New Castle News

Sports

March 1, 2013

WPIAL Championship Game: We’ve got questions, and Blundo, Lafko have the answers

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — JOE LAFKO

AGE: 47

EDUCATION: 1984 graduate of Frazier High School in Fayette County, starring in basketball and baseball. He remains the all-time leading basketball scorer there with 1,763 points. Went on to star in basketball at Westminster College, graduating in 1988 with a major in social studies and a minor in secondary education. He scored 1,239 points for the Titans.

MARRIED: Wife is Shannon Lafko

HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR WIFE?: “At Westminster College. It was actually a Sigma Nu fraternity house gathering.”

IS YOUR WIFE A FORMER ATHLETE? “She never played any sports. She owns a bakery, Perfect Pastry, in Allison Park.”

CHILDREN: Joey (15) and Jenna (13).

ARE YOUR KIDS FOLLOWING IN YOUR ATHLETIC FOOTSTEPS?: “Joey is a sophomore guard for Hampton and will be in the starting lineup Saturday against New Castle. Jenna’s also a basketball player. We have her in the Hampton basketball program, as well as AAU teams. I’m just happy for Joey. I’m happy for the success the team has had and him being able to be part of that team’s success.

 “I have to take the blame. They were both introduced to basketball at an early age. Both have traveled with me to practices and to summer league games from the time they were in diapers. Sometimes it wasn’t their choice, but they both have been around a gymnasium and basketball games since the time they were born.”

OCCUPATION: “When I’m not coaching, I’m a ninth- and 10th-grade social studies teacher. This is my 17th year at Hampton, and I’ve been a teacher for 23 years.

“Currently, we are studying world history, in the years between World War I and World War II. We just had a lesson on Gandhi and nonviolent civil disobedience.”

WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO COACHING?: “My father was a good influence. He was an assistant basketball coach for 23 years at Frazier High School then took over as head basketball coach the last 15 years. Like my kids, I was exposed to basketball at a very young age.”

HOBBIES: “My favorite hobby is trout fishing. I enjoy the spring-stocked trout season. Before basketball season, I fish for steelhead in the Erie tributaries. This started ever since I ended my basketball playing career. Playing three sports in high school (football, basketball and baseball) and playing college basketball and baseball, it didn’t provide me a lot of down time. When I ended my playing days, I really took a liking to the trout fishing with my brother, Matt.”

FAVORITE FOOD: Pizza. “I love to find the traditional pizza shops. In the Hampton area, my favorite is Milano’s Pizza. They have one down the street from the Palumbo Center. I really like to support the local and private businesses. There are too many to name.”

ON WHETHER HE’LL GO TO MILANO’S BEFORE THE GAME SATURDAY: “I don’t think so. I’ll be too busy and won’t have the time to do that.”

ROLE MODEL: “One of the guys who has made a substantial impact on my life is (former Westminster basketball coach) Ron Galbreath, in both the professions I have chosen, teaching as well as coaching. I’m very fortunate to play four years at Westminster for him. I can’t say enough about him as a man and as a person.”

PET PEEVE: “Students who do not come prepared for class. That’s a long-term pet peeve, having been involved in education for 22 years.

“My new one is students who try to use their cell phones during the school day for activities not involved in the educational process. Students are permitted to carry cell phones at Hampton, but for academic purposes only. It’s a big challenge because of social media.”

KIDS HE HAD TO REPRIMAND FOR USING THEIR PHONES TO GO ON FACEBOOK DURING CLASS YESTERDAY: Two

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN SATURDAY: “We have to make more baskets and defend against their ability to score. We need to limit their second and third opportunities to score by rebounding. We have to make some shots ourselves and make good decisions against their pressure.”

 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • 3on3.jpg Law enforcement youth tournament set

    The second annual law enforcement 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament will be Aug. 9 at New Castle High School.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • pennstate.jpg Big 10 commission noncommittal on Penn State sanction cuts

    Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SteelersSpence.jpg Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wheaton.jpg Steelers' Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Polanco.jpg Harrison’s four hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday. Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.

     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day