and Jason Miller, football, Waverly.
2016-17: Eileen Sparduti, girls basketball, Sayre.
2017-18: Kris Harrington, wrestling, Tioga.
2018-19: Kris Harrington, wrestling, Tioga.