New Fenwick girls basketball coach a familiar face

Scott Dalton, Fenwick girls basketball coach

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Scott Dalton, Fenwick girls basketball coach

Scott Dalton arrived at Fenwick High School in 2014 content to be an assistant for the girls basketball team while also serving as head coach for track and field.

The players on the Falcons’ girls basketball team made his decision to take on another head coaching duty an easy one.

Dalton, who previously was Middletown’s head coach for seven years, replaces John Rossi and will guide the Falcons as they try to bounce back from a 7-15 finish last season.

“I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a head coach again but after working with the Fenwick young ladies on the basketball team I knew I wanted to coach them because of what they stand for,” Dalton said. “They are hard-working, model students and they got my enthusiasm up again because they are very coachable.”

It was a natural move for Dalton to take over for Rossi, who is now Franklin’s coach after going 23-45 the past three years at Fenwick. Rossi is a winner of 276 games over 19 years as a head coach, including previous stints with the Falcons from 1998 to 2001, and had brought Dalton to his staff when he returned to Fenwick in 2014.

“John Rossi is a great coach in this area, and I learned a lot from him,” Dalton said. “It’s an honor to follow a guy like that.”

Dalton, 52, was 42-107 during his stint at Middletown, but Fenwick athletic director Michael Coleman said he earned the job based on what he did as an assistant with the Falcons.

Coleman liked that Dalton already had a strong connection to the team and already understands Fenwick’s mission as a school.

“He brings everyone together and the kids really respect him and love him for that,” Dalton said. “He has a great connection with the kids across multiple seasons. He was in the role as an assistant before and everyone on a staff plays a role. The head coach usually has the authority role, but Scott was always that coach to listen and encourage and keep them motivated so they leaned on him for that and I think it’s going to be beneficial to the program.

“He brings some of his Middletown years and that type of upbeat program, and he coached some AAU and junior high teams, so we’re very excited about creating an offense around that type of up-tempo system.”

Fenwick hasn’t had a winning season since 2013-14, before Rossi and Dalton arrived, but even that was just an 11-10 finish.

Dalton, a graduate of Franklin High who recently retired from Middletown after 31 years of teaching, already is seeing some success this summer while recently coaching the Falcons to an 11-1 record at the 18-team Bluffton Shootout camp.

“The kids have adapted to me and my style, and I’m getting adapted to them,” Dalton said. “We’ve had a pretty successful summer so far, and the fact I’ve been on staff the last three years makes it a lot easier on the kids and coaches. I’ve been really busy hiring a coaching staff and getting organized, but we’re looking for a big season.”

Former junior varsity assistant Abby Jerger moves up to the varsity staff, and three new coaches join the program with the addition of Evan Houdishell, Brian Mahoney and Jim O’Toole.

Dalton already has installed the more up-tempo game he was familiar with at Middletown and likes what he sees so far from a squad that lost three seniors to graduation.

“We will probably see a different style,” Dalton said. “I’ll adapt to the different personnel we have but I think we’ll be very athletic and a more up-tempo type team than any years past because of the personnel we have. Fundamentally the girls are pretty good, and I’m looking forward to the season to start and see what we can do.”

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