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Moskal - Page Text Content

1: This book is dedicated to Coach Steve Moskal founder and foundation of the Canonsburg Lady Knights fastpitch softball program | By the 2002 - 2012 Canonsburg Lady Knights Family

2: Dear Coach Moskal, The past 8 years with you have been filled with memories that I will carry with me forever. You have helped me with so much, not only with softball but with life in general. Throughout the years we have been together, I went through tough times and you were always there to help me as best as you could. When I turned into a left-handed slapper, you worked with me nonstop until I started to feel comfortable doing it. Although I always wanted to become a good power hitter, you reassured me that slapping and bunting will become vital in game situations, and sure enough you were right. However, everyone learned at some point that you are right all of the time (or at least most of the time!) A lot has changed since we were 9 years old! Remember when we used to be afraid of you? And you only had to ask us once to do something? Sorry, but those days are over! The intimidation factor wore off and we all realized that you're just a big softy. But just so you know, we were never disrespecting you. You know us, and we can be a little lazy sometimes. For me, the past couple of years have been the most memorable. You have seen me at my worst when I would get frustrated and discouraged about pitching, you always told me "keep working, girl" or "your time will come." Your little talks always gave me encouragement because I knew that even if no one else believed in me, you did. This taught me not to take anything for granted. Someone out there is always going to be better than you, so that should influence you to work harder. Because of you, I will no longer think that a softball has no distinct smell. It does, in fact, have a beautiful leathery smell which you have gotten most of the infield to love. One of the things I loved most about you being our coach was that I never felt nervous or pressured. | Kayla 'KK' Kiger #7

3: After an intense high school season, it's nice to come to a team that is more relaxed but still competitive. One of the first things you taught us when we were 9 years old is something that I will remember forever; "Don't spill coach's coffee." This is number one of your many rules; however I don't think we ever learned all of them. You have also gotten the term "dumb Pollock" to become an insult that I use often and it's something only our team will be able to laugh at. One of the worst things you can do is call a girl ugly. But we all learned not to get offended because it's nothing personal and you say it to everybody. I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say that you are hands down the best coach anyone could ever ask for. You became like a second father to us and we all felt completely comfortable around you. It's so sad that something that has been such a huge part of our life for so long is slowly coming to an end. Being a part of this team has been so much fun and we have built friendships that will last a lifetime. All of the games and tournaments we won would not have been possible without you at our side. I will never forget the early mornings, hot afternoons and laughs we all shared together. I will also never forget the constant nagging for new uniforms which I'm sure you never got tired of hearing about. But most importantly, I will never forget you as my coach. We have formed a bond that is unbreakable and hard for others to understand, but that's what makes it so special. I want to thank you for everything you have done for me during our time together. I can't even begin to explain how grateful and appreciative I am. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Being a part of the Lady Knights will always have a special place in my heart. I am truly blessed and honored to have you as my coach. Love, Kayla Kiger

4: YES it certainly has been a long and very fruitful voyage. We have been fortunate to have been "tapped" at the right time. With most Great Coaches comes Great Coach Speak...It's a package deal, I think. I'm talking about game talk vocalized from the BUCKET with FUNGO IN HAND tapping on the ground...maybe we should call it Bucket Talk? Sounds like aSports Radio show... But I believe these are unique to Steve. I've been around enough Coaches in different sports, as most of us have, and I believe the consensus would label these game utterings as MOSKALISMS. We all should remember: The Classic Moskalisms, like:"OXYGEN!!!!!!", "THAT was INTERESTING..." or "SHOOT HERRR!!"...."RUN FORREST RUN!!","Hey don't be a Spectator out there" or "Hey so 'n' so COME PLAY WITH US" when an outfielder is standing in another zip code. Never forget "Chagganooga"... In-Game Regulars, like "We're on a ZEEEEE!""RUN LIKE THE WIND GIRL", "Outfield SHOOTIN' GOLD" & "PUURPLE"...Oh, lest we forget"GIT 'er G!!" , "V CHOKE MIDDLE"or "HEREwe GO!" & "Let's D it UP" How about The At Bat Collection of Moskalisms: "Need Baserunners", "No LET UP" "Cut through it Girl", "No ROLLIN' " or "GIT the JOB DONE GIRL" or "BEST SWING GIRL BEST SWING". This is Good Stuff! The Pregame and Postgame Series of Moskalisms include: The Everlasting "BOB!!!"...or "LISTEN UP!!" How about famous Pre-Amble Moskalisms like: "I been doin' this for alotta years..."and "You have to understand...." or "The thing about it is.....". I can hear him saying that as I write this!...A brief summary of events usually followed these Pre-Amble Moskalisms.

