Next in line

When Kayley Schinski took over at shortstop this season for Nanticoke Area, she didn't just move into a new position.
Schinski took the reigns of a position that has been manned by some of the best Nanticoke Area players over the years.
She moved from second base, where she was a two-year starter, to shortstop after Sammy Gow graduated. Gow was the MVP of the Wyoming Valley Conference last year and before Gow, Jenn Harnischfeger was the Trojans' veteran shortstop and four-year all-star.
"I definitely knew I was going to have big shoes to fill," Schinski said. "But I was ready for it. I learned a lot from watching Sammy and Jenn and they set really high standards that I'm trying to live up to."
So far, so good for Schinski. The senior registers a .922 fielding percentage with 25 putouts and 22 assists and has helped Nanticoke Area to a 6-2 conference record.
Changing positions wasn't the only new detail for Schinski. The Trojans' welcomed Ryan Stetz as head coach after long-time coach Gary Williams retired in November. And for the first time in several years, Nanticoke's roster was filled with inexperienced varsity players, leaving Schinski and fellow seniors Kayla Benjamin and Allie Matulewski as the only experienced veterans.
"There were a lot of changes coming into this season," the 18-year-old daughter of Kevin and Karen Schinski said. "We knew things would be different, but we wanted to continue the success of Nanticoke softball."
Schinski has been a key part of that success since her freshman season. While she saw limited time on the field as a rookie, she came up with the biggest run of her career in 2010. She was sent in to pinch-run in the 11th inning of the PIAA Class AA championship game.
The Trojans were tied, 1-1, with Philipsburg-Osceola when then-sophomore Maggie Gola connected for a two-out double. Gow scored the tying run and Schinski sprinted in from first base to score the game-winner.
"I ran my guts out on that play," Schinski said. "I remember looking up and seeing the coaches waving me in. I'll never forget that feeling of meeting Sammy at the plate and celebrating."
The Trojans were loaded with talent that season and Schinski was more than willing to wait her turn as a field player. But her speed and instincts made her the top option to put on base that day in June 2010.
"We sent her in without question," said Stetz, who served as assistant three years prior to taking over as head coach. "She was only a freshman, but it just goes to show the confidence we had in her."
Schinski earned that respect, not only as a softball player, but as an overall athlete. She was an all-star this season in volleyball as an outside hitter and also earned all-star status as a guard on Nanticoke Area's basketball team. She led the league with 48 3-pointers and also averaged 12 ppg.
But Schinski's abilities go beyond hitting a softball, spiking a volleyball or draining a 3-pointer.
"She has a fantastic attitude and a contagious work ethic," Stetz said. "And her leadership is by far one of her best assets."
In eight games this season, Schinski is batting .357 with 10 hits, six RBIs, four doubles and six stolen bases. She will rejoin former teammates Harnischfeger, Gola, Amanda Cardone, Katie Kowalski as a member of the King's College softball team next year and plans on majoring in accounting.
And while she's locked in on her future plans, her name is already locked in as one to remember with the Trojans.
"She's somebody we knew would come through the program and be a success and help the team be a success," Stetz said. "There are names from past years that people will remember as great players from our program and Kayley certainly made a name for herself with Nanticoke softball."

Trojanette Softball Outlook
Citizens Voice

Nanticoke Area
Coach: Ryan Stetz

2012 Results: 13-2 in WVC, won the Division I East title, won the District 2 Class AA championship over Lakeland, lost to Warrior Run in the state semifinals.
Key Players: Kayley Schinski Sr. SS/2B/CF, Kayla Benjamin Sr. OF/INF/C, Allie Matulewski Sr. P/3B/1B
Outlook: Schinski, Benjamin and Matulewski are each three-year players for the Trojanettes, who were hit hard by graduation. The rest of the players are in their first full year of varsity experience. That's certainly not to discount Nanticoke's chances. Once the newcomers get comfortable with the varsity level, the Trojanettes should be in the hunt for another District 2 title.

Stetz set to take over helm at Nanticoke Area
Jill Snowdon -Citizens Voice

A new era of softball begins today at Nanticoke Area.
Ryan Stetz, who served as an assistant for the Trojanettes under Gary Williams, has taken over as head coach.
Williams retired in November after 22 years at the helm and Stetz certainly has big shoes to fill as Williams led the Trojanettes to two state titles (2003 and 2010) and finished with a 330-166 career record.
Nanticoke Area graduated 13 players from last year's team which advanced to the Class AA state semifinals and finished with a 23-4 overall record.
"The 2013 team will be prepared and fun to watch," Stetz said. "The players are tough competitors who are eager to showcase their teamwork and talent. Their effort has been consistent and contagious and it should be an exciting year."

