Perkiomen Valley (PV) High School’s varsity boys basketball team certainly had plenty to celebrate in January, with head coach Mike Poysden collecting his 100th career victory and senior Tyler Strechay joining the 1,000-point club. The team has shown incredible determination this season, and with Strechay leading the herd, it is no surprise that the 20-7 team has reached PIAA Class 6A State Tournament for the second time in three years. Coach Poysden and the entire team’s hard work and tenacity has allowed for PV students, teachers and the entire community to witness one of the greatest seasons in PV’s history.
Poysden, a PV alum and father of 3, celebrated 100 wins on January 24th in a 44-37 victory over Upper Perkiomen High School. This is Poysden’s seventh year as head coach of the varsity team, after assistant coaching for five years. After experiencing the PV community from a student’s eyes, leaving to teach and coach at a middle school outside of Washington D.C., and returning to the PV family, Coach Poysden believes, “that between the sports teams, musical performances, the clubs PV offers and the education students receive, PV continues to grow and improve into an outstanding school district.”
Poysden, an Elizabethtown College and University of Virginia graduate, credits the ability to reach the 100 victories to his players and his assistant coaches, as well as his family. The American History teacher believes in instilling a determination and work ethic in each of his players, as well as pushing for outside-of-practice training. Coach Poysden is not one to push his players by running drills to punish mistakes. He leads his team to victory by doing his homework on his competitors and preparing his team for each competitor. He spends his summer reading basketball updates for not only his upcoming players, but also for any prospects of other teams in the Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC).
When asked about his all time favorite win out of his 100, he is quick and definitive with his answer: a victory against Cheltenham back in 2016. His squad, including Justin Jaworski, Cullen O’Connor, Sean Moriarty, and Sean Owens, had just lost the nail-biter PAC Championship against long-time rival Springford High School. Coach Poysden believed the win against Cheltenham returned the confidence and joy back into his players before the season ended. With Coach Poysden at the wheel, PV has seen the PAC championship game three out of the four recent years, including this season against Methacton. Although PV was defeated, Poysden, Strechay, and the entire team are focusing on finishing their season on a high note with the PIAA Class 6A state tournament right around the corner.
Tyler Strechay joins the Perkiomen Valley 1,000-point club
For Strechay, a basketball and baseball prodigy, there is much to be proud of; Strechay was the sixth man on PV varsity team during his freshman year, and started on varsity for the next three years. A born team leader, Strechay is a reliable contributor with his average 20 points per game. On January 15th, the prodigy reached 1,000 points in a 58-36 victory against Upper Merion High School. Strechay has been a vital component of the team since the 2015-2016 season, where he “learned how to play with players that were older, faster, stronger than [he] was at the time.” Strechay has evolved into a great team player over the course of his career. He is especially thankful to his parents, siblings, coaches, and teammates that have helped him reach 1,000 points.
Strechay celebrated his achievement with a cookie cake with his family and teammates.A well known local success story, the community celebrated his milestone with a tribute to his 1000 points on the Collegeville Bakery sign. To no one’s surprise, Strechay was ready to get back to practice immediately following his achievement.
Not only is Strechay a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court, but he also excels on the baseball field. He is attending West Virginia University in the fall to play D1 baseball as a pitcher. Although he is unsure of what he is studying, his excitement to attend West Virginia is off the charts. Also off the charts is Strechay’s love for watching college and professional basketball in his free time. His favorite college team is suitably the West Virginia Mountaineers and his favorite professional team is the Philadelphia 76ers. He looks up to JJ Redick and Lebron James and wants to be the same kind of role model as James for the PV community.
Besides saying goodbye to Strechay, there are six other seniors leaving the PV team this year, including Ian and Bryce Streeper, Connor McShea, Zach Krause, AJ Hansen, and Blaise Blomstrom. Coach Poysden’s pride for each of these seniors stems from their excellence in their own specific talent. “These seniors all bring great skills to the table at every game, from outstanding three point shooting to great defensive abilitie,” says Poysden. Posyden is thankful for “the players’ ability to hold each other to their own standards and help with their weaknesses.” PV is definitely a serious contender for the 2019-20 season, with one senior returning, Mike Dougherty, and several juniors stepping up to fill some pretty large shoes.
Connor McShea, a senior for PV, also experienced a milestone this January. During the PAC Championship game against Methacton, McShea was able to play and score a layup, despite tearing his ACL over the summer. Coach Poysden and the staff were almost certain McShea would never be able to play again, but through his competitive drive, he was able to put in minutes in the important game.
Congratulations to Mike Poysden for his 100 wins and Tyler Strechay for his 1,000 points! You have certainly made the PV community proud!