Last updated: February 16. 2013 7:35PM - 378 Views

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Jerry Skotleski has been waiting for a chance to return to the role of golf coach.


Skotleski has that chance this year, taking over the West Scranton program.


"I couldn't wait to get back here," said Skotleski, who coached the Bishop Hannan golf team for 11 years until the school closed. "It's one of the most fun jobs there is."


Skotleski anticipated being out of coaching when Bishop Hannan and Bishop O'Hara merged to form Holy Cross.


"I have been wanting to get back into this since the day I left," Skotleski said. "I knew (when) they closed the school that I would be out of a coaching job.


"Tom Paddock has been coaching at Bishop O'Hara, and now Holy Cross, for about 30 years."


Skotleski, who teaches U.S. history and law to sophomores and seniors at Scranton High School, sat out five seasons while watching for an appropriate coaching job to open.


The return will be a challenging one.


West Scranton has just seven players on the team after going 1-9-1 and tying for 10th in the 12-team Lackawanna League Southern Division last year. One of those players is brand new to the sport and will be learning throughout the year at practice as long as the other players remain available to fill the six lineup spots.


Returning starters Sam Alecky, Ryan Fletcher and Mark Marinchak join Austin Riviello and Nick Ivanoff to give the Invaders five seniors and juniors who have been in the program.


Fletcher led the team at last week's season-opening Jackman Memorial by shooting 96 at Scranton Municipal while Marinchak shot 97.


Paul McNally will fill the last starting spot while fellow freshman Jake Hiller learns the game.


"The seniors are learning, too," Skotleski said. "I spent a lot of time over the last week or two working on swings and hoping to get them to understand the golf course.


"The goal is to be competitive and win a few matches.


The Invaders play their home matches on the back nine at Pine Hills. They will compete this season in the new Big School Division of the Lackawanna League.


West Scranton opens its league schedule at home Monday, August 27 against Scranton.


The complete league schedule is: Aug. 27, SCRANTON; Aug. 29, ABINGTON HEIGHTS; Sept. 3 at Wallenpaupack; Sept. 5, VALLEY VIEW; Sept. 10 at Scranton Prep; Sept. 12, HONESDALE; Sept. 17, at Delaware Valley; Sept. 24, NORTH POCONO; Sept. 26 at Western Wayne.

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