Published: April 12, 2012
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In sports it is very difficult to repeat anything. Last basketball season, Riverside's Jerry Kincel made a name for himself as he was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State boys' basketball Class AA second team. Going into his senior season, opponents were sure to be gunning for him and his teammates, Kincel was up for the challenge.
In Kincel's senior season he faced double and triple teams every night. Last week, Kincel was named to his second straight all-state team for the second straight season.
"It was always in the back of my mind," Kincel said of being named all-state. "Coming off last season my goal was to make first team or at least where I was last season. I just happened to match it this year. The way I look at it is to work as a team and all the personal attributes will follow."
As a junior Kincel helped lead Riverside to a PIAA District 2 Class AA title and a run in the state playoffs, so the expectations were high again this season. The Vikings had a 23-5 record, which included a PIAA Class AA state playoff win over Loyalsock.
"Coming off the year our team had last season we knew we would have a target on our back," Kincel said. "But I am very happy with the outcome of the season we had."
The season was also highlighted by Kincel becoming Riverside's all-time leading scorer. He finished his Viking career with 1,755 points, an honor that is more important to him than the all-state recognition he has received.
"I think being the all-time leading scorer is the greater honor," Kincel said. "Even to be on the list of 1,000 point scores is an honor. You are with guys that were doing the same things you were doing day in and day out."
The 6-foot-2 forward pilled up his points in a variety of ways.
He took the ball to the basket, was frequently fouled so was on the foul line quite often and he had the ability to the outside shot as he was a threat from the three-point line.
Kincel has always wanted to be a part of Riverside basketball lore since he was in middle school.
"When I was in seventh grade I always said, I am going to make history, I am going to do this, I am going to do that," Kincel said. "It just motivated me through the years. It helped me day and day out to work as hard as I can."
Kincel put the work in the gym taking extra shots and hit the weights hard. He even ran cross county for Riverside to help keep his stamina high, which would pay off in the fourth quarter of tight games.
"That is the Riverside mentality," Kincel said. "Working in the weight room with the football team really helped. The past few years Riverside had some of the most physical football players in the area and we all pushed each other."
When Kincel scored his 1,000th point as a junior he joined a club at Riverside that included his coach Mike Morgan. Morgan was also a 1,000 point scorer at Riverside and Kincel would eventually break his son's scoring record at Riverside.
Kincel was a part of coach Morgan's last team as he retired from coaching after the season ended.
"Coach Morgan is like a father figure to me," Kincel said. "He was right there every step of the way though the program."
He is still making a decision about where he will attend college.
He said he will continue his basketball career while studying biology or pre-med.