5: You could always count on valuable thought provoking lessons to be learned, Big Takeaways, not only for the game of softball but for Game of Life. Work Hard. Stay focused. Relax. Have fun out there....As our daughters approach College age and beyond, let's hope they remember these lessons ... they are the basis, the foundation for a life full of real purpose and meaning. This is where we have all benefited from Steve's dedication of time - time spent with us and AWAY from his family - to help improve OURS!....it's unreal, when you think about it. Going forward, I will personally borrow this one: "Where We Gettin' Ice Cream?" | Brian Kiger

6: v | COACH- someone who instructs or trains players in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs team strategy... That is the official definition of a coach. However to me a coach is someone who believes in you and makes you believe in yourself, provides you with the courage to be who you are, teaches you the values of a team, lifts your spirits when you make a mistake in the field of play and takes the time to explain how to fix that mistake. Realizes your potential and pushes you above and beyond that potential, makes you smile and hold your head up high, makes you furious at times and rewards you for a job well done and also scolds you for any mishaps that will not be tolerated. In a sense a coach is like a teacher, teaching us to respect others and their feelings. Teaching us to value every moment that we spend on and off the field, playing to the best of your ability and being proud of who and what you are. Teaching you the fundamentals of the game but also the fundamentals of life! A coach is also like a parent, praising you with a job well done, disappointed when you let yourself and others down. Feels bad when your injured or not feeling well, proud and smiling when you win and make others feel special about themselves.. Thats what makes me proud to say that my Coach... Is... You!! Coach Moskal.. We have had many good times and a few bad. I remember after my first practice with you like it was yesterday. I returned home to tell my parents that I was never coming back there to play for you because you didn't like anything I did. I didn't throw right, I didn't bat right, I didn't catch right, shoot I even went to a school you didn't like!!b haha. Later to find out that my school was in fact your alma mater. After repeated times of my dad telling me, just give it a chance, I gave it a chance. I showed up at all the practices, I threw all the balls the way you wanted me to throw, I swung the bat the way you wanted me to swing, I caught the balls the way you wanted me to catch, but I still attended the school you didn't like!! The first 2 weeks of practice were BORING!!! The only thing we were allowed to do was throw and catch, throw and catch, throw and catch... We played and we lost and we played and we lost.. but with every loss came words of encouragement, don't give up, keep working hard and if you do what I tell you, it will all come in time.. I kept listening to your words and trying my best, until that day came in Plum when I hit my 1st over the fence homerun! I was so excited and when I rounded 3rd base you gave me a high five and a smile. After the game you handed me a ball dated June 28, 2008 signed Coach Moskal. That was just one of many high fives and smiles as I rounded 3rd base heading for home! I guess all the swings in the Castle on Susie had been paying off, because I have quite a few homerun balls signed by Coach Moskal! | Kayla Briggs #8

7: Throughout the years to come we learned a lot about and from Coach Moskal.. HIS RULES!! Do Not spill his coffee! When he rubs his head, he's lying! When he covers his mouth with index finger and middle finger together, he passed gas! Clean your colon before the game! When he yells for BOB, he isn't yelling at or for BOB, he is telling us to get our duppas on the bench... aka.. BUTTS ON BENCH = BOB!!! There are plenty more but that will remain the Knights secret!! We can't give away all the secrets!! I could go on and on with stories about my journey with Coach Moskal but I will keep those for future reference.. In closing I would like to thank Coach Moskal for all the time and dedication he has given to me and my team mates over the years.. I can proudly say I was a former player of Coach Moskal and I respectfully and honorably display My STATE GOLD MEDAL, WPIAL GOLD MEDALS, WPIAL SILVER MEDAL and have been named to The 1st TEAM ALLSTATE for 3 consecutive years knowing that Coach Moskal had a major role in those honors!! Thanks Coach for all the laughs, blood, sweat, tears, scars, all reminders and memories of a successful softball career... Thanks Coach!! Kayla Briggs

8: Early morning tournaments, late night practices, long days in the concession stand, long rides in a car, a trunk full of softball equipment, yellow Lady Knights stickers in the windows, dirty uniforms, buckets , bats, spikes and balls... All reminders! Reminders that will last a lifetime! A lifetime filled with countless memories, there were good times, there were bad times, but those are the times I will not forget! The phone calls, the meetings, the fundraisers, the MOTHERS DAY practices, the wins, the losses, all worthwhile! It was quite a journey but a journey that i have enjoyed. Sitting in the dugout, watching all the crazy drills that you did with the girls and hearing all the encouraging words of advice that you handed down, were moments that I will cherish forever. Seeing the girls grow from those lil rugrats into beautiful young ladies has been quite an experience and pleasure for me as I know it has for you. I've been there to witness all the proud moments when the girls would hit their first homerun, make that diving catch in the outfield, strike out the batter in the box, make the out in that run down, but most of all I have seen you take those young girls and make them into those beautiful and talented young ladies that they have become! You have given countless minutes, hours, weeks, months, and years to our daughters... EXCEPT for those FRIDAY NIGHT DATE NIGHTS!!!!! which by the way I still can't get! haha

