Dave Shea has served as the sports editor of the The Journal-Advance News for 42 years, covering all levels of sports on the local scene. He is a graduate of St. Mary's Academy, Ogdensburg, and St. Lawrence University, Canton, which honored him with its Distinquished Alumni Award. He has been inducted into the Lisbon, Morristown and Madrid-Waddington central schools' athletic halls of fame for his coverage of their sports. He been honored by the New York State Athletic Administrators Association, received the Golden Scribe Award from the Basketball Coaches of New York State and he was honored in 2012 as Ogdensburg's Citizen of the year by the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce.
Troy Lassial sees a promising future for the Canton Central Boys Basketball program.
And the first year Bears’ head coach plans to incorporate his experiences as an OFA and St. Lawrence University athlete and as a collegiate assistant coach into the equation for developing that potential.
Lassial has resided in Canton since graduating from SLU and serves as the Associate Director of Residence Life at SUNY Canton.
“We have a lot of good young players in Canton and the people at the Canton Hoopsters program are working very hard getting the young kids involved in tournaments” says Lassial who played for Coach Bill Merna on an OFA team which reached the New York State Class B Final Four in 2004 and went on to play football at St. Lawrence University.
“This year we will pretty young and both the players and I will be learning. I will be implementing my system which is a mix of things I have learned and things I have picked up from talking to SUNY Canton Coach Jim Bechtel and St. Lawrence University Coach Chris Downs. They have both been very helpful to me.”
Lassial will make his first appearance at OFA’s Bill Merna Court as the Canton Coach on Monday and feels that the elements he learned as a Blue Devils player will be on display.
“We definitely want to play with the intensity and sense of sacrifice for the team which Coach Sargent (retired JV coach and current JV assistant Mike Sargent) taught me,” says Lassial.
“And I definitely hope I can use Coach Merna’s (retired OFA Coach Bill Merna) abilities in the Xs and Os. He is outstanding at watching films and then taking what he saw and making players better.”
Lassial also hopes to emulate his OFA coaches in terms of having a long and successful career at Canton.
“When Bill Porter (Canton Athletic Director and JV Basketball Coach) and I first talked he said they were looking for a young person to get involved in the program. Things just went from there and I took the varsity position after I completed all my certification,” says Lassial who is married to Canton native Erin (Coakley) Lassial who is the Coordinator of International Student Initiativeses at SUNY Canton.
“My wife is very involved at the high school and I wanted to contribute to the school and community. So I thought, what better way to do that than through athletics.”
Lassial will coach his first game tonight in a home game with Hermon-DeKalb of the NAC West.
His first team features three returnees from last season and a host of first year juniors.
Returning from last year’s Canton team are two seniors in forward Mike Couglar and guard Bailey White-Taylor and sophomore guard Louden Porter who Lassial feels will set a tone of toughness for the squad. First year players are 6’ 3” forward Sebastian Newman who is the talented player on the team at 6’ 3”, exchange student Pablo Fernandez from Spain (G), Brian Bradford (G), David Norman (G), Mike Leponto (F), Shemule Prudhomme (F), Dane Ames (F) who has been the team’s top scorer in scrimmages and Zachary Kavanagh (G).