March 26, 2004


Paul Worthington has played by his self-created creed, “I’d rather score one goal in a big game than score four in an unimportant game.” And he’s done so quite well. The senior forward has scored numerous important goals throughout his career at Holy Ghost Prep, many in helping the Firebirds capture two Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League titles and one Flyers Cup Class AA championship. Goal scoring isn’t the only asset Worthington, the Courier Times Player of the Year, brought to Ghost. Toughness, class, determination, leadership and heart are among the other traits the Firebirds coaching staff enjoyed while coaching him. “Paul is simply one of the best players I’ve ever coached,” Ghost head coach Brian Tibbels said. “He has a no-quit attitude. (He is) the complete player – great abilities and speed. I believe he is the type of kid that will succeed in all of his endeavors. As a person, Paul has one of those electric personalities that makes everyone around him a better player.” Assistant coach Jim Britt agreed. “I think Paul Worthington’s best attribute is his tenacity – he refuses to let up for a second in his pursuit of the highest goals,” he said. This season, Worthington helped Ghost win its second straight league title, posting a league-best 37 goals and 62 points. Seven of those goals and nine of those points came in back-to-back wins over Conwell-Egan and West Chester Henderson in January; and six of those seven goals came against Henderson, a Ghost single-game record. He finished his 93-match Ghost career with a school-best 138 goals and 260 points. Not surprisingly, his playing options for next season are wide open. Several schools are courting him, as are some junior teams. Much like his former teammate Ryan Gunderson did this time last year, Worthington is weighing all his options carefully and not rushing to a decision.

ICE HOCKEY COACH OF THE YEAR: Brian Tibbels & Tom Coyne

The Holy Ghost Prep and Archbishop Wood hockey teams enjoyed tremendous success this past winter thanks in no small part to their respective head coaches. Brian Tibbels guided defending Flyers Cup Class AA champion Ghost to its second straight Lower Bucks County Scholastic Hockey League title, while Tom Coyne led Wood to an astounding 23-1-1 regular-season finish. The duo has been selected as the Courier Times co-coaches of the year. Both point to the talent on their teams, as well as help from their assistants. The bottom line, however, is that each was able to mesh talent into a cohesive unit. Tibbels is exceptional at recognizing talent and implementing youth into the varsity program at key spots throughout the season. Because of this, Ghost hasn’t missed a beat despite the loss of Ryan Gunderson, one of the best players in league history who last winter played regularly as a freshman at the University of Vermont. Tibbels was extremely proud of winning a second straight league title, telling the Courier’s Pete Roberts: “I still think this is one of the toughest trophies to win. We’re only the fifth team ever to win it. This is a great moment. The kids really pulled together and were solid all the way throughout.” Coyne, meantime, saw his Vikings open 23-0-1 before losing to Abington on the final day of the regular season and then to North Penn in the first round of the Suburban High School Hockey League tournament. However, the Vikings rebounded by beating St. Joseph’s, Neshaminy, and Abington to reach the Flyers Cup Class AA tournament title.

All-Area Team (Bucks County)


Forward: Craig Fafara, Pennsbury, Senior, Shared the Falcons top marks in power-play goals (4) and assists (20).
Forward: Bill Gordon, Neshaminy, Senior, Led the Redskins to a second-place finish in the LBCSHL with 40 points.
Forward: Matt Koelzer, Archbishop Wood, Senior, Led the Vikings and finished fourth among the SHSHL’s South Division scorers with 46 points.
Forward: Kirk Llewellyn, Harry S Truman, Junior, Finished second among LBCSHL scorers with 30 goals and 55 points.
Forward: Tim Mensch, Conwell-Egan, Senior, Led the Eagles with 30 assists and 45 points.
Forward: Josh Steacke, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior, Helped the Firebirds to their second straight LBCSHL title with 30 goals and 45 points.
Defense: Joe D’Agostino, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Solid, a steady presence who helped the Firebirds allow a league-minimum 45 goals.
Defense: Buddy Lawall, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, One of the league’s top puck movers and hitters. Had 16 goals and 30 points.
Defense: Matt Sheridan, Archbishop Wood, Senior, Solid presence who helped the Vikings to a second-place finish in the SHSHL’s South Division.
Defense: Dan Sweeney, Pennsbury, Senior, Sees the ice and reads plays probably better than anybody in the league. Posted 20 points.
Goaltender: Andrew Golin, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior, Had lots of help in front of him, but still made plenty of tough saves versus formidable foes.
Goaltender: Brad McCormick, Pennsbury, Senior, Posted a 3.33 goals-against average, .866 save percentage and 12 wins.


Forward: Mike Walsh Pennsbury, Junior, Led Falcons with 22 goals.
Forward: Davey Mitro Pennsbury, Junior, Posted 15 goals, 20 assists.
Forward: Dan Coleman Neshaminy, Senior, Recorded 10 goals; 32 points.
Forward: Ryan Stern Bensalem, Senior, 17 goals; 26 points.
Forward: Mike Platt Neshaminy, Senior, Posted 18 goals and 30 points.
Forward: Sean Slack Truman, Senior, 23 goals; 41 points.
Forward: Shawn Dorsey Holy Ghost, Senior, Posted 25 points (20 helpers).
Forward: John Soroka Holy Ghost, Freshman, Posted 36 points (20 helpers).
Forward: Chris Adams, William Tennent, Freshman, Led Panthers in goals (21).
Defense: John Mercurio, Archbishop Wood, Sophomore, Selected to SHSHL all-star team.
Defense: Chris Donahue Truman, Junior, Solid presence on backline.
Goaltender: Matt Tendler, William Tennent, Senior, Selected to SHSHL all-star team.
Goaltender: T.J. Coyne, Archbishiop Wood, Junior, Helped Vikings to 23 wins.


Archbishop Wood: Anthony Fittipaldi, So., F; Mike DeCristafano, F; Sean Rowan, F; Jack Forbes, Sr., F; Brian Fittipaldi, Sr., D.
Bensalem: Joey Chairmonte, Jr., G; Chris Chairmonte, Sr., F.
Conwell-Egan: Lou Loutrel, Sr., G; Steve Schlegel, Sr., D; Gene Stricker, Sr., F.
Council Rock North: Barry Goers, Sr., D; Sean Farrell, Sr., F; Frank Terrell, Sr., G.
Council Rock South: Vincent Pagano, F.
Harry S Truman: Ray McNulty, So., F-D; Julian Paglione, Jr., G; Rob Spirk, Jr., F; Mike Sims, Jr., D.
Holy Ghost Prep: Mike Andrusko, Fr., F; Lee Zukowski, So., F; Jack Hillock, Sr., D.
Neshaminy: James Minger, Sr., G; Tyler Mattingly, Fr., G; Mike Richards, Sr., F.
Pennsbury: Chris Garft, Sr., F; David Larsen, Sr., F; Kevin Ebert, So., D; Bob Gaines, Sr., D.
William Tennent: Tom D’Aurizio, F.

By Scott Esposito
The Bucks County Courier Times