9: I know you take great pride and honor in teaching these young ladies the sport of softball but you have taught them so much more! I know each and every one of them will forever be grateful for all the life lessons you have taught them. They have learned to overcome hardship, how to play together as a team and support one another on and off the field. I have been so proud of this team. Parents, players, siblings, and coaches, it is all just one big family.. I have never seen a team play together with the integrity that our team has. I believe whole heartedly that that was all made possible by you and the values that you instill in your players and parents. My proudest moment of this team and the most memorable one isn't any win on the field, it was the way our girls all prayed together and played together for Mrs Weiss!! This was a very hard ordeal for the whole team but most of all for Jessie and Mr. Weiss. I was one of the proudest parents when our girls stepped on the diamond in those pink uniforms, but I know that Mrs Weiss was even more proud than I was! I know that there is nothing that I can do to show you my gratitude for all that you have done, and you have never asked for anything in return, other than for our girls to have fun , play their best and be proud of who they are! I know that watching this Knights team part ways will make you sad but also will make you proud!! You have sent them in the right direction and I know that they will do right by you! Thank you for everything! God Bless!! Patty Briggs

10: Giorgiana 'G' Zeremenko #21 | Coach Moskal, You've been my coach ever since I was a little girl. There is a big time frame to cover but I don’t remember a lot of it because it was so long ago. There were so many great memories that it’s hard to pick a favorite. The first memory that comes to my head was when you ate my food while I was warming up Kayla. Just because it was the last bowl doesn’t mean you can steal someone else’s food. I guess because it was you I didn’t mind it but I’m sure someone else would have. One memory that sticks out was the week we were in nationals. We tried to pull a prank on you by wrapping your car in Saran wrap, but of course the new girl, Erika, ruined it. Also that week, you took me home so I could go to my sister’s graduation party. We stopped at Starbucks so you could take a nap. We listened to books on tape all the way home. I'm still upset we never finished the last book because it was starting to get really good.

11: Another memory that will always stand out to me is when Yaszmin misspelled her name on a ball we were signing. It will always stand out to me because it was really funny and I am sure you will never stop making fun of her for it. It only took me 7 years to catch on to them, but I think I learned your tricks. When you say pick a number 1-10, the number is always 2. Everybody knows when you fart, burp, or if you’re lying. I will never forget them. I’ll try to get them to be universal signs just for you. Not really, but it’s the thought that counts. I'm also going to miss getting those Santa Christmas cards I get in the mail. They always make me laugh even though it's the same thing every year. I can’t say I’ll miss you saying it in the summer but everybody knows your favorite line, "You guys are by far the ugliest team I've ever coached". I know you’ll say it all the time during high school season. Who's going to eat my food while I warm up a pitcher? Next year is going to be so different without you as a travel coach. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me throughout the years. I’ve learned so much about the game from you. It was an honor to have you as a travel coach for so many years. I never would be the player I am today without your help. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you! If you haven’t guessed by now, who this is from, it’s from your favorite person ever Giorgiana “G” “Gia” Zeremenko. :)

12: Dear Coach, Thank you so much for all the time and effort you have put in to making this team one of the area's best....but, most importantly thank you for all you've done for G. She would not be the player she is today without your expertise. Thank you for always believing in their potential. Stephanie Pankas Zeremenko

14: Coach Moskal When I first started playing for you i was scared of you because you yelled so much. As the years went by we all started to see how much of a softy you are and after that we all stopped taking you seriously. We tease you just as much as you tease us. We have "no respect" anymore but we are always just messing with each other. And I do respect you a lot. You've been my coach for about 8 years, you taught me everything I know about softball and made me the player I am today and I wouldn't change a thing. Even though we would get mad at each other at times and I know I could be difficult when you told me to do something, and you'd get really frustrated with me. I still loved you like a dad. We've all became a big family over these years and have had so many memories together that will be unforgettable. You were there to watch us grow up and watch us all grow together into a family. We have so many memories that i'll never forget. You're the best coach I could of ever asked for and nothing will ever change that. I'm so appreciative and proud to be able to say you were my coach and taught me everything I know about softball. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me. You will always be a huge part of my life. You've impacted it so much. I'll miss not having you as my coach anymore. | Yaszmin 'Blondie' Kotar #22

