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Chris Skultety probably won't be this amped up when the first spring practice rolls around next March.

Then again, you might not want to bet against it.

Skultety was selected late this week as the new softball coach at Chambersburg. The recommendation will be voted on at the Nov. 11 school board meeting. A committee of four administrators and three current softball players picked Skultety from among eight candidates.

Thursday night, Skultety sounded like he was ready to start right away.

"It's been a long time coming for me," said Skultety, who has been a varsity assistant in various sports for a total of 22 seasons. "It's the right time for me to be coaching at the varsity level, and it's very exciting."

CASHS athletic director Jeremy Flores said, "Chris has a lot of passion and energy, and he'll bring excitement to the position. With the talent we have coming back, the sky is the limit, and we want to be able to win championships."

The previous coaches –Ted Bittinger and Lenny Carbaugh – were co-coaches for the past five years and had a record of 66-41. The Trojans reached the District 3 Tournament in each of those five years, but lost three times in the first round and had a 2-5 overall playoff record in that time.

Flores said, "Both of those coaches are great guys, but I really felt we needed one coach who could take the program in one direction. I feel strongly that any program has to have one leader."

"Chambersburg deserves to be feared again in softball," Skultety said. "We need to squash the drama and do what we need to do to get there. One thing I can emphasize is that I want the girls to play club ball over the summer, but it doesn't matter what club they play for. That will have no bearing on who plays for the Trojan varsity team."

While Skultety has a lot of coaching experience, it has been in baseball, football and even basketball at the high school level. He has been coaching for the Phoenix club softball team, and he has two daughters who play the sport.

"I've been coaching softball in like three leagues a season for the last couple of years," he said. "I've had 20 years of dealing with kids and people, and that's the same in any sport.

"I know baseball, and softball isn't that much different, except for the pitching. If we can hire a good pitching coach, that won't be a worry. I'm excited about coaching softball like I was when I first started playing sports. I've already learned quite a bit, and I'll keep learning to get to that next level."

Flores said, "Chris doesn't have a ton of coaching experience with softball, but he does with baseball, and a good coach is a good coach."

Skultety played football and baseball at Ford City High School in western Pa. and earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. But he missed playing football and couldn't do both at Pitt, so he transferred to Clarion and played both sports there.

He was an assistant coach in 2000 when Greencastle-Antrim's baseball team reached the PIAA Class AA championship game.

"Between my playing days and my coaching, I know what it takes to win championships," Skultety said.

His first priority is to meet his team: "I need to ease their minds about my coaching, let them know my background and give them an idea of what to expect. As far as my style, we will be aggressive on the base paths and at the plate. We want to dictate to the other team."

The next thing is to hire two assistant coaches, once he is approved. One will need to be a quality pitching coach.

He has already been promised some volunteer help from Steve Cook, who was an assistant in the Trojan program during its prime years under Harvey Staver.

Skultety said, "The players in the interview seemed really eager to get started. I think they know the talent they have coming back. I'm excited about the situation."

Name: Chris Skultety

Position: CASHS special education teacher

Previous varsity assistant coaching positions: 2 years baseball, 2 years football and 1 year basketball in western Pa. ... 2 years football at James Buchanan; 6 years football and 6 years baseball at Greencastle-Antrim; 3 years football at Chambersburg.

Softball club: Skultety coaches U-8 and U-10 teams for the Phoenix travel team.

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