By George Von Benko
Ray Trincia left his imprint on Fayette County athletics as a player and a coach.
Trincia was a multi-sport standout for German Township High School in the mid 1950’s.
On the gridiron, Trincia was a part of some competitive German teams. He was a sophomore in 1952 when the Uhlans went 7-1 during the regular season and lost to Midland 14-6 in the WPIAL Class A championship game. In Trincia’s junior season, the Uhlans were 6-3 and his senior squad in 1954 posted a record of 6-4.
“We were highly competitive at that time,” Trincia recalled. “We were very good in football and basketball.”
Trincia, a wiry 6-foot-3, 160 pounder, was a two way end on the football squad. He has fond memories of German Township Head Football Coach Lou Rozzi.
“Coach Rozzi was incomparable,” Trincia stated. “In those days, he was a good disciplinarian and he was tough and strong. He was right beside his coaching contemporary Masontown’s Gene Franks.”
Trincia still marvels at some of the talent that German had.
“Jimmy Carter was our quarterback and he was a tough athlete,” Trincia opined. “Buddy Ward and Jim Ford, I was a sophomore when they were seniors. There was great talent – Bill Rutland and let’s not forget Sam Sims who came along right after I graduated. He was one of the better basketball players ever in the state of Pennsylvania.”
Trincia is known more for his basketball career than football, but he really relished his football career.
“I really enjoyed playing football,” he offered. “The biggest thing I enjoyed about it is we went both ways on offense and defense. I kind of liked defense better, because it was a thrill to go after the quarterback.”
Trincia was selected to play in the Fayette – Washing
ton County All Star game.
Basketball is the sport where Trincia made his name. German won the Section 11 title in 1952-53 and finished with a record of 19-2. The Uhlans made their first WPIAL playoff appearance and lost to Ford City 73-35. German finished third in the section during the 1953-54 campaign. When Trincia was a senior in 1954-55, the Uhlans captured the Section 11 championship and finished with a 16-7 mark. Monessen ousted German from the WPIAL playoffs 72-42.
“Coach Adam Donnelly was the backfield coach in football,” Trincia said. “He was the Head Coach in basketball; he was a coach’s coach, he was very disciplined and treated you fairly. He was the kind of guy that you respected as a coach and you wanted to respect him, just like Lou Rozzi. Both were great coaches and they gave me the roots for teaching fundamentals and giving me the opportunity to play.”
Trincia garnered Section 11 All Star honors and averaged almost 13 ppg as a senior.
“The loss to Monessen was tough in the playoffs,” Trincia stated. “I had 16 points in the loss, but they had Bill Hewitt and he was strong on the boards. I also got the chance to play against Chuck Davis when he was at South Union and he was prime time.”
Trincia also excelled on German Township’s
“I was in the discus and javelin events,” he recalled. “I ran on the mile relay team and at that time we were very competitive in track.”
When Trincia graduated in 1955, he had several
“When I graduated, assistant basketball coach Ron Fudala who went to Salem College talked me into going to Salem,” Trincia stated. “Amy Canton tried to get me a shot at Duquesne, but they had Sihugo Green and the Dick Ricketts and I thought I would sit on the bench, so I went to Salem.”
Salem was in the middle of the pack in the West Virginia Conference during Trincia’s days with the Tigers. He was team captain as a senior.
“I played on the freshman team and during the middle of my sophomore year I became a starter,” Trincia explained. “I was satisfied with my career and got to play a lot of basketball, and it was a great experience for me and got me an education.”
Trincia graduated from Salem in 1959 and went into teaching and coaching.
He started teaching at Masontown High School and coached the Junior High team.
“In 1960 when Chuck Wyda left, Rudy Marisa became the head coach and I was his assistant,” Trincia reported. “I became head coach in 1966 after Marisa left.”
Trincia fashioned a very impressive record, in 29 years he was 350 and 259 at Albert Gallatin, Tri-Valley and Brownsville. He led “new” Albert Gallatin to their first playoff appearance in 1994.
His teams made 14 playoff appearances and captured eight section titles (1967, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1987).
In 1968, AG went 14-0 in Section 19 play and roared into the WPIAL Class B playoffs sporting a record of 18-3. The Colonials rallied from a 14 point deficit to defeat Center Township 56-55 and then dispatched Union Area 69-61 to reach the Class B final against Tarentum. The Colonials fell to the Redcats in the final 74-58.
“We had three nice sized kids in Mike Pavlovich, Len Dillinger and Scott Schuessler,” Trincia recalled. “We had a junior Jack Andrews and a real nice guard in Mike Crouse.”
Trincia was blessed with some talented players during his time at Albert Gallatin.
“I thought Stan Boskovich was outstanding; he was more of a scorer than a shooter,” Trincia stated. “Boskovich was a very good player, and I thought Mike Crouse was an outstanding guard.”
Trincia continued his friendship with Rudy Marisa and his former assistant Buddy Quertinmont before his passing away in 2017.
“We still have a great relationship,” Trincia said
referring to Marisa.
Trincia retired as an administrator in 1997. His wife Donna passed away in 1997. They had three children: Ray Jr., Robin and Aaron. Trincia, 81, resides in Detroit, MI.
“I still teach basketball,” Trincia explained. “I still do basketball clinics in the Detroit area. Athletics was very good to me and it was a way of life. It was almost like hitting a homerun.”