16: Coach Moskal is the best coach we could of ever asked for! These girls are very blessed as are the families. I don't think there are many teams that have what our team has. I am so glad coach Moskal was the Canon McMillan girls High School coach as well. I know Yaszmin loves him like a father figure. She started saying during her junior year "Mom what am I gonna do when coach Moskal isn't my coach." I kept saying Yaszmin you have a whole year still! The love of the game, and the love for his family; the love for the girls and their families, the respect of the game, and the team family - that is coach Moskal. What more could you ask for...Nothing! I could go on and on but I have one more story. Yaszmin's sophomore year when we played Penn-Trafford to make the quarterfinals, if we won. We were in the tenth inning and Yaz hit a two run single to take the lead. Well when she got to first base coach Moskal had his hands up for a high five , so Yaszmin threw her hands around him for a big hug...which you know don't touch coach or spill his coffee. So after the game I said "What did coach Moskal say when you hugged him?" She said he said"Don't touch me don't touch me ". We still crack up talking about it today. Even though it's so sad to see these times go by so fast; no matter what, Coach Moskal will always be a huge part of these girls lives along with their families. There is so many unforgettable memories that will be in our hearts forever. The Kotars

18: Coach Moskal, Thank you so much for everything you have taught me. I would have never been where I am now if it wasn't for you. You are like a second dad to all of us. we are with you more than we are with our friends and family nothing wrong with that! You make softball enjoyable for me. a lot of coaches don't do that. I would never have the skills if you hadn't taught me everything you did. We are supposed to write down in words how thankful we are but I can't. it means so much to all of us how much time you put into the Knights and high school ball. we are going to use the skills for the rest of our lives and thru college and everything. I will go through a lot of coaches but you will always be my favorite. I hope our whole team stays in touch because we are all like a family. I'm so happy I started the Knights with you because I will remember this team and what we've been through for the rest of my life. | Maddie 'Maddog' Engel #52

20: Steve, Thank you so much for all you have given of yourself for so many years to our girls. You have made such an impact on Maddie's life and mine in so many ways. You have taught her so much more than how to play softball. She has grown as a person over the years, learning how to be a team player, how to not give up, how to commit to something, how to treat others with respect, not only her peers but adults as well. She made relationships, friends and bonds that will last a lifetime! You played such a big part in who she is as a person, being in her life as a positive male role model/mentor for half of her childhood. The memories are priceless, we had so much fun over the years. I am so glad we were a part of this family! The past 10 years of playing ball truly formed the person she is! I can't tell you how much you have helped in areas where me as the mother could not fill! Funny how many times I heard..."you ask Steve, you say something...you are better friends with him, I'm not saying anything". Everyone was so afraid of you in the beginning, not knowing how harmless you were and what a giant Teddy Bear you really are! You gave hours upon hours of your time all for the love of softball and our girls! To your wife....Cindy, thanks for sharing Steve for all these years. It was great to get to know you as we'll, you have a wonderful family!

21: As far as Maddie is concerned, I know you played a huge part in her high school placement as well, having faith in her when others did not see it! I am so grateful that she got to experience this, especially the WPIAL title and State run....again, a once in a lifetime experience. Although college ball may no longer be an option, she says over and over she has no regrets for all the time she gave up playing the game! It was extremely emotional when she made the decision to not pursue playing in college, but she realizes her education comes first. All the early weekends also kept her out of trouble, missing a lot of parties that could have been no good for her! I wish you the best with your new team, I am a little jealous that they will get an even "better" coach after learning from our teams downfalls ....such is life! They don't realize how lucky they are to have you for a coach and what happy years are ahead of them! Best of Luck to you always, may God Bless you and your family always! Love, Lori Engel

24: Veronica 'V' Rothka #11 | Dear coach Moskal, Thank you so much for everything you did for me. You are the best coach I have ever had. You have taught me so much, and you made me into the player I am today. I really appreciate everything you have done for me.I have so many great memories, and made a lot of great friends that will last a lifetime. They're all like my sisters now, and it's all because you let me come on the team. One of my best memories on this team was my very first practice with everybody. I felt like an outcast because of not knowing anyone, but that didn't last very long.You made me feel really good. I never got an ice-cream ticket ever before, that's why I made all those really hard catches. Sorry I wrecked your motor cycle coach, I thought you were going to be really mad at me { but you weren't} thanks!!! The first time I heard you say to us when we got into the dugout and said B.O.B. I just looked at you like, WHAT { butts on Bench } I'll never forget that. Coming in 2nd at the state tournament was another good memory, playing all those games,I guess I learned what you said about playing to that next level. { THANKS }. Playing in the nationals in Tennessee was like, amazing, had a great time, but also learned a lot playing against all those great teams. { THANKS ] One thing I found out how good you were never getting made and yelling at us. Coach a special thanks for getting me ready for high school and for us to win the WPIALS and go on and make it to the Piaa state semi-finals. We are going to win states next year! Good luck with the younger team.Veronica #11

