A starting guard on PIAA championship teams in 1995 and 1996, Steve Lodovico knew what it felt like to win a title at Blackhawk.
Now, thanks in some part to his coaching, so does his girls basketball team.
Just over two weeks ago, the Cougars finished off one of their most successful seasons, ending the year with a 28-2 record, a WPIAL Class AAA championship and a PIAA Class AAA title, the school's first since 2000.
In his nine years at Blackhawk, Lodovico has gone 161-80, including 101-15 the past four seasons.
When did you get a sense this team could do something special? Really last season. We returned four starters from a team that went 27-2 and, with what we had coming back, we had high goals and expectations for this year. Once we got rolling this year and had a good offseason, I felt like we could make a deep run in the state tournament.
Besides the four starters, what else gave you that feeling? I guess just really how hard they worked. These girls put in a ton of time in the offseason with our open gyms, summer leagues, fall leagues and team camps. They really put in the work and were very motivated to not let what happened last year happen again. Our goal coming in and the goal we continued to use was "Finish." We wanted to finish the season with two championships, and they kind of used that as their motivation.
Did winning those championships mean more to you, given your roots at the school? It means a lot, coming from Blackhawk, growing up in this district, being a player, a teacher here and a coach. It's great for the community. A lot of these people coming to our games came to watch me as a player back in the mid-90s. That makes it even more special, to do it here where I grew up.