Paronish enjoying second stint with Colts
NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Being that it’s his second time around, Frank Paronish has a pretty good idea of what to expect when he steps back out onto the field at Duffy Daugherty Stadium on Friday night.
Paronish, who was hired in March to coach the Colts again after leading them to a 28-25 record from 2002-06, knows that it won’t be easy this season with his inexperienced team, but he still can’t wait to get back at it.
“I’m enjoying it. It’s so much fun,” Paronish said. “I’m not as young as some of these guys, and some of the late nights are rough, but I’m doing OK, and it’s just great to be back out here. I’m anxious for Friday night to get back into that game situation again, and I think we’ll do very well as a team and as a coaching staff.”
Paronish replaced Paul Taranto, who recorded a 29-32 record in six seasons. The Colts were 5-5 in 2013 and won four of their last six games after starting the season 1-3. Northern Cambria has never won a Heritage Conference football title.
Paronish, who teaches in the Northern Cambria School District, also coached three seasons at Blacklick Valley in the mid-1990s.
“As a coaching staff, we have to really make some adaptations to get us ready for these first couple games,” Paronish said. “It’s always hard, but you have to be creative in practices to create physical challenges so that we can find who our best athletes are. It is fun, but it can be challenging at times.”
Paronish led the Colts to a 10-2 season in 2003. They were the District 5-6 runners-up and fell just short of a Heritage Conference title due to a tiebreaker. He returned to the helm with some unfinished business, and he hopes to pick up some wins in his first season back.
“Having coached in the conference before, I know that every team that we’re going to face is well-coached, and you better be ready to play because if you’re not, you’re going to get whipped,” he said. “You can’t take any of these teams for granted, and I’m sure the other coaches are looking at us the same way.
“That’s one thing about this conference, when it’s game time: Everybody comes to play. Usually, you’re going to see a very good ball game on both sides of the ball. The league has had a lot of success over the last couple years, and we’re happy to be a part of that conference and hope we can do some things this year.”
The same offense Paronish used that was successful in his first stint is the offense that the Colts will be running this season. It has been an adjustment for the players, but it seems the transition has been fairly easy so far.
“It’s a whole new thing, having a new coach and a new offense,” junior Tyler Pershing said. “We were running the same offense since Little Colts, and now we’re doing something different. But the transition with Coach has been good so far, and the offense seems to be working. We could surprise some people this year.”
There are many reasons that Paronish returned to the field, but two things are most important: working with the kids and winning football games.
“Our program has been heading in the right direction, and we’d like to keep it that way,” he said. “It seems Northern Cambria is well on its way of continuing to reload each season and strive for excellence. We have 49 ball players this year, and they had more than 50 out last year. The kids are doing well, and I know they — and me, as well — are ready to win some ball games.”