26: Hi Steve; I just want to let you know how very thankful I am that I stopped at your shop 5 yrs ago, and told you about my baby girl who wanted to play fastpitch softball. I really couldn't think of what to say about her. So remember what I told you Steve, how I said she is a diamond in the rough. Well you proved that to be true, and I am forever thankful to you. I've been around baseball a long time and seen a lot. Steve you are at the top of my list of people that really love the game, and also a brilliant Coach. The way you taught the girls, and the way you knew how to get the best out of them.Veronica thanks you for Polishing her into that diamond. Steve, I wish you only the Best with the younger team. I know you will do the same job with these diamonds in the rough as you've done before. God willing I hope to be able to be at the fence to watch the transformation into diamonds. Thanks, Ron Rothka

28: Jess Weiss #23 | Coach Moskal How do I thank a person who has not only taught me everything I know about the game of softball, but has also taught me many valuable life lessons? It all started when I wanted to try out for the 12 year old Cooperstown baseball team. I wanted to work on my swing to help me get on the team and my dad knew you were just the person for that job. I still remember coming into the Castle and hitting Suzy over and over again until it became automatic. Unfortunately, I didn't make the team. However, that gave me the opportunity to meet some of the greatest friends I have today, the Lady Knights softball team. My first practice was a little awkward. I was that new girl who went to a private school. No one knew anything about me, and they had already established their friendships. But after a few practice I had already made some good friends. And now, 6 years later, my team is my 2nd family. And we owe that all to you! You have made each and every one of us into the player we are today. I always appreciated your ways of coaching. Growing up in a family that never screamed, it was a relief that you didn't either. But we always knew when you sat on that bucket and pounded the Fungo bat that you were upset! You had the ability to take all of our bad habits (except for Maddie's finger chewing...) and turned them into good habits. My proudest moment was definitely the state championship. Although we didn't come in first, we played our doopas off. 7 games in 1 day, from 8:30 in the morning to 11:30 at night, was a little much. But we went from the loser's bracket, all the way to being 2nd in the state. Only to beat the state champs twice in later tournaments. It was definitely one of the most memorable, and proudest moments in my softball career.

29: Overnight tournaments were always a fun experience. It was more of a bonding and learning experience than it was a softball experience for me. The multiple pools, movie nights, and food trips with the team on these tournaments really helped us become closer and more of a solid family. This helped us become closer as a team, which was evident when you put us on the field. Also, playing 3 games in 90 degree weather within 12 hours really taught me how to persevere and fight through till the end. When I am 30 working on my job, whatever that may be, and I just want to go home and sleep, I will think of my days on the softball field and how I felt the same, but when I battled to the end and gave it my hardest, the outcome was worth it. Lessons like that wouldn't have been learned if it wasn't for you, Coach. I know I'm not the only one who appreciates all your hard work and time that you have put into our team the past years. You made it such an enjoyable experience to come to softball and just forget everything going on outside of those dugouts, and concentrate on the game. You have molded me into the hard working, determined person I am today. Unfortunately I'm not as lucky as the other girls to have you as my high school coach. But I will definitely be seeing you in the future. Thank you for all you have done for the team and for me. We love you from the bottom of our hearts!

30: Coach! Steve, I keep a list of people in my head that, I feel, are the best at what they do. People who excel in their profession, go the extra mile in their interactions with people within their circle. Those that love what they do and love sharing it with others. I have known you for over 30 years and in all that time you have always been at the top of that list. Your passion for the game, for the well being of the kids under your tutelage and for the possibilities you see in their futures has always been your #1 concern. Yes, it has been about winning but, it has always been about so much more than that. And the coolest thing is that these girls all recognize what you have been teaching them all these years. They know what it means to be true to themselves, to work together as a team, to accept their responsibilities and the outcomes of their behavior, on the field and in life. You have been, and will always be the role model that they will look back on when it comes time to make those important decisions in life. You have also taught them how to have fun, how to relax under pressure, how to stay humble and proud at the same time. You have coaxed so much talent out of these girls in the few short years you had them. You made them work harder on the field then they have anywhere else in life. And you have shown them what they can get out of life if they believe in what they are doing and if they have the discipline that they had back when they were playing softball with Coach Moskal. The life lessons they have gathered with you will, most likely, be passed to their children and their children's children. You have affected the life paths of more people than you will ever know. What you did by including Donna, and myself, with the team is something that Donna was so proud of. And something that will always bring a smile, and maybe a tear or two, to Jess and myself. Donna so loved watching your girls on the field. I often tell people that she insisted on going, and made it through more than two of the seven games the day of the ASA PA State championships just a few short weeks before her passing. The pink shirts, the fundraiser, all the love that came from you and from the girls and their families softened a very difficult time for us and brings back good memories when good was hard to come by. For that, Jess and I will always be grateful.

