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Gorman: Vestal ready for challenge at Seneca Valley

Daveen Rae Kurutz
| Tuesday, January 13, 2015 11:03 p.m
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Christopher Horner
Hopewell head coach Dave Vestal with Pat Tarquinio. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

Dave Vestal teaches astronomy and physics, so it’s understandable that he doesn’t get too philosophical.

Nonetheless, the football coach found humor in the suggestion that the planets aligned perfectly for his move Monday from Hopewell to Seneca Valley.

“Things happen for a reason,” Vestal said. “It just seems like this fell into place. I feel like there’s a reason I’m the head coach at Seneca Valley. I feel like it’s the right reason.”

I hope so, as it would be a shame if it’s for the wrong reason. Vestal was 92-59 in 14 seasons at Hopewell, where his teams made the playoffs nine times, played for three WPIAL Class AAA championships and won a PIAA title in 2002.

That used to make a coach bulletproof. Now it’s all about the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. And the Vikings were 1-17 the past two seasons, so maybe it was time for a change.

Vestal, 46, certainly is ready for this new challenge — coaching at the largest school district in Western Pennsylvania.

Where the Parkway Conference has produced the past six WPIAL Class AAA champions, the Quad North has produced the past five in Class AAAA.

“It’s still Parkway Conference (quality) football,” Vestal said. “Just moving up north.”

Seneca Valley was Hopewell’s second scrimmage the past eight years, so Vestal is familiar with the Raiders and was impressed with their facilities and recent success. Now he just has to win.

“That’s what Friday night is all about: It’s all about competition, good coaches, good teams and a good atmosphere,” Vestal said. “That’s why you coach in Western Pennsylvania.”

All good reasons, just not necessarily in that order.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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