The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local Sports

February 19, 2014


Boy's basketball coach of 25 years set to move on at end of season

Medina Journal-Register — MIDDLEPORT — For the past 25 years, Roy-Hart High School has seen just one man roam the sidelines at its boys’ basketball games. That man, Mark Rydza, will lead the Rams out on to their home court tonight for one last time.

Roy-Hart and Barker Superintendent Roger Klatt, Roy-Hart Athletics Director John Jablonski and current players honored Rydza for his services at the final regular season home game last Wednesday against Barker. Rydza said it was nice to see many former players show up to the game as well.

“It was a very nice atmosphere,” Rydza said. “Everybody had a lot of nice things to say.”

Barker’s team even went along with the pre-game ceremonies as each player gave Rydza, an avid golfer, a golf ball after being introduced.

On top of his duties on the basketball court, Rydza is also a math teacher and the golf coach at Roy-Hart. He has been able to develop a good camaraderie with his colleagues and students serving these different roles. The daily interaction with people is what Rydza said he will miss most upon retirement.

“When you’re used to working with lots of kids every year, that’ll be the biggest thing I’ll miss,” Rydza said.

The Rams won one league title during Rydza’s tenure with the program. Roy-Hart made it to the sectional semifinals that 1995-96 season as well as in 1992-93. Despite losing them both, they’re two of some of his fondest coaching memories.

He recited the ending of the 1996 game as if it happened yesterday.

“Adam Cooley made two threes in the last 30 seconds of the game to tie it up,” Rydza said. “We ended up losing in overtime. We had a one-point lead, turned it over with 20 seconds left, ended up fouling them and they made two free throws.”

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