HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Paronish returns to coach Colts again
NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Frank Paronish will take the field this fall looking to wrap up some unfinished business.
In his second stint with Northern Cambria, Paronish wants to make up for some missed opportunities, and he thinks he has the staff — and the team — to do just that.
“We’ve been doing some conditioning for a while now, and things are really starting to settle in,” Paronish said.
“The staff is getting a good idea about the kids, and the kids are learning the new system and adjusting well. So far, things are looking really good for us.”
Paronish, who was Northern Cambria’s head football coach from 2002-06, was hired in March to replace Paul Taranto.
Taranto led the Colts to a 29-32 record and three District 6 playoff appearances in six seasons. Northern Cambria finished with a 5-5 record in 2013 and won four of its last six games after starting the season 1-3.
“Paul did a great job with the kids on both sides of the ball in the offseason,” Paronish said. “He stayed on as our weight room supervisor and has been working with them, and my transition was easy because he had these kids ready.”
Paronish, a middle school science teacher at Northern Cambria, had a 28-25 record as the Colts’ head coach. He also coached three seasons at Blacklick Valley in the mid-1990s.
“I’ve been following the team, and I know the athletes well from teaching them,” Paronish said. “Our numbers are still going to be up this year, and we have a good mix of kids to work with. We have very high expectations this year.”
The Colts will run a spread offense similar to what Paronish ran the first time around.
“I expect us to be able to run an up-tempo spread, and I expect us to be successful at it,” Paronish said. “We have a lot of athleticism, and that offense allows us to use our speed. We have a good quarterback coming back, and we have some nice receivers. They all have a good understanding of what we’re doing. They’re all fine athletes. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen so far in the offseason.”
A soft spot for Northern Cambria, though, could be its inexperienced offensive line. But Paronish said those players are developing with the new system.
“We are relatively young up front, and we need to continue to work with those kids,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a weakness in the type of offense we’re going to run. We don’t have the biggest line, but they are smart and they are fast, and that’s getting us excited.”
For now, Paronish is just happy to be back working with the team. He walked away in 2006 to spend time with his family and never got over some of the heartbreak from his first tenure.
In 2003, the Colts finished 10-2 and were the District 5-6 runners-up.
“You know, I have a lot of unfinished business, and that’s why I’m back,” Paronish said. “That 2003 finish left a bad taste in our mouths because it was a great year, but ended on a bad note. It was all bittersweet, and I’m ready to be back out there with the kids and try to make another run at it.”