March 29, 1981
When Greg Arnold was gliding around the rinks of the Inter-County League, centering for Scott Chamness and Jim Bolger on the most powerful hockey line ever seen in this area, there was no Flyers Cup. Arnold had left Archbishop Carroll High and gone to Canterbury (Conn.) Prep before the Flyers Cup became a reality last year. So, it was only fair he got a chance to participate this year as the coach.
Carroll’s regular coaches (Gary Vetre and Frank DiGiandomenico) will be back behind the bench tonight when Carroll meets Pittsburgh North Catholic in the first-ever, Pennsylvania Cup But it was Greg Arnold, an 18-year-old senior at Canterbury, who coached the Patriots to their first three wins on their way to successfully defending the Flyers Cup. “It was exciting,” said Arnold, who will be helping out behind the bench at 7:30 tonight in Penn’s Class of ’23 Rink. “It was a pretty big responsibility for me to try to take control of these guys. But I enjoyed it.”
“He did a great job,” said Carroll center Jeff Arnold, who is Greg’s brother. “It was pretty tough to get thrown in here on short notice and try to take charge of a bunch of animals.”
“Greg’s the kind of kid who can do it, though,” said Carroll captain Carmen DiGiandomenico. “Everybody respects him. Greg’s the classiest kid I know.” Since Carroll zipped through the games under Arnold with a 3-0 record, he has to be this area’s youngest coach to win a championship since Don Casey took over the Bishop Eustace basketball program while he was a freshman at Camden County College. Arnold was thrown in cold. He was home on a term break from Canterbury when Vetre and Frank DiGiandomenico were suspended by the league, due to some overexuberant celebrating after Carroll’s league championship game. The coaches denied responsibility for the incident, but the suspensions stuck. Fortunately, both Arnold and Scott Chamness were home. Arnold was willing to coach, and Carmen DiGiandomenico is like a coach on the ice. “I had never thought about coaching.” Arnold said. “I had given some thought to helping out at camps as a counselor, but not even that until I get out of college.” (Arnold has signed with the University of Vermont; Chamness has signed with St. Lawrence in upstate New York.) “The hardest part was not being able to play everybody as much as I’d like,” Arnold said, “especially the third and fourth lines.
“I know how it feels for kids to sit on the bench. I feel bad for them, because I know how I felt if we were a man short and I was left off the penalty-killing unit.
“Or, if I missed a shift, I’d get upset. I’d feel, I’m as good as the next guy….I should be out there. But. that’s up to the discretion of the coach.”
Arnold claims he is not interested in a coaching career. “For me to coach, I’d need a situation with three equal lines, three sets of defensemen and two equal goalies,” he said, joking. “That’s the ideal situation.”
NOTES: Carroll is 26-1; Pittsburgh North Catholic is 26-0…. The Trojans are led by forward Rich Bagnato, who scored 64 goals in 21 league. games; Chuck Shiatto (25 goals and 56 assists), and center Lynn Sipe (103) points). But goaltender Tony Taylor is rated North Catholic’s best player.
CREDIT: The Philadelphia Inquirer