The Post-Journal

Coach of the Year

Fredonia coach Dave Polechetti didn’t care about the Hillbillies won-lost record in December.

That’s why the Fredonia Hillbillies almost advanced to the Western Regionals in March.

After getting off to a 4-4 start, Fredonia swept through its Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Interscholastic Athletic Conference schedule without a loss and won three straight Section 6 playoff games including the Class B-2 final, before being knocked off by Grand Island in the Class B title game.

Much of the credit for the Hillbillies' banner season falls in the lap of their coach and it is for that reason that Polechetti has been selected as The Post-Journal’s Coach of the Year.

By scheduling tough non-league opponents such as Jamestown and Lackawanna, Polechetti realized that you get better by playing strong opponents rather than feasting on the mediocre. By the time the playoffs rolled around, the Hillbillies were on fire as they were in the midst of a winning streak that would eventually extend to 15 games. Their B-2 title game victory over the Williamsville South Billies was Fredonia’s first sectional championship since 1977.

That accomplishment impressed Williamsville South coach Allan Monaco.

“This should go a long way toward getting them respect because I have a lot of respect for my team and our league (ECIC Division 2), and for them to come up here and beat Lackawanna (in the semifinals) and us back-to-back, I didn’t think anyone could do it,” he said after Fredonia’s 68-66 double-overtime win. “They’ve got my respect.”

Thanks to Polechetti.

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