31: Thank you, as well, for allowing me to lend a hand with the team. I have never been one to sit on the sidelines. And being involved with what Jess was doing was important to me. Watching and listening to you allowed me to pick up a lot of tips and pointers that I was able to take to our high school team. Your knowledge and skills were passed on to many of these girls as well. Even the boys that I coached, including my own, back when Jess, Eric and Ethan were playing baseball in grade school improved because of what I learned from you. The time you invested in Jess is something that I will never be able to repay. You have given her the tools and developed the passion for softball in her that would probably worn thin with any other coach. She loves the game, the challenge it brings her, the circle of friends she has found in it, and, especially, the lessons she has learned from it. The work ethic, the risk, rewards concept, the feeling of accomplishment, the need to persevere in difficult times, the disappointment in failure and the the joy of success. She has had to grow up awfully fast these past few years. She fears nothing these days and believes strongly in who she is and what she can accomplish. A large part of that comes from the winning. and losing. on the field. From listening to, and learning from, the many talks you had with the team after games. Always a balanced approach. Never discouraging, always looking at the next game and what needed to improve. Always striving to be the best she could be. You use your gifts wisely, thoughtfully. Never selfish, always willing to go the extra mile. Full of integrity and honesty. Always with the interest of others at heart. For that, I thank you. For that, Donna was always grateful and pleased. I know you will carry on that tradition with your new team. And with your reputation, I know they realize just how blessed they are. God bless you! Thank you! Don

32: Olivia 'O' Larusso #8 | Dear Coach Moskal, Where do I even begin? I guess I could start from the beginning! Growing up I knew of you, but nothing about you. As far as I knew, you and my coach just didn’t get along, but that didn’t mean anything as far as my opinion went of you. I came to the high school and wasn’t afraid of classes, or of becoming an all-star athlete my first year. I was afraid of that scary man that everyone says is so intimidating, and you were. But, I was also a little excited to start forming my own opinion about you, and hopefully getting you to like me and my talent. So, as you were studying my athletic skills and whether or not I was all that I was talked up to be, I was studying your social skills and how your method of coaching differed from my method of being coached. I knew the first couple of weeks would be rough, and that I wouldn’t be able to form my opinion until we became a little more comfortable in our positions as coach and athlete. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that you are actually a push over, and not the cold hearted, stern man I was afraid to meet. You truly are a man of few, but inspirational words, and I hope to have taken each one of those words to heart and learned as much as possible from them and you. It meant a lot to me to be asked to join the Canonsburg Lady Knights. Finally, I felt like a part of the “softball family” that took so long to break through. It surely was a tough crowd to get in to, but you made it easier by acting more as a loving father than a rough coach. My softball career had suddenly become more serious than I had thought possible, and you did a fantastic job preparing me and my teammates for the life of a student athlete. This past year for school ball was a lot smoother to come back to. Because of you I have made friends for life that I can trust and grow off of in my life and in my sports.

33: The season had started rough for me and you saw before anyone my attitude changing, and as a fatherly coach would do, you much needingly scolded it out of me. I thank you for knowing the kind hearted me. I love that all your players, including myself, can come to you for anything, and you’ll be there! Anything from getting us out of picking up balls in school ball, to giving us life lesson talks when needed. You were a huge part of us winning the WPIAL championship and making it so far. I hope to win it all for you next year! I believe your new Lady Knights team will be just as good as you say they will. You have the ability to make any old athlete into an Olympian, and everyone knows it. I have to admit that I, along with the rest of the Knights team, am very jealous of the girls coming up that get to have you as a coach for so many years to come. I’m also jealous of my teammates that got to have you as a coach for many more years than I did. I’m not saying I would go back and change my past, but I just wish to have known the kind, humble you I know now, for longer than I got a chance to. I thank you for all I have learned from you in this short time, and I’m more than thrilled for the two more short years to come. I believe we have the “dream team” and I know we can accomplish anything as long as you are helping to coach us through it! I could probably write a book about the fun times and rough moments we’ve had together, but I was told to keep it to one page and on my computer it says I’m almost to a page and a half. So, I’ll try and wrap it up. I laugh every time I think of you farting and nobody hearing but me. I hate it when other people play 3rd besides me, and you know that. So, just know I will fight for my position until my time on that field is up. I love how you care for anyone that crosses your path in your own way, and I love how you love God. I can not justify how grateful I am to be coached by you. I will never let go of the life lessons I’ve learned from you. Because of you I hope to have my little girls play softball. So, THANK YOU again for every little thing you did and will continue doing for me for the rest of my life. Love you!! Love, Olivia Larusso 3rd Base :)

34: Steve, Words cannot express how thankful I am that you are in Olivia's life. The time you have spent with her is priceless, and we have enjoyed every minute of it.....I wish you the same talents and patience especially patience in your future endeavors.. thank you! Raechel

