By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/16/10
Tony Verna has returned as head boys’ lacrosse coach at Great Valley after taking a 1-year sabbatical.
Verna served as the Patriots’ head coach from 2006-09 (48-31 record) and spent last year working on his Master’s degree in counseling at Penn State university (main campus). Jason Wolensky, an assistant under Verna, was the head coach last year.
Verna was the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Coach of the Year in 2007 when he led the Pats to an 18-5 record. Verna also took Great Valley to the playoffs in 2008 with a 13-7 record.
Verna, who graduated from Ridley High and St. Joseph’s University, also was an assistant at Sun Valley before taking the head job at Great Valley. He also is a coach for the Philadelphia Youth Lacrosse All-Stars.
Verna, who teaches History at Great Valley, will be assisted by Billy Cordts, who was an assistant on last year’s 7-11 team.
“It’s good to be back,” said Verna. “I saw about 10 games last year and I know we were in almost every game.
“I think this is the first time in a long time that this program has depth. We have starter back at every position and an awesome sophomore class. It’s a real good situation.”
Verna has a strong cast of seniors, led by midfielder Eric Gartner (signed with Villanova), long-stick midfielder Jesse Horn (Stevenson) and goalie Nick DiPiano (Eastern).
Last year the Pats finished strong, winning four of their final eight – including late victories over Sun Valley and Avon Grove. Verna expects his team to contend in the Ches-Mont League.
“It’s a very competitive league,” he said. “We want to be up there. There is not a team in the league you can count out.”