As I have written, it was a blessing to coach and work with Loyalsock basketball’s current group of talented seniors. Two players that are near and dear to my heart are Michael Pastore and Brennan Casale. I caught up with Loyalsock Head Coach Ron CI Insinger to talk about the pair.
Michael was knee-high to a grasshopper in grade school but he had the will and desire to improve each year and work hard at the game he loves. He has put more gym time into improving his skills and developing his game than any Lancer.
He was trained by Mr. Josh Aarons, a Loyalsock Middle School guidance counselor and dedicated supporter of Coach Insinger’s program. Michael could be found with Mr. Aarons year round since he was in grade school developing all aspects of his game.
Michael has turned this hard work and commitment into being a solid contributor since his sophomore season for CI. “Pound for pound Michael is one of the toughest players in the State. His ability to create and stop on a dime and shoot has created much interest with some Division III Coaches. This can be attributed to all his hard work.” CI commented with a smile. Michael has scored over 900 points in his career. He has the ability to score in bunches and has gotten hot at the right time in many big games over his career. Alongside Omar Little and Kyle Datres he has made the Lancer back court almost impossible to defend. “Michael is a steady player, I am fortunate to have three guards as good as anybody. When Michael gets it going he can flat out score.” Said CI.
Tip of the cap to his father Dr. Tim Pastore. Doc helped me for many seasons keeping young Lancers on the court as we traveled before their high school days. Doc and his wife Debbie have been committed to Michael's success and supporting Lancer basketball. Michael is the wildcard in the Lancers State Tournament run. He will get open looks and the opportunity to make big shots as CI's bunch heads towards Hershey.
Great career Michael and keep the season rolling. You are a great example that you don't have to be the biggest player you just have to have the biggest heart and work hard. Good luck in college.
Thinking of Brennan Casale always brings a smile to my face. He is one of the nicest and kindest young people I have ever met. He is the epitome of a team player and he is dedicated to his team and achieving a common goal. I'm proud of Brennan and the season he has provided the Maroon and White in his senior year.
Brennan's parents Frank and Katie were stars for Bishop Neumann in their days there. They have contributed sons Dylan and Brennan to Coach Insinger's hoops legacy. Both have been key contributors towards District Championships. A Casale has been on the court for the past four District IV Titles. “The Casale brothers have made major contributions to the Lancer basketball program.” CI noted.
Brennan has been exactly what the Lancers have needed this year. A solid, smart inside player with the ability to defend away from the basket. Brennan has also had key offensive contributions most importantly in Districts and States. “Brennan’s baby hook and work around the basket is a great weapon to have,” noted CI.
He seems to get himself in the right spot to score and uses smooth moves around the basket even though he is undersized by big man standards.
Brennan could start for most high schools and even for the Lancers depending on match ups. It is his embracing of his role as sixth man that has helped Sock's chemistry and them to become the "Team" they are. “Brennan is the best 6th man on any team in Central Pennsylvania.” CI said with pride.
This is a difficult role for anyone. Brennan always seems to answer CI's call with quality play at both ends of the court. He is the type of player you must have on the team to make a run in the State Tournament. He provides depth and senior smarts. Great year Brennan Casale, keep the drive alive and good luck on your future endeavors.