Assistant takes over for a legend
Stetz named as successor for longtime Nanticoke head coach Gary Williams.

John Medeiros - Times Leader

For the first time in 23 years, Nanticoke will have a new softball coach.
Ryan Stetz was named to take over the program from retiring coach Gary Williams. The school announced Stetz’s promotion Tuesday morning, after the approval of the School Board on Monday night.
“It feels really good,” Stetz said of his first head coaching appointment. “It’s great to feel the excitement of the students at the school and the members of the team. Also, the support of the faculty and administration has been great.”
Stetz has served as an assistant with the team the past three seasons, including being there when the 2010 squad won the PIAA Class 2A state championship. During that time, the Trojanettes went 69-6.
“Obviously, that’s a combination of great coaching on Gary’s part and great players,” Stetz said. “It was a lot of fun to be a part of it.”
Stetz is a 1996 graduate of Nanticoke, where he was a multi-sport standout at the school. He was selected as Athlete of the Year by the school for the 1995-96 school year and was his senior class’ president. During his playing days, Stetz played wide receiver and defensive back for the Trojans football team, was an all-star guard on the basketball team and was a standout center fielder for the baseball team.
Baseball was his top sport, as he was an offensive dynamo while starting for three seasons with the Trojans. He continued his playing career at Lackawanna College, earning roles with the Lackawanna baseball and basketball teams. He continued his education at Bloomsburg University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree, and then Wilkes, where he earned a master’s degree in education.
“In a sense, being a teacher, you see so many different things,” Stetz said. “If you had told me five years ago about softball, I never would have thought about being the head coach. But there are so many great families involved and a great history in the program.
“Even former players have been in contact with kind words of support.”
After college, he returned to the Nanticoke school district as first an alternative education teacher and currently as a social studies teacher. During his 12 years at his alma mater, he has served as an assistant with the Trojans football team, and is currently an assistant with the boys basketball squad.
Williams leaves the Nanticoke softball program after 22 seasons with the Trojanettes. He compiled a 330-166 record and won PIAA Class 2A state championships in 2003 and 2010.
In 2003, Nanticoke defeated Center High 4-0 in the final. The title was the first for a Wyoming Valley Conference school in softball. In 2010, Williams led his squad to an 11-inning, 3-1 victory over Philipsburg-Osceola.
The Trojanettes were wildly successful under Williams through his final game, a PIAA semifinal loss to District 4 champion Warrior Run on June 11. The team completed a perfect regular season in 2011, losing the District 2 final to Elk Lake.
“I’d be a fool not to,” Stetz said when asked if he would seek out advice from Williams. “And I’ll take aspects of what I’ve learned from other coaches, too. But I will put my own mark on the team, too.”

Williams steps down as Nanticoke softball coach
Jill Snowdon - Citizens Voice

In 22 years as Nanticoke Area's softball coach, Gary Williams has helped make an impact on the athletic careers of countless young women.
But three special little ladies have made a big enough effect on Williams for him to say it is time to step down.
"There's a lot of factors, but most importantly, I have three little granddaughters that I'd like to visit more often," Williams said on Monday.
Two of Williams' granddaughters, ages 4 and five months, live in Texas, while his 1-year old granddaughter lives in San Diego.
Williams, who retired from teaching chemistry five years ago, will have more free time now to travel and see the babies.

"When my most recent granddaughter was born, we were in the playoffs, so I wasn't there for her birth and had to go out after the season," Williams said.
Williams racked up 330 career wins and just 166 losses with the Trojanettes. In addition, Nanticoke has won seven Wyoming Valley Conference championships, six District 2 titles and two AA state championships under his watch.
This past season, the Trojanettes finished 22-4 and won the Division I East title as well as the District 2 Class AA championship.
Nanticoke Area lost to Warrior Run in the PIAA Class AA semis.
"I've had the opportunity to coach great kids and coach in some great games," Williams said. "Of course the state title games will always be right up there, but one game that always comes to mind is our two-day 21-inning game against Mifflinburg in 2003."
Williams met with the team Monday and informed them of his retirement but also reminded them that he will remain a big supporter of Nanticoke Area softball and he's just a phone call away should they ever need him.
There isn't a replacement lined up just yet for the head coaching position, but Williams endorses one of his assistants, Ryan Stetz. Stetz, who teaches in the Nanticoke Area School District, has been with the team for two years and has coached various sports throughout the area.
"I think Ryan would be a great asset to the program," Williams said. "He has the capability, the knowledge and the energy and I really hope he gets considered."