Grabill following Mowbray's path

January 09, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |

CLEAR SPRING — Scott Mowbray and Ryan Grabill chatted during the Williamsport-Clear Spring junior varsity boys basketball game Friday, then shook hands and went to opposite ends of the gym before the varsity game.

It was the first meeting of the two varsity coaches after Grabill, who served for five years as Williamsport’s junior varsity coach under Mowbray, took over as head basketball coach at Clear Spring this season.

“Sort of the same career path,” said Grabill. “Scott was at Williamsport under Kevin Murphy and then left to come to Clear Spring and it’s the same route for me.”

Grabill said working under Mowbray helped prepare him for his first stint as a head coach.

“You take away a passion for the game like Scott has, the details and the love of the game,” Grabill said.

Grabill said he did not mark Jan. 7 as a special date on the calendar when the schedules were announced. He said he tried to treat the game like any other, but admitted that was tougher to do when coaching against his former players.

“Geez, I remember Stephen (Christy) and Connor (Arnone) when they were 10-year-olds,” said Grabill. “I’m excited to play against them. You want to beat them and you know they want to beat you, too.”

That they did. Williamsport took it to the Blazers 77-34 to remain unbeaten.

Grabill isn’t used to losing, having led winning junior varsity teams at Williamsport and then helping Mowbray direct the Wildcats’ varsity squad to successful seasons.

But Mowbray said Grabill will see the Blazers through their growing pains.

“I’m proud of what (Grabill) is doing at Clear Spring,” said Mowbray. “I knew he would do it the right way and be a hit here. It makes me proud having mentored him and they will get better.”

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