36: Unlike the majority of my teammates, I only spent one year with Coach Moskal. I haven’t known him since I was eight, and I never played for him in High School. However, I still have a lot of great memories with Coach Moskal and this Lady Knights team. I have played for multiple teams over the past few years, but I can honestly say that I had the most fun with this one. Coach Moskal was a big part of that. When I first met Coach Moskal, I was scared to death. Thankfully, that has changed over this past year. During this past season, I found that when I played, I was usually relaxed and having fun. This was because of Moskal and the way he coached. He would always crack a few jokes or tell us funny stories. He made the game more fun, and he kept us loose on the bench. Whenever we were down a few runs, Moskal did not scream at us. No one got down on themselves, and no one gave up. This is something that I personally was not used to. I finally had a coach and a team that could come back after we were behind. I knew that when I stepped onto the mound, my coach and my team had my back. Finally, I just want to thank Coach Moskal for all of the opportunities he has given me. He invited me to go to nationals in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then later gave me the chance to play for this team. Going to nationals was definitely the high-light thus far in my softball career. I loved the atmosphere, the competition, and the chance to play on that level. Seeing all the college coaches and athletes contributed to my desire to play in college. It has opened up many doors for me, and without Moskal, I would not have had the chance to experience it all. ~Erika Aughton | Erika Aughton #5

38: Coach Moskal, If you would have told me 3 years ago the Canonsburg Lady Knights would be a dominant team in Western Pa, I would not have believed you. Furthermore, if you would have told me my daughter would be a member of that team I would not have believed that either. It is funny how things change. I attribute that change to you. You have shown the softball world of Western Pa how to develop a team of local kids, so much, that there is a waiting list for this team. That speaks volumes. The impact you have made in these girls lives cannot be measured. Not only have you taught them the game of softball, but you have taught them how to be a team, a family! I have never seen a team that picked each other up as this one does. That is rare quality in today’s world. The way the team accepted Erika was incredible. She was nervous about joining this team. The girls have made her part of the family. This is a reflection on you as well. This shows that you taught them so much more than the game of softball. As we were driving home from our last tournament from Becker Power, we were so depressed. The year did not go as we had envisioned. We were looking forward to attending a national tournament and the team had just decided to call it quits. About half way home we received a call from Dave, asking if we would be interested in attending Nationals with your team. We were very excited. It was a chance of a lifetime. We were not so bummed anymore. The first time Erika attended one of your practices was unforgettable. Not only did you mention her attire, which she changed, but you made her prove herself numerous times. When we got in the car to leave, Erika said “What do you think?” I replied, “I think you showed him you can hold your own.” She replied “I think I showed him alright, I showed him I can do more than just pitch.”

39: I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity you provided by asking us to attend Nationals with you. It was one of the best experiences of my life. What a thrill to sit beside the numerous D1 coaches while they watched my child play. The air of excitement, the thrill of the games, the knowledge that your child is playing on one of the biggest stages of her life was just incredible. It is something I will cherish the rest of my life. Thank you for giving us both that opportunity! I want to wish you good luck in your new adventure. I hope the girls you are coaching now will someday look back on the lessons you have taught them and realize just how special you are. And I hope they never come to practice in a cut off t-shirt with their sports bra showing. (haha) Valerie

40: Dear Coach Moskal, First of all, I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to play with you guys in Tennessee last summer. It is one of my fondest memories of my softball career, and I will never forget it. You, the coaches, the parents, and all the girls welcomed me and Erika in immediately. After spending the week with all of you in Tennessee, I knew that I wanted to join the team the following summer. Even though I was convinced you didn’t know my name when I first came here, I found out it was just one of your many jokes. I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of this team; I appreciate it so much. I always thought I would end my travel softball career with the Power, but things changed and, in this case, for the better. This summer of travel ball with the Lady Knights was by far the most fun season I have ever had. You taught me many things that I will take with me, not only for the rest of my softball playing career, but also for the rest of my life. I am glad that I can still see you during the high school season and keep the Canon Mac vs. Peters Township rivalry alive. Thank you again for everything you have done for me in the short time I have been here. Your favorite Peters Township player, Abby Cunningham | Abby Cunningham #17

42: Steve, Just wanted to take a moment to tell you thanks for everything you did last year for Abby and the Lady Knights. It took her , and myself, a little bit of time to learn your quirky ways but once we figured that out, we really enjoyed ourselves!! Best of luck with the young ones in the future. I've been involved in coaching this sport for over 15 years and I've got a great deal of respect for the job you do. From one old coach to another, thanks again and we'll see you at the fields. Dave Cunningham

44: Focus | Pride in Accomplishment | Learn | Coach Moskal's Life Lessons | Listen

45: Respect | Respect Authority | Respect Opponents | Study | Have Fun

46: Former Players | Abby McCartney | Megan Semulka | Sam Elliott | Felicia Burns | Jenna Heidenreich | Missy Staaub | Lexi Lonero | Tiffany Garrison | Missing: Molly Campbell | Alayna Astuto

47: Ocean City, July, 2010 | We will remember the good times!

48: And they were all good times!

