By Steve Ruman
The LaBrae High football program is going from old school to new school.
The LaBrae board of education on Monday approved the hiring of John Armeni as the Vikings’ new football coach. Armeni replaces Bill Bohren, who resigned following a nine-year stint at the school.
Bohren recently completed his 47th year as a head coach.
At age 29, Armeni becomes one of the youngest head coaches in the Mahoning Valley.
Armeni was recommended by a selection committee made up of superintendent A.J. Calderone, principal Rocco Adduci, athletic director Todd Rowe and board member Gary Morton. The board voted 3-1 in favor of the recommendation.
The selection committee interviewed five candidates, all of whom are either employed by the school district or were part of the football staff this past fall.
Armeni is a social studies teacher at LaBrae High School.
“We were looking for someone who was capable of building a program, and that involves a lot more than just the game of football itself,” Calderone said.
Despite his youth, Armeni has 11 years of coaching experience under his belt. He served as an assistant under Mike Kopachy for nine years at Western Reserve and Salem. He was part of Bohren’s staff for the past two years.
Armeni graduated from Youngstown Chaney High School, where he played for Ron Berdis.
“I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been surrounded by some great coaches who are also great men,” Armeni said.
Armeni acknowledged that he has his hands full in trying to follow in the footsteps of a man who has 288 wins, and who led the Vikings to a pair of playoff appearances.
“You can never replace Bill Bohren,” Armeni said. “You just try to build on the foundation that he and others laid down here at LaBrae. In high school football, consistency is the name of the game.”