NEPA Sports Nation

VV’s Pegula recognized for service

Larry Pegula speaks to the crowd at Riverfront Sports during Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Media Day. Above, he received the CvC NEPA Champion Award from Andrew Kettel. (Tony Callaio Photos)

By Tom Robinson,

SCRANTON – Valley View principal Larry Pegula received the first Coaches vs. Cancer NEPA Champions Award Sunday.

Pegula was recognized during a presentation at the beginning of the first Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Media Day, featuring coaches and captains from the majority of District 2 teams, at Riverfront Sports.

Scranton Prep boys coach Andrew Kettel, who launched and continues to serve as chairman of Coaches vs. Cancer NEPA, made the presentation, which is modeled after the national level award given to an NCAA Division I coach each season.

Kettel started local efforts in 2007-08 while serving as head coach at Lackawanna Trail. Pegula was one of the first to join in when Kettel decided to try to expand efforts beyond his own team.

Even though he has since left the coaching ranks after becoming a school administrator, Pegula has remained as a leader of Valley View’s strong presence within the fundraising done by teams around District 2.

“We started the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign on a Friday night vs. Mountain View, then next thing you know we started a committee of coaches and referees and we got this thing going,” Kettel told the hundreds of players, coaches and spectators gathers for the event. “One of the people who helped get this off the ground was coach Larry Pegula from Valley View.

“This year, we’re going to honor coach for everything he’s done over these past 15-16 years to help Coaches vs. Cancer as a coach, as a parent, as a principal, rallying a community at Valley View, which just does an unbelievable job year in and year out.”

Pegula remembers the first venture in which cheerleaders carried buckets into the crowd and collected “about $150,” in donations. The process has grown since then with Valley View annually hosting one of the largest events during Suits and Sneakers Week when teams come up with a variety of fundraising methods.

“Over the last few years, the Valley View School District has routinely raised over $10,000 while also honoring survivors, remembering those who have passed on from this horrendous disease and consistently raised awareness,” Pegula said. “There are many people who only make it to one game a year, but always try to be at that Coaches vs. Cancer game.

“It is always an amazing evening.”

Pegula said he was “truly honored” to receive the award. He pointed to others who consistently play large roles in making that night special.

“At Valley View, this initiative is an on-going process that would not be possible without two individuals,” Pegula said. “They are Miss Cheryl Aniska and Miss Jackie Brown that really embody what Coaches vs. Cancer is all about.”

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