By Joseph Staszewski
The new face of Bayside boys’ basketball is a familiar one.
Junior varsity Coach and Commodores alumnus Steve Scharf was named the new varsity headman, according to Athletic Director Joe Capuana. He takes over for Cory Semper, who left to coach at High School for Construction. Scharf is also an absent teacher reserve at the school.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to coach my alma mater,” Scharf said. “Coaching the JV team the last five years, it’s great that I pretty much get to coach my kids throughout their high school careers.”
Capuana said Scharf was up for the job five years ago when he hired Semper, who was a better fit at the time. The athletic director believes Scharf, who was around the Bayside and Queens College programs as a manager growing up, is more prepared to take over now. He’s grown as a person, a coach and a leader.
“There seems to be a different level of maturity in him,” Capuana said.
He has been impressive with Scharf’s development of players on the junior varsity team. Capuana thinks bringing players along gradually is something the program will look to do moving forward, limiting the number of kids who jump right to varsity.
“The kids are going to develop as freshman and sophomores and then get their opportunities a little bit later to kind of stabilize the program,” he said.
Scharf takes over a team that lost much of its roster after winning the school’s first PSAL Queens title. He thinks the transition will be smooth because a good portion of his JV team will be moving up to the varsity with him. Scharf was 56-15 as the junior varsity coach and as interim coach helped lead the girls’ basketball team on a Cinderella run to the PSAL Class A semifinals in 2012. Capuana thought it was time for him to get a shot at the big job.
“I think he’s ready,” he said.
Scharf thinks his responsibility to his players goes beyond wins and losses.
“Our job as a coach goes beyond basketball,” Scharf said. “If I get all my kids into college and they graduate on time, regardless if they play basketball in college, I feel like I did my job.”
It is one he is happy to be taking on.
“How many times can someone coach where they went as a kid?” Scharf asked.