49: Cindy, On behalf of the Lady Knights I would like to thank you for your patience, your support and your tolerance in having Steve coach our girls. We all know it had to be difficult at times, having to share so much of his time with us. Yet, you did it with incredible grace and style. And while I am sure there had to be grumbling on occasion. It was never evident to us. Well maybe right before Alison's wedding... But, only because Steve told us... and we were on your side. :-) It always made the moms smile, (and the dads nervous), when Steve mentioned 'date night'. And he always took date night seriously. I hope you know how much we all appreciate the sacrifice you made for our girls and that the time he spent with them was not wasted. He has truly made a big difference in their lives. With Love, Don and the Knights family

53: The Fans

56: Take your time, enjoy this day.

57: Before you know, it's gone away!

58: The Start I guess it all started when we won the Pinto classic and went to sanction in Taylorstown just outside of Washington. We were young, but we were good; the Canonsburg All-Stars. I remember driving up Giffin Ave one evening, after hanging out at his shop going over the details of the next tournament and casting vision for an eventual trip to Cooperstown NY. We had just gotten to the little park at the bottom of the hill and my dad said, "What do you think of the "KNIGHTS"?" Now I'd seen the Redford movie The Natural once before with my dad, but I didn't know what he was asking right away. He said he wanted to name our team, the "Canonsburg Knights." Thus the ball club was established. Places My dad knew he could take us places. Places that were more dry than our always rained out Memorial Day weekend tournaments. When it was too wet or too cold to field grounders at Falconi or Fehl's field, we cleaned up and practiced at the old milling warehouse downtown, at Canonsburg Milling. And we sold Christmas Trees from there to pay for our trip to Disney's Wide World of Sports. We won or took 2nd in Eighty-Four, Crafton, Ingomar, Kennedy, MaCandeless, King Cole, Morgantown, Wheeling, Charleston, Beast of the East, and our own Wooden Bat Classic. Spring, Summer, Fall Ball and Warehouse Winters. We played a lot of ball. And we won a lot of games. We made many memories as the first edition of the Canonsburg Knights baseball team. Went to Cooperstown NY ... twice ... and played 12 year-olds from all over the country and Mexico. We went to the PONY League World Series and played China and Puerto Rico. I know of at least one major league professional ball player, and I'm certain there are others, whom we combatted on the diamonds over those years of great tournament play. | Adam Moskal

59: Memories My dad knew that it was important to work hard, but to get us to work for him, we would need to deliver the ice cream. Trips to Dairy Queen after winning a game - which lost some of it's attraction when our team was so successful that we found reason to be at Dairy Queen after every game almost every week. There was also the seemingly endless supply of Free Sarris' Ice Cream Sundae Coupons, an order my dad printed for the famed Ice Cream Shoppe. To achieve and receive them we had to demonstrate our skill development or just throw a ball in the air with one hand, hit it with two and then run after it, and do the same from the place it landed. If the ball could get over the cow pasture fence at Fehl's field, we got a coupon. Another treat that needed to fade as our muscles and bats grew in diameter. The top seven guys in our batting order could almost hit the fence with one ball. Love What I will remember most, is my father's love of the game and his inspiration to lead. He knew how to draw out the best performance in his players. He was fair. He was creative. He was strategic. He knew the importance of having a good time, but our fun and kindness was not to be mistaken for weakness. You know, lots of guys on the field had nick names because my dad was so awful with names. He called me, and no one else, "Sport." My team would later call me "Moskal, Adam" after the pick off throw down the first base line from the catcher, nabbing the runner who was taking too much of a secondary lead. My dad would shout from the dugout "Moskal, Adam" because I was playing right field and I would know to get into position to back up the throw in case the first baseman misses the pick off throw. There was honor in that name. Because it came from my coach, my father, my dad. Thanks for being a great coach and a loving dad. I love you.Sport

60: To my dad and coach, Words cannot express how much I appreciate and love everything you do for me (and now, Mike)! You are one of a kind and your thoughtfulness never ceases to amaze me! I’ve looked up to you from such a young age, and I continue to look up to you in the way you continue to succeed in coaching and the way I see you love mom! I’ll never forget begging you to start a Lady Knights (or was it the Knighettes) team for me! And it means the world to me, that you listened to me, you dreamed with me, and most of all, you made it a reality! Look at it now, dad! You’ve raised up so many teams and individuals, not only making us the best ball players we could be, but making it fun along the way! I will forever cherish all the memories that were made on the softball fields with you sitting on the bucket or coaching third base! You are truly the best coach and dad a girl could ask for! I am forever grateful for the memories, lessons and skills I learned from you pushing me harder to be the best I could be! Thank you dad for your dedication and love for this sport! I love you very much! Love always, Peanut (#17) | Alison Mish

61: Beyond God and family, the best thing in life is to do what you love! Thanks Coach!

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  • By: don w.
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